Radeon R600

Radeon R600

name = "Radeon HD 2000/3000 Series"

codename = "Pele"
created = 2006–2007
entry = Radeon HD 2400, HD 3400
midrange = Radeon HD 2600, HD 3600
highend = Radeon HD 2900, HD 3800
d3dversion = 10.0, Shader Model 4.0
(HD 2000) / 10.1, Shader
Model 4.1 (HD 3000)

The graphics processing unit (GPU) codenamed R600 is the foundation of the Radeon HD 2000/3000 series and the FireGL 2007 series video cards developed by ATI Technologies.

It features unified shaders and is compatible with Direct3D 10.0's Shader Model 4.0 along with OpenGL 2.1fact|date=August 2008. The first product of the line, the Radeon HD 2900 XT, was launched on May 14, 2007, with variants for other market segments and a half-generation update (RV670), sporting Direct3D 10.1 and Shader Model 4.1 support, released subsequently throughout 2007 and 2008 with low-end and mainstream variants.


Unified shaders

The "R600" is the first personal computer graphics processing unit (GPU) from ATI based on a unified shader architecture. It is ATI's second generation unified shader design and is based on the "Xenos" GPU implemented in the Xbox 360 game console, which used the world's first such shader architecture. Previous GPU architectures implement separate processors for each type of graphics function. A unified architecture leverages many flexible processors which can be scheduled to process a variety of shader types, thereby significantly increasing GPU throughput (dependent on application instruction mix as noted below). The R600 core processes vertex, geometry, and pixel shaders as outlined by the Direct3D 10.0 specification for Shader Model 4.0 in addition to full OpenGL 2.1 compliancy,Wasson, Scott. [http://www.techreport.com/reviews/2007q2/radeon-hd-2900xt/index.x?pg=1 AMD Radeon HD 2900 XT graphics processor: R600 revealed] , Tech Report, May 14, 2007] but only with OpenGL 2.0 support.

The new unified shader functionality is based upon a Very long instruction word (VLIW) architecture in which the core executes operations in parallel. The R600 uses 64 superscalar unified shader clusters, each consisting of 5 stream processing units for a total of 320 stream processing units. The RV610 and RV630 variants have some of the shaders removed from the array, containing a total of 40 (5x8) and 120 (5x24) stream processors, respectively. Each of the first 4 stream processing units is able to retire a finished single precision floating point MAD (or ADD or MUL) instruction per clock, dot product (dp, and special cased by combining ALUs), and integer ADD. [http://www.beyond3d.com/content/reviews/16 Beyond3D review: AMD R600 Architecture and GPU Analysis] , retrieved June 2, 2007.] The fifth unit is more complex and can additionally handle special transcendental functions such as sine and cosine. Each of the 64 shader clusters can execute 6 instructions per clock cycle (peak), consisting of 5 shading instructions plus 1 branch .

Notably, the VLIW architecture brings with it some classic challenges inherent to VLIW designs, namely that of maintaining optimal instruction flow. Additionally, the chip cannot co-issue instructions when one is dependent on the results of the other. Performance of the GPU is highly dependent on the mixture of instructions being used by the application and how well the real-time compiler in the driver can organize said instructions.

Hardware tessellation

The GPU is equipped with an extra feature which is not part of the current DirectX 10.0 specification. It contains programmable tessellation units, similar to those within the "Xenos" GPU (codenamed "C1") also developed by ATI. This unit allows a developer to take a simple polygon mesh and subdivide it based on a curved surface evaluation function, with different tessellation forms as Bézier surfaces with N-patches, B-splines and NURBS, and even some subdivision surface techniques, which usually comes with a displacement map texture. [http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2128926,00.asp ExtremeTech review] ] Essentially, this allows a simple, low-polygon model to be increased dramatically in polygon density in real-time with minimized performance loss. Scott Wasson of Tech Report noted during an AMD demo of the technology that the resulting model was so dense with millions of polygons that it appeared to be solid.

