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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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(+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.

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