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AMD's next generation Radeon graphics card to get a boost from GDDR5

Although NVIDIA may be grabbing headlines lately with leaked details of its next generation GeForce graphics cards, AMD isn't exactly standing still with its Radeon offerings. ATI is preparing its Radeon HD 4800 series GPUs which will replace the existing HD 3800 lineup.

While the HD 4800 Series is rumored to feature GPGPU physics and HDMI 7.1 surround sound pass-through, today we were made privy of one concrete aspect of the new cards: the onboard memory. Qimonda contacted DailyTech earlier this morning with the news that they will supply AMD with GDDR5 memory chips for the reinvigorated Radeon family.

"The days of monolithic mega-chips are gone. Being first to market with GDDR in our next-generation architecture, AMD is able to deliver incredible performance using more cost-effective GPUs," remarked Rick Bergman, AMD Senior Vice President and General Manager, Graphics Product Group. "AMD believes that GDDR5 is the optimal way to drive performance gains while being mindful of power consumption. We’re excited about the potential GDDR5 brings to the table for innovative game development and even more exciting game play."

The high-speed memory chips are 512Mbit and offer bandwidth of up to 4.0Gbps. In preparing for AMD's June launch, mass production of the new GDDR5 chips has already commenced and are shipping in volume.

"We are very proud to supply AMD with GDDR5 volume shipments only six months after first product samples have been delivered," said Robert Feurle, Qimonda AG's Vice President of the DRAM Business Unit. "This is a further milestone in our successful GDDR5 roadmap and underlines our predominant position as innovator and leader in the graphics DRAM market."

"Qimonda's strong GDDR5 roadmap convinced us to choose them as a primary technology partner for our GDDR5 GPU launch," added AMD's Joe Macri. "Both the early availability of first samples and volume shipments added great value to the development and launch of our upcoming high-performance GPU."

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By ZaethDekar on 5/21/2008 3:14:34 PM , Rating: 1
Now to get that GDDR5 onto motherboards.

This will be a good year indeed.

RE: Wahoo!
By amanojaku on 5/21/2008 3:20:11 PM , Rating: 5
GDDR - GRAPHICS DDR. Motherboard memory is only up to DDR3. While I'm not against faster RAM, the bottlenecks are elsewhere, like storage, bus speeds, and interconnect latencies.

RE: Wahoo!
By SandmanWN on 5/21/2008 3:47:41 PM , Rating: 5
Except your forgot one of the biggest bottlenecks with IGP solutions is their dependency on system ram. The 780G can alternately use on-board GDDR instead of system memory. So the guy is essentially correct.

RE: Wahoo!
By Pirks on 5/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: Wahoo!
By SandmanWN on 5/21/2008 4:43:03 PM , Rating: 2
Sheesh man, its only been on the market for about 30 days. Sorry they disappointed you so much and haven't released every conceivable combination of options for the board yet. Seems like it would be a little understandable that those models would be a little behind the release date given its been standard to hijack system memory for the last decade of IGP solutions.

RE: Wahoo!
By Nehemoth on 5/21/2008 4:45:05 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Wahoo!
By Pirks on 5/21/08, Rating: 0
RE: Wahoo!
By ZaethDekar on 5/21/2008 6:09:05 PM , Rating: 1
Think of it as this way.

You have ALWAYS learned to walk standing upright... everything from the ground goes through your feet. Now start walking like an ape. Now you have even more sets of feelings coming in and you have to figure out what is from where and organize it. However we have our brains do the work... they have to program it to know. So I am not surprised they havn't gotten it together in two months. So thus why I am holding out for the future.

RE: Wahoo!
By Pirks on 5/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: Wahoo!
By arjunp2085 on 5/22/08, Rating: 0
RE: Wahoo!
By teldar on 5/23/2008 8:10:03 AM , Rating: 2
Unlike Pirks and amanojaku who seem to want to be negative about faster memory, I think it would be great to get faster memory on motherboards. As is pointed out, think of what the upcoming 790GX chipset would be able to do with some 2GHz DDR on the board as direct access for the IGP. Or just having that kind of bandwidth for the entire system. IGP would truly catch up with stand alone cards of the same specs instantly.