This unit is reminiscent of ATI's earlier "TruForm" technology, used initially in the Radeon 8500, which performed a similar function in hardware.Witheiler, Matthew. [http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.html?i=1476 ATi TRUFORM Technology - Powering the next generation Radeon] , AnandTech, May 29, 2001.] While this tessellation hardware is not part of the current OpenGL or Direct3D requirements, and competitors such as the GeForce 8 series lack similar hardware, Microsoft has included Tessellation as part of their D3D10.1 future plans. [http://download.microsoft.com/download/e/5/5/e5594812-cdaa-4e25-9cc0-c02096093ceb/the%20future%20of%20directx.zip The Future of DirectX] presentation, slide 24-29] The "TruForm" technology from the past received little attention from software developers and was only utilized in a few game titles (such as Madden NFL 2004, Serious Sam, Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004, and unofficially Morrowind), because it was not a feature shared with NVIDIA GPUs which had a competing Tessellation solution using Quintic-RT patches which met with even less support from developers. [ [http://http.download.nvidia.com/developer/SDK/Individual_Samples/DEMOS/Direct3D9/src/HLSL_FresnelReflection/docs/FresnelReflection.pdf nVidia GeForce3 SDK WhitePaper] ] Since the Xenos contains similar hardware, and Microsoft sees hardware surface tessellation as a major GPU feature with proposed implementation of hardware tessellation support in future DirectX releases (presumably DirectX 11), [http://download.microsoft.com/download/e/5/5/e5594812-cdaa-4e25-9cc0-c02096093ceb/the%20future%20of%20directx.zip The Future of DirectX] presentation, slide 24-29] dedicated hardware tessellation units may receive increased developer awareness in future titles. It remains to be seen whether ATI's implementation will be compatible with the eventual DirectX standard.

Ultra threaded dispatch processor

Although the R600 is a significant departure from previous designs, it still shares many features with its predecessors. The "Ultra-Threaded Dispatch Processor" is a major architectural component of the R600 core, just as it was with the Radeon X1000 GPUs. This processor manages a large number of in-flight threads of three distinct types (vertex, geometry, and pixel shaders) and switches amongst them as needed. With a large number of threads being managed simultaneously it is possible to reorganize thread order to optimally utilize the shaders. In other words, the dispatch processor evaluates what goes in the other parts of the R600 and attempts to keep processing efficiency as high as possible. There are lower levels of "management" as well; each SIMD array of 80 stream processors has its own sequencer and arbiter. The arbiter decides which thread to process next, while the sequencer attempts to reorder instructions for best possible performance within each thread.

Texturing, memory, and anti-aliasing

Texturing and final output aboard the R600 core is similar but also distinct from R580. R600 is equipped with 4 texture units that are decoupled (independent) from the shader core, like in the R520 and R580 GPUs. The render output units (ROPs) of R600 function differently in many ways than R580 core and predecessors, however. A new addition is support for up to 8× multi-sample anti-aliasing (MSAA) using programmable sample grids. Also new is the capability to filter FP16 textures, popular with HDR lighting, at full-speed. This totals 16 pixels per clock for FP16 textures, while higher precision FP32 textures filter at half-speed (8 pixels per clock). R600 can also perform trilinear and anisotropic filtering on all texture formats. The Radeon X1000 series performed this filtering within the pixel shader processors, which was dramatically more time consuming.

Anti-aliasing capabilities are more robust on R600 than on the R520 series. In addition to the ability to perform 8× MSAA, up from 6× MSAA on the R300 through R580, R600 has a new "custom filter anti-aliasing" (CFAA) mode. CFAA refers to an implementation of non-box filters that look at pixels around the particular pixel being processed in order to calculate the final color and anti-alias the image. This feature is performed by shader processing, instead of entirely in the ROPs, as anti-aliasing has traditionally been implemented. This brings greatly enhanced programmability because the filters can be customized, but may also bring potential performance issues because of the use of shader resources. As of launch of R600, CFAA utilizes wide and narrow tent filters. With these, samples from outside the pixel being processed are weighted linearly based upon their distance from the centroid of that pixel, with the linear function adjusted based on the wide or narrow filter chosen.

Internal functional units of R600 core are connected by an internal 1024-bit bi-directional ring bus (512-bit read and 512-bit write) which wraps around the processor. The ring bus connects at various points to the external memory chips via 8 64-bit memory channels for a total bus width of 512-bits on the 2900 XT. The large bus width allows the 2900 XT to use lower clocked memory while still giving a large amount of memory bandwidth.

