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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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Bad article
By Proteusza on 6/17/2008 2:24:38 PM , Rating: -1
AMD's newest is an alternative to NVIDIA's last generation high-end

Nice way to imply that the AMD offering is inferior. Care to point out that the last gen 9800GX2 is a better alternative to the GTX280? Of course you wouldnt.

The new Radeon is the lacks of GDDR5 memory,

Awesome grammar.

RE: Bad article
By KristopherKubicki on 6/17/08, Rating: 0
RE: Bad article
By gaakf on 6/17/2008 3:59:01 PM , Rating: 5
Only from a pure performance perspective is it inferior. But at a $200 price point, performance/dollar it should be superior. The card is more feature rich than anything Nvidia has right now. I would also assume from the die shrink that it consumes less power as well, making it superior on a performance/watt scale. So no, I do not believe AMD would tell me their product is inferior.

RE: Bad article
By FITCamaro on 6/17/2008 4:20:34 PM , Rating: 5
He has a point. Like it or not, use it or not, ATI has had DX10.1 support for months now. While Nvidia implemented some of it with the FX 2x0 series, its still not all there. Developers might have largely said its not important, but tell that to the developers who are using it.

And a recent article showed that with Assassin's Creed, the exe that utilized 10.1 ran faster than without. They removed it because it is "The Way its Meant to be Played" game and Nvidia wouldn't like ATI's card performing better than theirs with features they don't have.

Just shows you the politics that exist in the video game market.

I really wish they had gotten the 4850 out sooner so I could have gone with it instead of two 8800GTSs.

RE: Bad article
By SavagePotato on 6/17/2008 6:01:08 PM , Rating: 4
Considering price wise it is competition for the 8800gt and it performs on par with a 9800gtx, it sounds to me like the ati offering is not inferior but superior.

The GTX280 is a big fat turkey that is overpriced and lacking.

The way things are shaping up the 4870x2 might indeed trump the GTX280.

RE: Bad article
By bill3 on 6/18/2008 8:16:54 AM , Rating: 5
It's a 200 video card said to be as fast as the 9800GTX, which currently costs about 300. I'd say that's pretty good.

Then the later 4870 at 329 will likely give the GT260 if not 280 a run for it's money. Then finally, it's likely 4870X2 will be faster than GT280. Leaked 3Dmark scores show 4870X2 with an edge over the 280. When was the last time AMD's fastest card was better than Nvidia's???

Also, look at value, leaked scores also show 4850 crossfire stomping GT280 for $250 less.

I think people are jumping on you Kubicki because I cant even put my finger on it, but the article just seems pretty negative on AMd's prospects. In contrast most of the web seems to be realizing AMD is likely to have some kickass products here.

Seems to me Nvidia is struggling this go round. We all know Gt200 is a 576 mm die, while RV770 is just 256. Yet for all that AMD smashed a teraflop and 4800 line seems blazing fast.

The fact AMD packed 800 sp's into a die HALF the size of Nvidias is pretty amazing, and makes one wonder what the hell Nvidia engineers are doing.

It appears to me AMD was right when they said the era of the monolithic chip is over. And Nvidia looks wrong. In raw performance AMD slides claim 2.8X more performance (flops) per die area than Nvidia. And 2.25X per watt.

RE: Bad article
By KristopherKubicki on 6/18/2008 2:26:33 PM , Rating: 1
I suppose. It seems pretty obvious that it's a midrange card, and I don't know why anyone would contest that. I've seen "leaked" 3DMark scores that show a Crossfire 4850 beating up a single GTX 280 as well from an ASUS employee:

But a look at 3dMark's leadboard seems to show a lot of disparity between Kevin's score and others who already have the card:

The 4850 is ultimately the card I'm going to get. It's by far the best price/performance card. But then again I always buy midrange cards.

RE: Bad article
By Goty on 6/19/2008 1:41:49 AM , Rating: 3
Ummm... his results seem to be perfectly in line with a stock GTX 280.

RE: Bad article
By Goty on 6/18/2008 1:37:00 PM , Rating: 5
It's a $200 video card that, when implemented in a dual-chip configuration, is at LEAST as fast as the GTX 280 by all indicators. Let's take $200x2 to get a rough price of ~$400 for a Radeon HD4850X2 (or a crossfire setup) and compare that to $500-$600 for a GTX 280 that performs almost identically.

Better features, the same performance, and $100 or more less? I'm not complaining.

This isn't even considering the performance gains to be had by the HD4870, either.

Is it just me, or does this generation seem to be shaping up to be the Radeon 8500 to 9700 jump all over again. Obviously NVIDIA's card doesn't suck this time around, but ATI is definitely posed to make a decent move in the market.

RE: Bad article
By Chaser on 6/17/2008 3:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
The 9800GTX is far from a slouch. The lowest price I could find for it is $269.00. The 4850 starting at $199.00 sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

The upcoming 4870 with it's announced GDDR-5 memory sounds like it will be a competitive "high end" card to me.

We shall see.

RE: Bad article
By rgsaunders on 6/19/2008 5:04:10 PM , Rating: 2 195 is a pretty good price, have seen it listed for 190 elsewhere. for some interesting first reviews, including a Crossfire review.

Good bang for buck.

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