Anybody not living under a rock has heard of the ATI HD4xxx series by now. Officially launched less than 2 months and already topping the sale charts and recommended by enthusiasts and newcomers alike when building or upgrading their PC.
ATI kept pricing amazingly low for their latest video cards which gave them a significant price/performance edge over the competition. The HD4850 can now be found for €130~150 while the HD4870 goes for slightly more than €200. The HD4850 matches previous NVIDIA high end card 9800 GTX in performance, while the HD4870 is challenging the new NVIDIA high-end GTX 260. This leaves the NVIDIA GTX 280 lonely at the top as the fastest single GPU video card solution… until today.
We already got a preview of things to come when we saw Crossfire action with the HD4xxx cards, delivering performance on par/higher than the GTX 280. Last generation ATI produced a dual GPU solution on one card, the HD3870X2, which provided quite a good price/performance balance in the high-end GPU bracket. Today they release its successor: The ATI HD4870X2
What we are looking at is basically two HD4870 on one PCB, with fancy cooler to keep the two 55nm based GPUs from overheating. Specification wise it’s quite easy: take HD4870 specs and double them:Transistor Count: 956 Million * 2
Core Clock: 750Mhz
Memory Clock: 900Mhz GDDR5
Stream Processors: 800*2
Texture Units: 40*2
Memory Bus: 256-bit * 2
Memory Size: 1Gb * 2
The card is PCIe 2.0 compliant and requires extra power from power supply with one 6-pin and one 8-pin connector. There will be several launch partners who will provide the end-users with a HD4870X2 product. As with the HD3870X2 the differences between the different manufacturers will be small as the cooling design and PCB are quite unique and providing a custom cooling is far from straightforward.
AMD send us a Sapphire HD4870X2 2Gb GDDR5 sample to evaluate and that is what we’ll do. Of course Sapphire is not the only company that will sell HD4870X2 based products, below you find box shot of several other launch partners, but not all:
Let’s take a closer look at the card ->