Published in Graphics
4870 X2 and 4850 X2 gets official
by Fudzilla staff on12 August 2008
Doesn't want to give Nvidia any breathing room
Just as expected, AMD has announced the Radeon HD 4870 X2 today, but somewhat more surprising was the official announcement of the 4850 X2, as the 3850 X2 was never officially announced by AMD as it was a partner design.
It seems like AMD knows it's ahead in the game and doesn't want to give Nvidia a sliver of a chance to catch its breath and bring out something that can compete with the current AMD solutions, be it on price or performance.
The Radeon HD 4870 X2 has an SRP of US$599, which is slightly higher than expected, but still not completely unreasonable when you consider that it comes with 2GB of GDDR5, which is still quite expensive. The Radeon HD 4850 X2 uses GDDR3 memory and comes in at a much more reasonable US$399, but at least it also comes with 2GB.
The official clock speeds for the 4870 X2 is 750MHz for the core and 1,800MHz for the GDDR5 memory, or 3.6Gbps as AMD likes to put it, due to the use of GDDR5 which offers quad pumped performance. The card has a T 286W of power, which seems high, but it's about the same as a pair of standard Radeon HD 4870 cards in a CrossFire setup. The 4850 X2 has its GPUs clocked at 625MHz, while the memory comes in at 1GHz (2GHz effectively).
AMD also seems to have taken advantage of its SidePort technology and created a fast interface between the GPUs for direct communications which offers data speeds of up to 5GB/s, compared to a mere 900MB/s over the CrossFire interface. A new PCIe 2.0 bridge chip could possibly also help improve the overall performance of these new cards, although it's hard to say how much of a performance improvement this adds, as currently no graphics card is using up the full bandwidth of a PCIe 1.0 x16 slot.
You can find the press release here.