Video processing and miscellaneous features

ATI has built-in a HDMI interface with 5.1 audio playback support. The "Rage Theater" chip used on the Radeon X1000 series was replaced with the digital "Rage Theater 200" chip, providing VIVO capabilities. Among other details, the majority of Radeon HD 2000/3000 series graphics cards features dual-link DVI output with HDCP, and provides a specially designed DVI-to-HDMI dongle for HDMI output that carries both audio and video.

The later members, RV630 and RV610 as well as the half-generation update RV670, RV635 and RV620, feature ATI's Unified Video Decoder for hardware decoding for MPEG4 and VC-1 video streams, which itself being the major part of AVIVO HD technology. In terms of functionality, NVIDIA's Purevideo 2 offer similar hardware video-acceleration, with UVD going one step further thanks to greater VC-1 offloading.

All Radeon HD 2000/3000 series graphics cards support native CrossFire. CrossFire efficiency has improved with the R600 core and shows performance approaching the theoretical maximum of twice the performance of a single card.Wilson, Derek. [http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2988&p=27 ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT: Calling a Spade a Spade: Multi-GPU Performance - Prey] , AnandTech, May 14, 2007.]

While some of the architecture of R600 is similar to Xenos, R600 does not feature the embedded DRAM (eDRAM) frame buffer used with Xenos. Xenos' eDRAM is designed tightly around the limited resolutions at which the Xbox 360 operates. Personal computers operate at maximum efficiency at a much wider range of resolutions, which would require a significantly larger amount of eDRAM to be effective.

Documentation release

The R600 family Instruction Set Architecture guide was released on June 11, 2008. [Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [http://www.x.org/docs/AMD/r600isa.pdf R600-Family Instruction Set Architecture] , X.org website, June 11, 2008.]


Desktop products

The R600 family is called the Radeon HD 2000 series, with the enthusiast segment being the "Radeon HD 2900 series" which currently comprise the Radeon HD 2900 XT with GDDR3 memory released on May 14, and the higher clocked GDDR4 version in early July. The mainstream and value segment products are the "Radeon HD 2600" and the "Radeon HD 2400" series respectively, both launched June 28th, 2007. [ [http://www.amd.com/us-en/Corporate/VirtualPressRoom/0,,51_104_543~118156,00.html HD2400 & HD2600 Press release] ] Previously there were no HD 2000 series products being offered in the performance segment while AMD using models from the previous generation to address that target market, the situation has not been changed until the release of variants of the Radeon HD 2900 series, the Radeon HD 2900 Pro and GT, which filled the gap of the performance market for a short period of time.

The desktop product lineup was refreshed as the arrival of the performance market-oriented Radeon HD 3800 series based on the "die shrink" version of R600 on a 55 nm process. Two variants, the Radeon HD 3850 and the 3870, became available mid-November 2007. An enthusiast variant, the Radeon HD 3870 X2, with two RV670 cores on single PCB, was launched on January 28, 2008.

Further, the half-generation refresh will span to the mainstream and value market with the codenamed "RV635" and the "RV620" GPU cores, based on the die shrink version of the "RV630" and the "RV610" cores, on 55 nm fabrication process.

An odd variant, the Radeon HD 3690, was released early February 2008 for the China market only. What makes it odd is the GPU core it carries. The Radeon HD 3690 is actually based on an RV670 core with half of the memory interface bit width and memory amount to that of an Radeon HD 3850/3870 graphics card. A further announcement was made that there will be an Radeon HD 3830 variant bearing the same features as Radeon HD 3690, but with unique device ID and does not allow add-in card partners in China to re-enable the burnt out portion of the GPU core for more memory bandwidth.

Mobile products

All Mobility Radeon HD 2000/3000 series share the same feature set support as their desktop counterparts, as well as the addition of the battery conserving PowerPlay 7.0 features which is augmented from the previous generation's PowerPlay 6.0. It should be noted that several products, branded the Radeon X2000 series, are in fact based on the older R520 architecture and spotting the support of DirectX 9.0c only and do not have UVD on die.

The Mobility Radeon HD 2300 is a value product which includes UVD "in silica" but lacks unified shader architecture and DirectX 10.0 / SM 4.0 support, limiting support to DirectX 9.0c / SM 3.0 using the more traditional architecture of the previous generation. A high-end variant, the Mobility Radeon HD 2700, with higher core and memory frequencies as the Mobility Radeon HD 2600 was released in mid-December 2007.

