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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: Over $300 makes a video card irrelevant
By BruceLeet on 6/18/2008 2:12:21 PM , Rating: 3
I play two games, one of them is viewable up to 1000 game meters. I need AA in that game, it's hard to see snipernoobs at a distance if they are near a wall of trees, in that particular game that is. Now COD4, I can shoot across most maps without having a problem seeing in 1920x1200.

Can you see where Im coming from yet?

RE: Over $300 makes a video card irrelevant
By ChronoReverse on 6/19/2008 1:45:33 PM , Rating: 2
AA doesn't just allow you to see things, it removes "jaggies" which are VERY visible even at 1920x1200 on most monitors. The jaggies won't go away unless you have a very good dot pitch and even then 2xAA would make a big difference.

By Martimus on 6/19/2008 4:21:53 PM , Rating: 2
In fact, AA would probably make characters harder to see from a distance, since their silouette would be smoother than without it. (One of the easiest ways to see characters versus the background is to look for the pixelated lines they create against the backdrop.)

By BruceLeet on 6/19/2008 4:57:51 PM , Rating: 2
Well try to think about it, your looking for an object in trees in a game at a distance, now thats alot of lines (the trees) and thats alot of jaggies. You simply can't make anything out thats where I need AA, but in COD4 paced game theres alot of movement. You need MAX fps in that game. So I dont use AA

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