AMD’s ATI breaks 1Ghz barrier — for real?
In the highly demanding (and some say shrinking) world of PC gaming, only two graphics powers really count: reigning popular champ Nvidia and AMD’s ATI division. Now it looks like ATI’s Radeon may have got a bit of a lead on its arch-foe.
ATI, once considered a perennial also-ran to Nvidia’s cutting-edge graphics chips, has become the first to crack what it called the 1 Gigahertz barrier on standard air-cooling. Pounding its chest, the company trumpeted on Wednesday the milestone and talked about “amazing gaming experiences” for the likes of Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. and Electronic Arts’ Battleforge.
It would be interesting to see how Nvidia — whose logo still appears more often alongside cutting-edge games such as medieval third-person actioner Assassin’s Creed to blockbuster first-person shooter Crysis — will respond in their never-ending arms race.
Another interesting point some blogsites bring up: gamers routinely “overclock” their cards, or run their graphics processors at a faster than factory-based speed, meaning the 1Ghz barrier was probably broken some time back. AMD touts the new ATI Radeon HD 4890 as “factory-overclocked”.
AMD forgot to say how much it would actually cost, retail.
And it’s no long-term fix for choppy cut-scenes and jittery screen-scrolling either. As PC gamers well know, the GPU or graphics card is fundamental to the gaming experience. Unlike console gamers who rarely fret much about compatibility issues and hardware requirements, Windows gamers have to worry about everything from DirectX 10.1 to which card is optimized for what game. ATI’s supersonic new card merely represents a short-term solution to the ever-increasing demands that today’s games put on hardware.
(Photo: Crysis screenshot provided by Electronic Arts)