The Mobility Radeon HD 2400 is offered in two model variants; the standard HD 2400 and the HD 2400 XT. [ [http://ati.amd.com/products/mobilityradeonhd2400/specs.html Mobility Radeon HD 2400 specifications] and [http://ati.amd.com/products/mobilityradeonhd2400xt/specs.html Mobility Radeon HD 2400 XT specifications] ]

The Mobility Radeon HD 2600 is also available in the same two flavours; the plain HD 2600 and at the top of the current mobility lineup the HD 2600 XT. [ [http://ati.amd.com/products/mobilityradeonhd2600/specs.html HD 2600 specifications] and [http://ati.amd.com/products/mobilityradeonhd2600xt/specs.html HD 2600 XT specifications] ]

The half-generation update treatment had also applied to mobile products. Announced prior to CES 2008 is the Mobility Radeon HD 3000 series. Planned to be released in the first quarter of 2008, the Mobility Radeon HD 3000 series consists of two families, the Mobility Radeon HD 3400 series and the Mobility Radeon HD 3600 series, all featuring DirectX 10.1 support while the GPU was made on 55 nm process. The Mobility Radeon HD 3600 series also features industry's first implementation of 128-bit GDDR4 memory on-board.

About the time of late March to early April, 2008, AMD renewed the device ID list on its website [ [http://ati.amd.com/developer/vendorid.html ATI Vendor ID page] ] with the inclusion of Mobility Radeon HD 3850 X2 and Mobility Radeon HD 3870 X2 and their respective device IDs. Later in Spring IDF 2008 held in Shanghai, a development board of Mobility Radeon HD 3870 X2 was demonstrated alongside a Centrino 2 platform demonstration system. [ [http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=12581 Hexus.net report: Welcome to the world's fastest laptop, brought to you by Intel and ATI] , retrieved April 8, 2008] The Mobility Radeon HD 3870 X2 are based on two M88 GPUs with the addition of a PCI Express switch chip on a single PCB. The demonstrated development board is on PCI Express 2.0 x16 bus, while the final product is expected to be on AXIOM/MXM modules.


Radeon HD 2900

The Radeon HD 2900 series was ATI's high-end product with 320 stream processors, spanning a 420 mm² die size. [ [http://www.beyond3d.com/content/reviews/16/2 Beyond3D R600 review] , retrieved September 25, 2007] The Radeon HD 2900 XT is the first graphics card product to implement digital PWM onboard, specifically 7-phase PWM.

The R600 core used in the HD 2900 lacks the ATI Unified Video Decoder (UVD) required for hardware acceleration of certain types of HD video. [ [http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/video/amd/uvdissues/ahdtech.jpgAnandTech image] showing AVIVO HD consists of UVD and Advanced Video Processor (AVP)] Nonetheless, the card is fully capable of playing any HD video format; however, shaders are utilized for the decoding process. Initially there was much confusion as to whether or not the product included dedicated video processor hardware, due in part to statements that it supported the software program AVIVO HD. Many reviewers and subsequent readers/consumers interpreted this as meaning the HD2900 incorporated the same UVD hardware as found in the HD 2400 & HD 2600 series, despite some sites noting this difference at launch time, [ [http://www.elitebastards.com/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=388&Itemid=31&limit=1&limitstart=6 EliteBastards' HD2000 preview] , retrieved July 23, 2007.] weeks before the issue first gained traction as a result of a TechReport article. [ [http://www.techreport.com/onearticle.x/12552 TechReport UVD article] ] This confusion and subsequent discussions prompted AMD to make a formal statement designed to clarify exactly what UVD was available in which models. [ [http://www.amd.com/us-en/Corporate/VirtualPressRoom/0,,51_104_543~117974,00.html AMD press release] , the third paragraph. cquote2|AMD also wishes to clarify any confusion that may exist regarding the presence of the Unified Video Decoder (UVD) in its ATI Radeon HD 2000 series graphics processors. UVD is present in the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2300, the ATI Radeon HD 2400, and the ATI Radeon HD 2600 series products, but is not present in the ATI Radeon HD 2900 series products as it is not needed due to the usage model of this high end product.|AMD Press release] [Huynh, Anh T. & Kubicki, Kristopher. [http://dailytech.com/Update+Whoops+ATI+Radeon+HD+2900+XT+Lacks+UVD/article7447.htm Whoops, ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT Lacks UVD] , DailyTech, May 25, 2007.] The HD 2900 XT video playback capabilities are similar to those of the previous X1000 cards with AVIVO capabilities.

