Valve has officially named ATI as the preferred graphics card partner for its upcoming game Half-Life 2. As a part of an agreement with Valve, ATI customers will get the full Half-Life 2 game free with the purchase of select RADEON products.
This announcement coincides with ATI's release of the RADEON 9800 XT and the RADEON 9600 XT cards. Customers purchasing ATI's RADEON 9800 XT and RADEON 9600 XT will also get a free copy of Half-Life 2 when the game ships. We chose to partner with ATI because of their outstanding DirectX 9 performance, said Gabe Newell, Founder and Managing Director, Valve. Half-Life 2 relies heavily on advanced shader technologies to give the game a realistic and immersive environment. ATI's DirectX 9-class RADEON cards are the best choices for playing Half-Life 2.
The RADEON 9800 XT, the most powerful visual processor available, takes the award-winning RADEON 9800 architecture, the first and only to feature eight full pixel pipes, and makes it even faster. Shipping immediately, the graphics cards will feature 256MB of graphics memory and a wide, 256-bit memory interface. In addition to the brute-force capabilities of the visual processor, the architecture is efficiently designed to process instructions in parallel, maximizing performance. The RADEON 9800 XT will be available in stores and online in October from ATI and its board partners. ATI's retail product will have a suggested retail price of USD 499.
The RADEON 9600 XT, the world's first visual processor developed using a low k dielectric process, features four pixel pipes and 128MB of graphics memory and delivers unbeatable performance for under USD 200. Recent reviews have shown the RADEON 9600 XT to outperform cards twice its price in today's shader-intensive DirectX 9 games. Gamers will enjoy the stunning visual quality that the RADEON 9600 XT delivers, which renders in full precision at all times. The card will also be available in stores and online in October from ATI and its board partners.
The partnership between ATI and Valve and the ensuing bundle will definitely concern Nvidia, since it follows the direct complaints about Nvidia DX 9 performance made by Gabe Newell. If you wish to see the man himself praising ATI in a short promo video follow the download tab above.