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ATI Radeon HD 2000 series: Rumour-tastic

The Web is abuzz with gossip about a new graphics card line from AMD/ATI, which is set to take on the DirectX 10 might of Nvidia's GeForce 8800

According to unconfirmed Internet chatter, AMD is about to release a new series of graphics cards to topple Nvidia's high-end GeForce 8800 series. Known as the ATI Radeon HD 2000 series, the range reported consists of high-end, mid-range and entry-level cards, all of which are compatible with DirectX 10 and the Vista 'Games for Windows' range.

The flagship model, apparently called the Radeon HD 2900 XT, will have 320 stream processors -- more than twice as many as Nvidia's fastest card. The mid-range model is purportedly dubbed the HD 2600, and the runt of the litter is the HD 2400.

Rumour specialists DailyTech reckon the flagship card will a) be extremely fast, b) be extremely inexpensive compared to past cards, and c) have a universal video decoder (UVD) to provide hardware acceleration of Blu-ray and HD DVD flicks. W00tles.

Should you believe the rumours? Duh. We've already seen a leaked YouTube tech demo of ATI's Ruby character -- who only ever pops up when a brand new graphics card series is on the horizon.

Plus, it would silly to assume ATI (which was bought by AMD last year, keep up) is sitting on its backside watching Nvidia storm ahead in the early stages of the DX10 wars.

Crave is currently hanging out with AMD in Tunisia (yeah, we get around), where its finest eggheads are demonstrating new technology. We're legally restricted from telling you about it, but you can probably guess what it concerns. Is the HD 2000 series real? Are there any new AMD CPUs? Will we cope with the fact Tunisia has censored much of the Internet? Maybe, possibly, and a thousand times no.

We'll bring you more details when the gag order's lifted. -Rory Reid