ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT 174

ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT

A Closer Look »

The Card

If we look at the size of the Radeon HD 2900 XT we see that it fits nicely in the middle of the GeForce 8800 GTX (left) and the Radeon X1900 XTX (right). First leaks have shown a behemoth PCB which obviously was too big to be used in the retail market, the big board may appear in OEM designs though.

The card's theme is still completely red, even though AMD's corporate colors are green, yet ATI remains red. On top of the cooler you can see a simple but pretty silvery flame paint job. The red transparent cooler reminds of the Radeon X1950 Series, the cooler inside has been changed of course.

On the back we see a big black metal heatsink which cools the memory chips on the back of the card. Yes you read right, the card goes back to the "memory chips on two sides" approach. This is because the memory bus bandwidth has been bumped to 512 bit which requires that you use 16 memory chips. Fitting all these on one side isn't possible, so each side has eight of them.

As you would expect, the card has two DVI outputs which are both dual-link capable, so highres displays up to 2560x1600 can be used. You can use both DVI outputs with HDMI adapters at the same time while still retaining HDCP encryption on both outputs. Also you can use the good old DVI to VGA adapters in case you still have a CRT or TFT with analog input.

The internal CrossFire connector is the same as on the Radeon X1950 Pro Series. All CrossFire handling is now done inside the GPU, an external CrossFire chip is no longer required, also all boards can run as CrossFire Master or Slave. Every retail board should include one CrossFire cable, so if you purchase two cards you will have the two bridges you need.
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