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AMD's January GPU launch includes the dual-GPU R680  (Source: AMD)
Get ready to enter 2008 with a bang: AMD has a bunch of GPUs on the way

AMD's newest R680 graphics processor might look a whole lot like the ill-fated R600 GPU, but the reality couldn't be more bizarre.  Instead of one 80nm behemoth-of-a-GPU, the R680 consists of two 55nm processor cores.

Representatives from AMD would not confirm that the R680 is essentially two RV670 GPU cores on the same board, though the company did confirm that each core has the same specifications of an RV670 processor.

The RV670 graphics core, announced last November with the Phenom processor, is the first 55nm desktop graphics adaptor.  AMD does not target this card as a high-end adaptor, though reviewers were quick to herald the RV670 as AMD's best product of 2007.

The company also made quick mention of the RV620 and RV635 GPU cores.  These cores are nearly identical to the previous RV610 and RV630 processors, but will be produced on the 55nm node instead. 

All three of AMD's new GPUs are scheduled to launch next month. 

Dual-GPU technology is not new.  3dfx's flagship Voodoo 5 family also resorted to multiple processors to achieve its relatively high performance.  ASUS, Gigabyte, Sapphire, HIS and PowerColor all introduced dual-GPU configurations of just about every graphics processor on the market, though these were never "sanctioned" ATI or NVIDIA projects.  Ultimately, all of these projects were canned due to long development times and low demand.

Cross-state rival NVIDIA isn't sitting on idle hands though, either.   The company publicly announced plans to replace all 90nm G80 graphics cores with G92 derivatives by the end of the year.  G92's debut introduction, GeForce 8800 GT, met wild support from reviewers and analysts alike.  G92's second introduce, GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB, was met with similar but less enthusiastic acceptance during Tuesday's launch.

NVIDIA's newest roadmap claims the DirectX 10.1 family of 65nm processors will also hit store shelves this Spring.  The chipsets -- codenamed D9E, D9M and D9P -- are architecturally different from the G80/G92 family.

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8800GTS 512MB > Two HD3850 in crossfire
By maroon1 on 12/14/2007 9:30:27 AM , Rating: 1
8800GTS 512MB (G92) performs better than two HD3850 in crossfire, specially when you run AA

Here is the proof

So, there is no reason to get two HD3850 because you can get a better single card for the same price

Don't forget the fact that many games are not optimized for crossfire or SLI. So, it is better to have one high-end video card that two midranged video card

By ChronoReverse on 12/14/2007 12:27:30 PM , Rating: 2
I actually agree with you that 2x3850 is not a good buy but I should still point out that 2x3850 costs less than a single 8800GTS 512MB.

The real issue with 2x3850 is that the 3850 (a great card btw) has only 256MB of RAM. In Crossfire, that severely limits the potential.

A single card with 2 chips at 3850 level might not be as expensive because its one PCB, however, the card would still need 1024MB (that's right, 1GB) of RAM to be equivalent to a 512MB card.

Unless AMD (or maybe Nvidia) figures out some kind of clever trick to avoid the necessity of two sets of memory banks for SLI and Xfire, multiple chips still seem like a poor proposition.

RE: 8800GTS 512MB > Two HD3850 in crossfire
By therealnickdanger on 12/14/2007 12:35:24 PM , Rating: 2
I recently snagged a single HD3850 to replace my 7950GT. Oh my science. It is so much faster in every game, plus it has full VC-1 and MPEG4 off-loading, which is also great. Awesome $170 purchase.

By just4U on 12/14/2007 12:52:29 PM , Rating: 4
It should also be noted that Amd has a 3850 512Meg card, that runs you about $35 more then it's lower memory part. (not sure what the difference is for the euro's reading this)

I was rather surprise that the 3850 I currently have (new system) is doing so well compared to my 8800GTS 640 meg card. I bought it because there were no GT's, and no 3870s at the time and you know ... I am impressed. For those of you who game at 1280/1024 (or it's wide screen equivelent) it really is a damn good card.

I think both Nvidia and Ati dropped the ball on their mid range this past Q2.. Perhaps these Q4 launches have made up for that somewhat.

"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken

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