Now, I understand that DDR (standard and not GDDR) probably has significant differences in terms of precision over GDDR, but I can't help but think that it would be great if the technologies were able to merge somewhat.


RE: Wahoo!
By Omega215D on 5/21/2008 9:30:50 PM , Rating: 2
When I first looked at the motherboard in my HP Pavilion Pentium III 800 I noticed something interesting. There was nice empty lot that was reserved for a GPU and dedicated RAM for the GPU. Good performance from integrated graphics was a real possibility back in 1999/2000 but I wonder why they didn't solder on the TNT2 chip.

Now with the new lower power requirements of GDDR5 maybe we could see integrated graphics that won't suck so bad or suck up system RAM. We already have the low power consuming GPUs, and while they aren't high end, being able to play modern games could be nice option.

RE: Wahoo!
By DeMagH on 5/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: Wahoo!
By SandmanWN on 5/21/2008 3:44:25 PM , Rating: 2
Actually he is correct. How quickly we forget that the 780G supports onboard GDDR memory.

RE: Wahoo!
By DeMagH on 5/21/2008 4:11:30 PM , Rating: 2
well i didn't know that to be frank, but how will the GDDR memory be added to the motherboard so the IGP will take advantage of it?! Never seen anything like it, or even hear about it.

got any links?!

RE: Wahoo!
By clovell on 5/21/2008 4:22:23 PM , Rating: 3
That's left to the motherboard manufacturers.

Reference -

^Third Paragraph.

RE: Wahoo!
By Pirks on 5/21/08, Rating: 0
RE: Wahoo!
By Omega215D on 5/21/2008 9:32:35 PM , Rating: 2
If you have the motherboard you can check if they have solder points for dedicated GDDR/ DDR2 RAM. As evidenced by my post above this isn't a new concept.

RE: Wahoo!
By ZaethDekar on 5/21/2008 4:21:34 PM , Rating: 2
To the two people who don't thinkg the GDDR will be on the motherboard.

Taken DIRECTLY from AMD's website:

Unmatched Graphics

The ATI Radeon E2400 Discrete GPU has a compact 31mm x 31mm package design, with 128MB of on-package GDDR3 memory. This product is ideal for space constrained designs helps eliminate the need for potentially complicated on-PCB memory layout.
The ATI Radeon E2400 MXM-II module has 256MB of GDDR3 memory and is based on the open standard MXM-II module specifications, which is ideal for low profile, space constrained environments, while providing the flexibility for an upgrade path.
The core graphics technology takes advantage of the industry’s latest 65nm fabrication process, enabling design of a high performance yet low power product allowing it to fit into a variety of chassis minimizing the need for expensive cooling solutions.
With AMD’s revolutionary Unified Shader Architecture, the ATI Radeon E2400 brings advanced Vertex and Pixel processing for embedded display solutions. This can assist customers develop richer, visually appealing content for their applications, with the confidence that their graphics processing requirements can be met for the entire product lifecycle.

RE: Wahoo!
By DeMagH on 5/21/2008 4:26:50 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the link/info, i am a believer now :)

RE: Wahoo!
By Pirks on 5/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: Wahoo!
By ZaethDekar on 5/21/2008 6:33:04 PM , Rating: 1
It depends on the board. The 780G does support GDDR however it is based on what the manufacturer wants to add it or not. The chipset supports GDDR. However as I posted earlier, it takes a motherboard maker new sets to get the chipset to understand to use the GDDR instead of the system DDR. Thus no current MB supports it. However, they do have embedded GPU's that use true GDDR3 as the post above mentions. However it is different then the normal motherboard, AMD is working on getting a board where you just choose the chip, select how much GDDR you want your GPU to have and its all one board. No PCI slots needed thus you can use a smaller case... think of a carPC able to push HD the box fits in the glove compartment or in the dash where the CD player goes, then have the WiFi built in and you have a mobile command station.

So you are right, they do not have GDDR included with the motherboard, but it does support it, we are just waiting for the manufacturers to get it working properly.

