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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 DeepBlue1975 on 6/19/2008 11:37:53 AM , Rating: 2
You don't get the point.
I'm talking about marketing strategies. Highest end products are not about sales volume, they can give the selling brand an image of leadership in the market which you don't get with high volume, low cost, low profit products. That doesn't mean a company should stop making low end products, my point was that they shouldn't forget the image-building high end market because, not having a strong presence there, hurts market share in the long run.
And OEMs usually tend to team up with the market's leading brands (remember "Intel inside" campaign? I thought so).
If a brand settles for mid to low end parts only for a long period, they end up being taken for a low quality, not trustworthy brand in the mind of the public.

You probably know that flagship products are not as much about selling them as they are about publicity and bragging rights for the brand that produces them.

I for myself usually get mainstream products for my machine except for some specific parts (mobo, psu, keyboard, mouse), and as for video performance, I couldn't care less as I almost don't play games any more. But then again, I'm not talking about what I buy or would buy, but instead about a brand's public image.

RE: Seems...
By ChronoReverse on 6/19/2008 1:49:56 PM , Rating: 3
With that said, ATI's strategy is that their high end card is the 4870x2. It's unfortunate that it's coming late but it is meant to go up against the GTX280.

ATI knew they were unlikely to be able to and also didn't engineer for a single chip to beat Nvidia but went for a (hopefully) scalable multi-GPU design from the start.

We'll see in a couple months whether this will be a win or not.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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