Well, we certainly saw this coming. For the last several years, every generation of graphics card has followed pretty much the same pattern. About six months after a new graphics chip architecture is released, we get the "kicker" version. This clocked-up variant takes advantage of better manufacturing processes and slight redesigns of the silicon to squeeze out a few more MHz, and hopefully, a decent bit of extra performance. It's just about time we saw these pumped-up variants based on the GeForce 6800 line and the Radeon X800 series.
nVidia has not yet announced the clock-enhanced variant of the GeForce 6800 series, but today ATI shows their hand. The Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition, previously known by the codename R480, is a clocked-up version of the Radeon X800 series of cards. We put the new flagship product through its paces, so let's see how it performs.