The initial HD 4850 video cards that are hitting the market will use GDDR3
RAM, though AMD has publically said that its RV770 will work with GDDR5 and
GDDR5 versions are expected at a later date.
Both NVIDIA and AMD are known for their paper launches of products that are
announced and get gamers excited, to be unavailable for weeks or months after
the initial press releases are sent out. This time AMD is on the ball and the
HD 4850 graphics cards are already sitting on store shelves.
Newegg has HD 4850 cards from Sapphire, MSI, Gigabyte, ASUS, and Diamond available
for purchase now. The Sapphire Radeon HD4850 retails for $199.99 and has a
$20 mail-in rebate. The Sapphire card appears to lack any software or games bundled
with the card.
Likewise, Newegg has an ASUS HD
4850 card for a low $169.99 after a $30 mail-in rebate.
Specs show that all cards contain 800 stream processing units, 512MB of
GDDR3, a 256-bit memory interface and support for Crossfire. Core clock speed
for the cards is 625MHz. Despite the significantly increased number of stream
processors on the 4850 compared to the 9800 GTX+, NVIDIA maintains that the
GTX+ significantly outperforms the 4850. Hands-on reviews will provide the tale
of the tape.
The HD 4850 wasn't expected
to hit store shelves until June 25.