ATI launched its new Radeon X800 XL 512MB graphics card, making sure that even the most demanding textures in a game are now fully available to gamers. Developers can now focus on supporting 512MB graphics cards by raising the visual quality bar for their next-generation games currently in development.
According to ATI the Radeon X800 XL 512MB is already in use by developers including BioWare; Crytek; Digital Extremes; Funcom; Gas Powered Games; Grin; id Software, inc; Juice Games; Lionhead; NCsoft; Remedy and Valve. iD must have bene using one of these cards for quite some time as the company had claimed last summer that Doom 3 supports 512MB cards.
No matter what the shader model, having the space to store the best high definition textures local to the VPU is critical. This is particularly important in true next generation development, with complex materials requiring concurrent access to multiple high definition source maps. That, along with techniques using multiple render targets for deferred rendering components and demand for high definition, anti-aliased back buffers mean that the new 512MB development platform from ATI offers us important new degrees of freedom, said Ian Moran, Lead Programmer, Juice Games.
The 512MB of memory on ATI's card makes our games run at high frame rates even on scenes with very high amounts of textures, says Tim Rance, Chief Technical Officer, Lionhead Studios. Our games run more smoothly in these cases because everything can be stored in video memory with no thrashing of the texture cache.
The Radeon X800 XL 512MB has both immediate and long-term advantages, said Gary McTaggart, Graphics Architect, Valve. Texture thrashing during a frame render is drastically reduced or eliminated. This is even more beneficial in the case of High Dynamic Range rendering (HDR), which we are in the process of releasing for the Source engine, where environment and light maps are eight times as large. Further down the road, memory hungry technologies like 3D textures, used in things like procedural noise for detail textures, some fog algorithms, and color correction, will benefit as well from the capabilities of this new card.
Radeon X800XL 512MB will be available in May, with an MSRP of USD 449.