Starting August, 2007 some system builders including Falcon Northwest received the 1 GB GDDR4 (with Samsung 0.9 ns (K4U52324QE-BC09) GDDR4) version of the Radeon HD 2900 XT. This was incorrectly referred to as the "Radeon HD 2900 XTX". [ [http://www.falcon-nw.com/keltstake/ati_2900xtx.asp Falcon Northwest President Blog on 1GB GDDR4 2900 XT] ]

Variants of the series include the Radeon HD 2900 Pro and the Radeon HD 2900 GT. The Radeon HD 2900 Pro uses the same R600 GPU, but is clocked lower at 600 MHz core and 800 MHz memory (1600 MHz effective). This variant is configured with 512 MB or 1 GB (GDDR3/GDDR4) of video memory and the same 512-bit memory controller as the Radeon HD 2900 XT instead of the previously rumoured 256-bit memory controller.cite news | first=Cyril | last=Kowaliski | coauthors= | title=AMD launches the $249 Radeon HD 2900 Pro | date=2007-09-25 | publisher=The Tech Report | url =http://www.techreport.com/discussions.x/13267 | work = | pages = | accessdate = 2007-09-26 | language = ] The Radeon HD 2900 GT is a 240 stream processor variant clocked the same as the HD 2900 Pro with 256 MB of video memory on a 256-bit interface.

Radeon HD 2600

The Radeon HD 2600 series is a line of mainstream products with 120 stream processors, GDDR4 support, AVIVO HD with UVD, 128-bit memory ring bus and 4-phase digital PWM, [http://www.amd.com/us-en/Corporate/VirtualPressRoom/0,,51_104_543~117974,00.html AMD official press release] ] spanning a die size of 153 mm². [http://www.beyond3d.com/resources/chip/124 Beyond3D RV630 chip reference] , retrieved September 25, 2007] Neither the GDDR3 nor GDDR4 reference PCI-E designs require additional power connectors whereas the HD 2600 Pro and XT AGP variants require additional power through either 4-pin or 6-pin power connectors. [ [http://www.sapphiretech.com/us/productfiles/matrix-vga-1.xls Sapphire HD2K Product Matrix] ] Official claims state the Radeon HD 2600 series consumes as little as 45 W of power.Fact|date=July 2007

Another variant incorporates two RV630 cores onto a single PCB with a PCI-E bridge splitting the PCI-E x16 bandwidth into two groups of PCI-E x8 lanes (each 2.0 Gb/s). This functionally provides a CrossFire configuration on one video card with a total of four DVI output (HDMI output via dongle) with HDCP. AMD calls this product the "Radeon HD 2600 X2" as seen by some vendors and as observed inside the INF file of Catalyst 7.9 version 8.411. Sapphire and other vendors including PowerColor and GeCube have either announced or demonstrated their respective "Crossfire on a card" products. [ [http://www.beyond3d.com/content/news/450 Beyond3D report] , retrieved September 13, 2007] Catalyst 7.9 added support for this hardware in September 2007. However, AMD did not provide much publicity to promote it. A vendor may offer cards containing 256 MB, 512 MB, or 1 GB of video memory. Although the memory technology utilized is at a vendor's discretion, most vendors have opted for GDDR3 and DDR2 due to lower manufacturing cost and positioning of this product for the mainstream rather than performance market segment.

Radeon HD 2400

Low-end products with 40 stream processors with AVIVO HD and UVD, not implemented with a ring bus memory interface, and a 64-bit memory bus width, spanning a die size of 85 mm². [http://www.beyond3d.com/resources/chip/123 Beyond3D RV610 chip reference] , retrieved September 25, 2007] The official PCB design implements only a passive cooling heatsink instead of a fan, and official claims of power consumption are as little as 35 W.Fact|date=March 2008 The RV610 core used in Radeon HD 2400 series has 16 KB unified vertex/texture cache away from dedicated vertex cache and L1/L2 texture cache used in HD 2600 and HD 2900 products.

