small Sapphire, PowerColor HD2600XT & Xpertvision HD2600Pro

Despite a recent spate of events leading to its parent company, AMD, seeing red in losses over the last two quarters of the year, ATI has pulled through & managed to put another range of cards to add some flavour to the mid range graphics sector potpourri- the HD2600 Series. A departure from the previous nomenclature of putting an “X” in front of the series’ model number, ATI has decided to put the prefix “HD” instead. Read on to understand why!

4 Sapphire, PowerColor HD2600XT & Xpertvision HD2600Pro

Despite a recent spate of events leading to its parent company, AMD, seeing red in losses over the last two quarters of the year, ATI has pulled through  & managed to put another range of cards to add some flavour to the mid range graphics sector potpourri- the HD2600 Series.

A departure from the previous nomenclature of putting an “X” in front of the series’ model number, ATI has decided to put the prefix “HD” instead. Read on to understand why!

Developed under the codename RV630, the HD2600 series cards have come to provide substantial relief from current market domination by Nvidia’s Geforce 8 series.

Here’s a brief comparison chart, detailing the current mid-range lineup for the HD 2000 series & their direct intended competitors produced by Nvidia.

Product

Competitor

HD 2600XT with GDDR3/ GDDR4

8600GTS GDDR3

HD 2600XT with GDDR3

8600GT GDDR3

HD 2600Pro with GDDR2

8500GT GDDR2

The HD2000 series of GPUs come with an array of new features.

Compared to the previous generation of the Radeon X1000 series, the new graphics processors feature:

 

-Unified Shader Architecture

Just as Nvidia has done, ATI has moved to completely unified superscalar shader architecture, choosing to call them "stream processors”. These stream processors bring better and faster shader effects, and supports Shader Model 4.0 along with DX10.

-A 65nm Process for manufacturing the GPU

Higher graphics core clock speeds can be attained as the process shrinks to smaller sizes.

-Tessellation

Tessellation is the act of using an algorithm to break a single triangle down into multiple triangles, giving you a much finer 3D mesh. Incidentally, the tessellation function is the same one found on the ATI graphics chip found in the XBOX360. Simply put, Tessellation is a key component in dynamic rendering of textures. Objects such as human skin, snow covered plains and trees will be shown in much better detailed textures.

-Integrated HDMI

The HD 2000 series incorporates built-in HDMI functionality complete with visual and 5.1 (AC3) audio output, though not all cards may feature direct HDMI outputs.

-ATI Avivo HD

An update to the Avivo processing technology that is behind the HD Video and h.264 playback capabilities in the Radeon X1000 series cards. It incorporates HDMI in order to complement an all-in-one solution to bring professional rendered High Definition content to the mainstream computing groups and enthusiasts.

With the addition of HDMI and Avivo HD, the HD 2000 series, as so aptly named, is being positioned as all rounded graphics solutions that provide intensive gaming experiences, fluidity in HD-content playback and flexible connectivity – all in a single package. All HD 2000 series cards are also HDCP Compatible – the chip is integrated into the core of the GPU. Viewing HD-DVDs and Blu-ray discs with protected content are now possible by all variants of the entire graphics line.