RE: Wahoo!
By Pirks on 5/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: Wahoo!
By StevoLincolnite on 5/22/2008 1:02:18 AM , Rating: 2
DDR2 memory (Not GDDR2) has been available on budget Graphics cards for some time now, There used to be Graphics Cards in the Early 1990's where you could actually add more or even upgrade the memory for more performance. (Most notable on the S3 Virge cards).
Then you used to have the good old Intel boards which actually had a Ram Slot dedicated to the Video card once you flipped a jumper.

The Technology is there.

RE: Wahoo!
By NINaudio on 5/22/2008 9:57:47 AM , Rating: 2
These are mxm modules, meaning they are for laptops. This has nothing to do with desktop IGP's.

RE: Wahoo!
By Fusible on 5/21/2008 5:02:07 PM , Rating: 2
Well I can't wait to get one of these, I've had 2 R600 for awhile now since I can't believe I even considered getting an nVidia card. No offense but I've always liked ATI more. So I hope they can raise my morale this time around. Because gaming performance wasn't at it's best, but on synthetic benchmarks it did very, very well, which in the end mean nothing if you can't play games at a decent frame rate.

RE: Wahoo!
By Warren21 on 5/21/2008 6:40:35 PM , Rating: 2
I also run two R600's at the moment. I bought them back in the fall, before G92 and RV670, on special for around 300$ each, which was good value back then. I have to say that they put out very nice framerates on everything except Crysis, where putting that money in NV's directly could've netted me maybe 10-25% higher frames. Still, I do not regret the price I paid for the performance I am getting.

E6600 'B2' (from Dec '06) @ 500 * 7 w/ Scythe ASM
4 x 1GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer PC2-8500 * DDR2-1000 5-5-5-5-10 (POS 1-sided sticks... getting 2 x 2GB Muskin Redline soon)
2 x Sapphire HD2900Pro 512MB (512-bit) flashed to BBA XT's. @ 850/900 1.25v vBIOS(stock coolers running 80-100% fanspeed during load)
2 x WD RE2 250GB's in RAID-0
Windows MCE 2K5 (32-bit, obviously)

Running 1920 x 1200 I get 65 FPS avg. all med on the Crysis Bench tool, 33 avg. all high.

I play all high except for shaders (med) for online play and get 30+ FPS constantly (I'd guess in the 40's avg.)

Still, if this were 2 G80 GTXs, I could run 1920 x 1200 all high during multi without a hitch.

RE: Wahoo!
By awer26 on 5/22/2008 5:18:01 AM , Rating: 2
The high-speed memory chips are 512Mbit and offer bandwidth of up to 4.0Gbps

GDDR does not directly comparable by the model (i.e. DDR3 /= GDDR3). They say the bandwidth is 4Gbps. DDR3-1600 has a max bandwidth of over 12GB/s.

RE: Wahoo!
By PlasmaBomb on 5/22/2008 7:41:06 AM , Rating: 2
You are comparing apples to oranges.

The GDDR5 chips have a bandwidth of 4Gbps, the DDR3 module has a bandwidth of 12.8GB/s

According to Hynix the industry's first 1 Gib GDDR5 memory supports a bandwidth of 20 GB/s on a 32-bit bus, which enables memory configurations of 1 GiB at 160 GB/s with only 8 circuits on a 256-bit bus.

(+Performance)(-Price) = Good deal
By Warren21 on 5/21/2008 3:49:24 PM , Rating: 4
The more and more I hear about the new Radeons, (HD4K), the more appealing they become. However, the NVIDIA GTX 280 (D10U-30 or GT200 fully enabled) looks to be a beast. One can be sure for all that silicon, we'll be paying one beastly price also.

I've read around the internet that the HD4870 will ship in a default config of:

512-bit bus
700 MHz++ Core clock
1.5 GHz (3.0 DDR)++ Mem clock.
Even at only 1.5 GHz (most sites said GDDR5 could do 2.0+) that's an astonishing 192 GBps of memory bandwidth. Sounds like ATI intends to make good on the DX10.1 spec of "free 4x AA".

