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  (Source: Amazon)

  (Source: Amazon)
AMD's newest is an alternative to NVIDIA's last generation high-end

Hot on the heels of NVIDIA's GTX 200 family launch, AMD will introduce its 55nm RV770-based Radeon 4850 next week. 

The Radeon 4850 features a 625 MHz core clock and GDDR3 clock in excess of 2000MHz. Corporate documentation explains that the 480 stream processors on the RV770 processor offer considerable enhancements over the 320 stream processors found in the RV670 core, though AMD memos reveal little about how this is accomplished.

The RV770 includes all the bells and whistles of the RV670 launched in November 2007: Shader Model 4.0, OpenGL 2.0, and DirectX 10.1.  The only major extension addition appears to be the addition of "Game Physics processing" -- indicating a potential platform for AMD's recent partnership with Havok.

The new Radeon lacks GDDR5 memory, promised by an AMD announcement just weeks ago. Although the RV770 does support GDDR5 memory, this initial launch consists exclusively of GDDR3 components.  AMD documentation hints at the launch of a Radeon 4870 later this summer, but it offered no comment on when it will eventually ship a GDDR5 product.

If Radeon 4850 sounds familiar, that's because it is. The RV770-based FireStream 9250, just announced a few days ago, broke the 1 teraflops barrier using the same graphics core.  However, this paper-launched workstation card will retail for more than $900 when it finally hits store shelves.  The mainstream Radeon 4850 offerings will ship and launch on the same day next week.

AMD partners claim the new card will not compete against the $600 GTX 200 just announced yesterday. Instead, AMD pits the Radeon 4850 against the recently re-priced NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX.  Distributors claim the 4850 will see prices as low as $199 at launch -- well under the $299 MSRP for GeForce 9800 GTX.  More expensive versions of RV770 will feature HDMI, audio pass-through and possibly the fabled Qimonda GDDR5 memory.

Specifications from Diamond Multimedia marketing material claim the new Radeon will require a 450 Watt power supply for single card support; or 550 Watt power for CrossFire mode.

Update 06/09/2008: As of this morning, AMD has lifted the embargo on its 4850 graphics cards. AMD's newest documentation claims the RV770 processor contains 800 shaders, but the card is not expected to show up on store shelves before the planned June 25 launch date.



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RE: Seems...
By Lightning III on 6/17/2008 1:53:45 PM , Rating: 5
80 Percent of the performance at less than half the price seems they are doing just fine by me.

At 199 this will be the best bang for the buck card till the 4870 comes out.


RE: Seems...
By deeznuts on 6/17/2008 2:14:28 PM , Rating: 2
Is this really going to be $199? Damn Xbox or upgrade my computer/video card? I want to play Bioshock and Mass Effect now!

Getting nehalem in the winter. So I might as well wait for then, and just get a 360 I guess.

Hey, does anyone remmeber the anandtech or other article a few years back, where nvidia and ATI both said that there will be one or two generations of all out performance and power usage, but then the next phase will be power reduction and efficiency? Has that started yet? will it ever start?


RE: Seems...
By ChronoReverse on 6/17/2008 2:17:58 PM , Rating: 4
Nvidia went performance while ATI went power reduction this round.

That's why Nvidia has the undisputed high-end


RE: Seems...
By SavagePotato on 6/17/2008 5:56:52 PM , Rating: 1
That may not be the case.

Initial estimates were that the 4870x2 will be 1.25x faster than the 9800gx2.

If that holds true then ATI will hold the performance crown, and do it for less than the cost of the gtx280 by far.


RE: Seems...
By AnnihilatorX on 6/17/2008 6:19:42 PM , Rating: 2
4870x2 is just 2 4870s together. And I believe 4870s will sell at a bit less than half the price of GTX280 initially, until Nvidia drops the price which it will have to if that's the case.


RE: Seems...
By ChronoReverse on 6/17/08, Rating: 0
RE: Seems...
By decapitator666 on 6/18/2008 6:13:23 PM , Rating: 3
at the cost of a new car?


RE: Seems...
By ChronoReverse on 6/19/2008 1:47:47 PM , Rating: 1
Obviously the point is that Nvidia can still claim to have _the_ fastest solution regardless of how expensive or impractical it is.

Of course, those who downrated my comment either completely missed that or are Nvidia types who just downrate anything that bashes the GTX280 (and its power consumption at load).


RE: Seems...
By DeepBlue1975 on 6/17/2008 7:57:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I think so, but that was not the point of my previous post.

Not the majority of the market analyze what is the best bang for the buck, they just ask some "tech savvy" what's best and usually that "tech savvy guy" will point him towards the brand that has the better reputation out there in the high end market, even if he's advising the other guy to buy a mainstream product.


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