Reports has that the first batch of the RV610 core (silicon revision A12), only being released to system builders, has a bug that hindered the UVD from working properly, but other parts of the die operated normally. Those products were officially supported with the release of Catalyst 7.10 driver, which the cards were named as Radeon HD 2350 series. [ [http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2501&Itemid=34 Fudzilla report] , retrieved October 31, 2007]

Radeon HD 3800

The Radeon HD 3800 series is based on the RV670 graphics chip, manufactured on a 55 nm fabrication process with 256-bit memory controller, die size at 192 mm² and packed with 666 million transistors, with the same 320 Stream Processing Units as the R600 core. The Radeon HD 3000 series supports DirectX 10.1 and Shader Model 4.1 with double-precision floating-point operations support,cite web | url=http://www.vr-zone.com/articles/HD_2950Pro_(RV670)_Cards_&_Specs_Revealed/5181.html | title=RV670 Cards & Specs Revealed | publisher=VR-Zone |date=August 22, 2007] the UVD has also been implemented on-die, providing full hardware decoding of VC-1 and H.264 video streams. AMD claims that the support of DirectX 10.1 can bring improved performance and processing efficiency with reduced rounding error (0.5 ulp compared with average error 1.0 ulp as tolerable error), better image details and quality, global illumination, a technique used in many animated films such as Shrek 3, and more improvements to consumer gaming systems therefore giving more realistic gaming experience. [ [http://ati.amd.com/products/pdf/DirectX10.1WhitePaperv1.0FINAL.pdf ATI DirectX 10.1 whitepaper] , retrieved December 7, 2007] Further, the Radeon HD 3800 series also sees the implementation of power state controller as well as the PowerPlay technology for the desktop graphics, allowing Catalyst Control Center to monitor GPU utilizations and further reduce power draw of the graphics by switching states of the GPU core for different usage scenarios with different performance settings. [es icon [http://www.madboxpc.com/contenido.php?id=5430 MadboxPC coverage] , retrieved November 10, 2007]

The Radeon HD 3800 series has one more variant, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 (codenamed "R680") released on January 28, 2008, featuring two RV670 cores with a maximum of 1024 MiB GDDR3, targeting the enthusiast market and replacing the Radeon HD 2900 XT, the card implements ATI PowerPlay technology to reduce power consumption and digital PWM, to provide steady current for each GPU core. The card is able to achieve a peak single-precision floating point performance of just over 1 TFLOPS, at 1.06 TFLOPS, being the world's first single-PCB graphics product breaking the 1 TFLOP mark. [ [http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=11398&page=2 Hexus.net review] , retrieved January 30, 2007]

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 uses the same approach for communications between the two GPU cores as the previous generations of products, the Sapphire Radeon X1950 Pro Dual and the Radeon HD 2600 X2, the two GPU cores were able to communicate to each other through an onboard PCI-E switch, [ [http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=481&Itemid=40 Fudzilla review] , retrieved December 7, 2007] providing each core with x8 (Radeon X1950 Pro Dual) to x16 (Radeon HD 2600 X2) PCI-E bandwidth and becoming a software CrossFire setup and thus allow to plug in two hardware CrossFire bridges. While the Radeon HD 3870 X2 will implement PEX8547 PCI-E switch, [ [http://www.plxtech.com/products/expresslane/pex8547.asp PEX8547 product brief] , retrieved January 22, 2008] each core sharing x16 PCI-E bandwidth, the card will only see one CrossFire bridge being placed onboard and between the cores, thus only allows one CrossFire bridge to be plugged onto the card. [ [http://img.hexus.net/v2/graphics_cards/amd/HD3870X2/DSCF5576_cropped-big.jpgHexus.net image] , retrieved January 30, 2008]

AMD stated the possibility that the Radeon HD 3870 X2 of supporting four card CrossFire, to reach 8 GPU scalability on several motherboards, including the MSI K9A2 Platinum and Intel D5400XS, due to the fact that these motherboards have sufficient spaces between PCI-E slots for dual-slot cooler video cards, presumably as a combination of two separate hardware CrossFire setups with a software CrossFire setup bridging the two, but currently with no driver support. [ [http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4228&Itemid=1 Fudzilla report] , retrieved November 27, 2007]