Saving the best for last, the price. From what I've read, the only "expensive" card will be the R700, aka. HD 4870 X2. The vanilla HD4870 should be introduced around the HD3870's old intro MSRP (239 USD).

RE: (+Performance)(-Price) = Good deal
By killerroach on 5/21/2008 4:06:01 PM , Rating: 2
Who knows... another source says the HD4870 will have 1GB of GDDR5 at 1935 MHz, but only using a 256-bit bus, resulting in about 124GB/sec of bandwidth.

We shall see... but GDDR5 on a 512-bit bus would be impressive indeed. Don't see it happening with the 4870, however.

RE: (+Performance)(-Price) = Good deal
By Warren21 on 5/21/2008 4:15:45 PM , Rating: 2
I know that the HD4850 is 256-bit with GDDR3... maybe it's the X2 that I was reading the 512-bit on. Ah, here it is:

"We wrote that RV770XT supports 512-bit here and now we have learned that the slower RV770PRO will only support 256-bit and it will use GDDR3.

It looks that the current GDDR5 design sticks with 512-bit memory interface and that RV770PRO will use 256-bit GDDR3 memory."

-Fud (I KNOW, I know, it is everyone's least favourite source)

One other thing: The R700 (X2) has been designed from the start as a dual chip card (not stitched together like prev. X2/GX2). What I'm getting at is that it isn't 2 x 256-bit, but rather a single 512-bit bus with a 1GB pool of shared GDDR5. This should the "CF on one card" concept even more transparent, and hopefully bring more performance.

By NullSubroutine on 5/21/2008 4:41:39 PM , Rating: 2
Its more of a MXC or MXM or MCM cant remember the letters, but like you said the R700 should be 512bit with shared memory, no more of the 2x512. It should also support 2GB of GDDR5 as well.

It is possible that the RV770 is 256 (or 512) while the R700 is 512bit only.

By DingieM on 5/22/2008 4:22:27 AM , Rating: 2
Latest info gives the 4xxx generation has *internal* 512bit. Sounds plausible and could be utilised and *shared* between the 2 chips on the HD4870X2.

GDDR5 is a very good step forward: 35% less power usage and very high bandwidth even on a 256bit bus.

Thanks ATI for caring about the customer by bringing features, performance, generous power usage and affordability to us!
These cards are worth an investment that lasts for years to come.

By DeMagH on 5/21/2008 4:09:47 PM , Rating: 2
well some of the info you posted above are not correct AFAIK

memory interface: 256-bit
memory clock: 1935 OR 1965Mhz

also, the expected MSRP should be around 249$-279$

Anyway, all the reliable sources right now are totally silent and nothing was officially announced as far as i am concerned.

By DeMagH on 5/21/2008 10:19:02 PM , Rating: 2
this is just in from
Certain reports claim that ATI plans to release ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB GDDR5 and ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB GDDR3 models initially at $349 and $249 price-points, whereas a more powerful ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 is set to be available at a later date.

I think if the HD 4870 was really priced at 350$ that means at least we should expect a 50%-60% performance increase over the HD 3870, at least that's how it sounds to me from the price point of view.

By stepone on 5/22/2008 6:57:55 AM , Rating: 2
The final specs, prices & launch dates are pretty much known now:
ATI 4850 - Release date 16th June, 4870 paper launch same day with retail availability 2 weeks later.

Prices: 4850 - $249, 4870 - $349.

Both have a 256 bit bus (512bit internal ring bus) & 480SP.
4850 uses 1ghz GDDR3 & is clocked @ 625mhz
4870 uses 1.9ghz GDDR5 & is core clocked to 850mhz

I'm a bit surprised that the 4870 is over $300 but if it's 25% faster than a 9800gtx then this is probably to be expected.

By Locutus465 on 5/21/08, Rating: 0
RE: Damn....
By Rookierookie on 5/21/2008 4:53:54 PM , Rating: 5
700GB total disk space

That's so two years ago.

RE: Damn....
By Locutus465 on 5/21/2008 5:13:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I have yet to buy a new hard drive for this upgrade. I have other priorities... Like the fact that since my last upgrade I've serously gotten into Home Theater, and the fact that I haven't run out of disk space yet.

