Although much of today’s news has been dominated by the hype going around ATI’s Crossfire MultiVPU technology, today is also a significant day for XGI Technology as we have acquired some information regarding XGI’s new Volari 8300 and 8600 series. Unfortunately, these new cards won’t be available until June or July of this year; at least XGI will finally be adopting PCI Express. XGI Technology has also confirmed to us that their new cards will eventually support Linux (hopefully with some reliable drivers). Below are bits of information we have gathered on the new XGI Volari offerings.
· Native PCI-E Interface, 1x / 8x / 16x Supported
· Innovative eXtreme Cache Tech
· Hardware DirectX 9 and Shader Model 2.0/3.0 – TrueShader 3.0
· OpenGL 1.5 Hardware Compatible
· Advanced Video Processor
· 64 / 32 bit DDR Interface at Up to 700Mbps
· Multiple Display: Panel / CRT / TV / LCD
· Fanless Solution: Low Power Consumption
Similar to NVIDIA and their Turbo Cache for the GeForce 6200 cards where some of the graphics memory is actually a portion of the system memory, the total graphic memory for XGI Technologies new cards can be determined by adding the shared memory and local frame buffer, to achieve the total amount of graphic memory. The total amount of memory that will be available to the graphics card will be in the range of 128 – 256MB. In addition, the new Volari 8300 will feature Dynamic Memory Allocation for using a less amount of system memory when in 2D/Video mode than when you’re running 3D applications. This Dynamic Memory Allocation is to save on memory resources and keep overall system performance while continuing to allocate sufficient system memory in order to guarantee 3D performance. The heatsink we’re expecting to see for cooling the new XGI XG45 and XG47 VPU is expected to be nothing greater in size than a small Northbridge-like passive heatsink. The power consumption is expected to be 5 ~ 6.9W and will use a 0.13um process.
On the new XGI Volari 8300 there is scheduled to be a DVI, D-Sub, and MiniDin connector. The DVI will support single channel video up to 1600 x 1200 and the D-Sub VGA connector will feature dual CRT support up to 2048 x 1536. Some of the technologies to allow for excellent video processing include motion compensation / IDCT, HDTV support, de-interlacing, 3:2 Pull-Down, Edge Smooth, and LCD Overdrive.
Also available in the near future should be the Volari 8600XT, Volari 8600, and Volari 8600 Mobile. The core and memory clocks are expected to run at 450/450, 400/275, and 350MHz/300MHz respectively. Although no benchmarks have been seen yet for these new cards, the Volari 8600XT is expected to perform in the range of a NVIDIA GeForce 6600GT or ATI RADEON X700XT while the plain 8600 is expected to be the speed of a traditional GeForce 6600 and RADEON X700.
We hope we’ll be able to present more information very soon on these new cards from XGI Technology, in the mean time continue to check for our daily Computex Taipei 2005 updates for more information on exciting new technologies. One item we have yet to see discussed by XGI Technology is the possibility for a MultiVPU setup similar to NVIDIA’s SLI or ATI’s Crossfire. Keep in mind, much of the information presented in this article is tentative and will possibly change by the time the cards make their way to production.