New model numbering scheme

The numbering scheme for Radeon HD 3000 series as well as Mobility Radeon HD 3000 series was notably changed. While previous PRO, XT, GT, and XTX suffixes were eliminated, products were differentiated by changing the last two digits of the product model number (for instance, HD 3850 and HD 3870, giving the impression that the HD 3870 model having higher performance than HD 3850). cite web | url=http://www.vr-zone.com/articles/RV670_is_Radeon_HD_3800_Series/5358.html#Scene_1 | title=RV670 is Radeon HD 3800 Series | publisher=VR-Zone | date=October 17, 2007] While for dual-GPU products, a new suffix "X2" will be used to identify its nature as dual-GPU on one PCB solution. Similar changes to the IGP naming were spotted as well, for the previously launched AMD M690T chipset with side-port memory, the IGP is named "Radeon X1270", while for the AMD 690G chipset, the IGP is named "Radeon X1250", as for AMD 690V chipset, the IGP is clocked lower and having fewer functions and thus named "Radeon X1200". The new numbering scheme of video products are shown below:

* 1 The last two digits denotes variant, similar to the previous suffixes, which "70" is in essence the "XT" variant while "50" is actually the "Pro" variant es icon [http://www.madboxpc.com/foro/index.php?showtopic=64335 MadboxPC thread] , retrieved November 10, 2007] , while "90" appeared once in the lineup and can be seen as the "XTX" variant.
* 2 Stream Processors only applicable to Direct3D 10-class video components (Radeon HD 2000/3000 series).
* 3 All Dual-GPU solutions will have an X2 suffix after the model number.
* 4 Side-port memory as local frame buffer is only available on selected IGP models only, not all IGP models has this feature.

Radeon HD 3600

The Radeon HD 3600 series features the RV635 core, the die shrink of the previous generation RV630 core on 55 nm process with 378 million transistors and 120 Stream Processing Units. The Radeon HD 3600 series will see the first GPU supporting DisplayPort natively, a new integrated audio-video interface developed solely to suit the usage of computer systems, but at the same time natively supporting a DVI port. Features of DisplayPort (abbreviated DP) is the ability of daisy chain multiple monitors using only one connection to only one DP port, while the cable can transmit 8-channel 24-bit audio simultaneously with video. The support for HDMI and D-Sub ports will also be achieved through separate dongles [http://www.dailytech.com/AMD+RV635+with+DisplayPort+Unveiled/article9930.htm DailyTech report] , retrieved December 7, 2007] . Beside the DisplayPort implementations, there also exists other display output layouts as dual DVI port or DVI with D-Sub display output layout.

Other features including the implementation of Direct3D 10.1, AVIVO HD with second generation of UVD and hardware surface tessellation. One variant, the Radeon HD 3650 was released on January 23, 2008. Reference design with dual DisplayPort and single DVI-D port was revealed .

Radeon HD 3400

The Radeon HD 3400 series features the RV620 core, the die shrink of the RV610 core on 55 nm process with 181 million transistors and 40 Stream Processing Units. The products natively support DisplayPort [ [http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/Additional/44725A_ATrHD3450-dp_3-4_md_highRes.jpgAMD official low-profile deisgn with DisplayPort] , retrieved January 23, 2008] and DVI, with support of HDMI and D-Sub via dongles. Other features including the implmentation of Direct3D 10.1, AVIVO HD with second generation of UVD and hardware surface tessellation. Products will be available in full height ATX cards and low profile cards.

One of the notable features is that the Radeon HD 3400 series (including Mobility Radeon HD 3400 series) video cards support ATI Hybrid Graphics. [ja icon [http://pc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/2008/0123/amd.htm PC Watch report] , retrieved January 23, 2008]

Two variants, the Radeon HD 3450 and Radeon HD 3470 were released on January 23, 2008.

Driver support


The latest driver is package version 8.512, Catalyst 8.7, [ [http://game.amd.com/us-en/content/pdf/Catalyst_87.pdf Catalyst 8.7 release notes] , retrieved August 14, 2008] brings Quad CrossFire possible under OpenGL mode, also to the edge detect adaptive anti-aliasing mode under OpenGL mode, the installer also has an update where the system does not required to be rebooted when users update the Catalyst package.