RE: Damn....
By djc208 on 5/22/2008 7:20:33 AM , Rating: 2
As long as your computer doesn't get into Home Theater with you that will probably be OK. Start using it as an HTPC and you're going to need more space quickly.

My SageTV/home server only has 160GB in a RAID array for shared files (photos, music, reference materials, etc.) and it's only about 1/4 used. But I just upgraded to 1.2TB of recording space for TV shows, and with HD recording Sage will fill that up in about a month. Would be quicker but the TV seasons are ending so not as much to record.

It's a good time to be in the HTPC market though. With stuff like the Sage HD extender and the upcoming Hauppage HD-PVR it's getting much easier to get your SD or HD content on any TV or PC anywhere you want it whenever you want it.

RE: Damn....
By FITCamaro on 5/22/2008 8:06:26 AM , Rating: 2
Eventually I plan to get around to building a really nice HTPC. I've currently got just under 2TB of hard drive space in my video server, but I've got two 500GB hard drives on my desk that are going in next week. Its not all even close to being used, but eventually it will be.

RE: Damn....
By Locutus465 on 5/22/2008 8:41:35 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I wouldn't go with anything less than 1TB dedicated media storage for an HTPC, and that would be me cheaping out. But an HTPC isn't anywhere in the near future for me, so it's all good.

RE: Damn....
By KernD on 5/21/2008 6:54:12 PM , Rating: 2
That's so two years ago.

No your just near-sighted, for you that may be the past, but for the majority of computer owner, that's more storage space than needed, just look up sites like Dell and you'll see desktop computers don't have that much yet.

two years ago? no, the time is now...

RE: Damn....
By lagitup on 5/22/2008 10:43:08 AM , Rating: 2
think you totally missed the point...idk about you but i quite literally laughed out loud upon seeing that. I say this from my 2 year old compy with a caviar SE16 250gb :P

RE: Damn....
By Locutus465 on 5/22/2008 11:18:04 AM , Rating: 1
Interesting that some one that didn't bother upgrading thier storage past 250GB is laughing at 700GB of total disk space in a desktop...

Naming Schemes
By JonnyDough on 5/21/2008 6:25:12 PM , Rating: 5
Why is it that memory is the only computer component to have a naming scheme that makes sense? Weird.

RE: Naming Schemes
By Griswold on 5/22/2008 5:54:26 AM , Rating: 1
Not weird. Its one of the components where there is no stiff competition. One generation is peacefully replaced by the next, just like that. Whereas the makers of other components are following the scheme of bigger, better, badder! Best achieved by tossing wild combinations of numbers and letters, also known as "conviction by confusion", at the poor kettle buying it. :p

By jeromekwok on 5/23/2008 1:49:59 AM , Rating: 2
I thought he was referring to Barcelona.

story proofreading
By Screwballl on 5/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: story proofreading
By ninjit on 5/21/2008 3:33:26 PM , Rating: 1
Yeh I saw that too.

I think it's missing a few words in the middle

The high-speed memory chips are sized at 512Mbits and offer throughput of up to 4.0Gbps.

RE: story proofreading
By Warren21 on 5/21/2008 3:36:51 PM , Rating: 2

512Mbit is just a fancy way of saying 64MB, throughput = bandwidth.

I'm not sure if measuring memory capacity in M b (not to be confused with M B ) is standard in the DRAM industry, however.

RE: story proofreading
By OddTSi on 5/21/2008 3:44:45 PM , Rating: 2
As far as I'm aware it IS standard when talking about individual chips and not ram sticks (with multiple chips on them) like we in the consumer segment are used to.

RE: story proofreading
By amanojaku on 5/21/2008 3:46:39 PM , Rating: 2
throughput = bandwidth

Not true. 4.0Gbit/sec is the bandwidth. Throughput could be less due to overhead, latency, etc... Think of a network. The bandwidth of Ethernet is 10Mbits/100Mbits/1Gbits, etc... The throughput is at most 90% of that after overhead.

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