Having had nVidia's latest graphics card launch within the last week or so, it was almost inevitable that AMD would want to show its hand. Enter the AMD ATI Radeon HD 4800-series, which, aside from still having a stupidly long name, marks AMD's attempt to offer some competition to the GeForce GTX 200 range.
The only card announced officially is the RV770-based, single slot, Radeon HD 4850. The same card Gigabyte leaked at Computex recently. 800 stream processors, a core clock of 625MHz and 1.99GHz (effective) GDDR3 memory on a 256-bit interface make up the vital statistics. On paper that's 50 per cent more stream processors than the Radeon HD 3850 and Radeon HD 3870 but at a slightly lower clock speed. The architecture itself has also been improved which should compensate for the reduction in clocks.
Apparently (but unofficially for now) the 4870 will offer a faster 750MHz core clock and use GDDR5 memory which should be impressive. About a month later on an 'X2' version will apparently also be coming which will, oddly enough, be the flagship card of the range. The main advantage AMD has is that using a 55nm manufacturing process allows the production costs of the 4800-series to be considerably lower than that of the - which in turn means the cards are vastly cheaper. We're told to expect the 4850 to retail in the £130-150 region, half the price of the GeForce GTX 260 with which it will likely compete.