The Purple Pill tool issue, which could allow unsigned drivers to be loaded into Windows Vista and tamper with the operating system kernel, [ [http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=8416 DailyTech report] ] was resolved in the Catalyst 7.8 release (version 8.401). [ [http://theinquirer.net/?article=41638 The Inquirer report] ] The AVIVO video converter for Windows Vista, and color temperature control in Catalyst Control Center was added with the release of Catalyst 7.9, package version 8.411. Software CrossFire was enabled for HD 2600 and HD 2400 series video cards with the release of Catalyst 7.10 (package version 8.421)

The Catalyst 8.1, package version 8.451, supports for MultiView technology for accelerated OpenGL rendering on multiple video card setup (CrossFire). The driver also allows CrossFire configurations for Radeon HD 3850 and HD 3870 video cards. [ [http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5641&Itemid=40 Fudzilla review] , retrieved February 15, 2008] [ [http://www.legitreviews.com/article/663/1/ Legit Reviews review] , retrieved February 15, 2008]

The Catalyst 8.3 is described by AMD as a milestone release, [ [https://a248.e.akamai.net/f/674/9206/0/www2.ati.com/gamesite/Catalyst_83_release_notes.html Catalyst 8.3 release notes] , retrieved March 5, 2008] supporting DirectX 10.1, ATI CrossFire X technology and allowing the mixing of different Radeon HD 3800 series video cards to form a CrossFire X setup with 2 to 4 GPUs. Catalyst 8.3 introduced to new video controls to further enhance the video playback quality, these controls includes edge enhancement and noise reduction settings. There is also the support for extended desktop in CrossFire X mode. The anti-aliasing support for Unreal Engine 3.0 in DirectX 9.0 games, support for CFAA filters (wide tent and box tent) to be enabled when Super AA is enabled, and other features as developer support for Hardware surface tessellation, hardware accelerated wide aspect ratio LCD scaling, HydraVision support for Windows Vista allowing to add maximum 9 virtual desktops and new Folding@Home client (version 6.10) are also officially supported in this release.

The Catalyst 8.5, package version 8.493 [ [https://a248.e.akamai.net/f/674/9206/0/www2.ati.com/gamesite/Catalyst_85_release_notes.html Catalyst 8.4 release notes] , retrieved April 17, 2008] brought new features include component video with 480i and 480p resolutions, SECAM TV output support, 1080p HDTV custom mode via HDMI, 1080p24 (1080p resolution at 24 fps) support, HDMI Audio for non-standard TV modes (CEA 861b), support for adaptive anti-aliasing under OpenGL, Windows XP SP3 support and un-install utility enhancements. The driver also includes performance improvements and fixes some instability issues and rendering issues on some games.

Note that Catalyst drivers 7.10, 7.11 and 7.12 do not yet support the AGP versions of Radeon HD 2000 series cards with RIALTO bridge. Installing Catalyst drivers 7.10, 7.11 or 7.12 on those cards will yield the following error message: "setup did not find a driver compatible with your current hardware or operating system." or simply fail outright. The AGP cards in question are supported unofficially by ATI/AMD with a "hotfixed" Catalyst driver-set each month since May 2008 with the Catalyst 8.5 hotfix [ [http://support.ati.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=894&task=knowledge&questionID=31542 AGP issue on AMD support page] ] . Their PCI vendor IDs are listed below: [ [http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?p=2499906 guru3D discussion thread] ]


The official closed-source ATI Linux driver was named fglrx, then renamed as Catalyst drivers for Linux, currently version 8.8. In the past there was no support for the AGP versions of the HD 2400 and HD 2600, but support was added in version 8.5 of fglrx. [ [http://www2.ati.com/drivers/linux/catalyst_85_linux.html Linux Catalyst 8.5 release notes] ]

Another Linux driver is the RadeonHD driver, an open-source ATI R500/600 display driver, it is developed in part by specifications that AMD has openly published. To date, AMD has released register specifications for M56, M76, RV630 and RS690 GPUs and 3D programming guide for the R600, R500, and R300 family of GPUs. [ [http://developer.amd.com/documentation/guides/Pages/default.aspx#open_gpu AMD Developer Central - Developer Guides and Manuals] , retrieved September 30, 2008] AMD has committed to releasing their R500 and R600 GPU documentation along with publishing their specifications for past generations of GPUs. [ [http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=842&num=1 Phoronix report] ]

Chipset table

ee also

* Video card
* Graphics processing unit
* GeForce 8 series


External links

* [http://ati.amd.com/products/hdseries.html ATI Radeon HD 2000 Graphics Family]
* [http://ati.amd.com/products/hd3000series.html ATI Radeon HD 3000 Graphics Family]
* [http://www.amd.com/ AMD official website]

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