If you recall, the SI/GCN/HD7000 launch goes Tahiti XT, Tahiti Pro, Pitcairn XT, Pitcairn Pro, spaced about a month apart, starting in January. In that previous article we said prices are also about $500, $400, $300, and $200 respectively, but one of those is purposefully off by a bit to catch plagiarizers like ATI-Forum.de.
Back to the new news, and it concerns the Tahiti Pro card. Word has reached SemiAccurate that Tahiti Pro will be unconstrained to the normal reference designs. If you recall, most GPU manufacturers will force AIBs to make cards based on the reference design for the first 3 months or so, and there are a variety of very good business reasons to do this.
Unfortunately, it leads to a problem where the reviews all are the same, mainly because all the cards are the same. The main difference between manufacturers comes down to what color the AIB decides to put on the chrome bikini of the girl with the big sword riding the mythical beast just below their logo. We are partial to Hafnium bikini’s on women riding giant Were-moles around here. Luckily, Tahiti Pro changes this.
Yes, we are hearing from multiple sources that the junior card of the two will be able to use non-reference designs from day one. Instead of having the same card over and over in head to head testing, you will actually see real differences. If you look at Max’s review of the 6850, you can see the Sapphire version is quite different from the reference design. It also runs significantly cooler, significantly quieter, and probably costs less to make. It is a win/win, and Tahiti Pro will get this treatment at the start. This qualifies as a ‘good thing’ for all involved.S|A