AMDs announcement of the (needlessly long-named) ATI Radeon HD 4800-Series last week was a bit of a disappointment in many respects. While AMD did give its blessing to tell the public that the 4850 did, indeed, exist, we couldn't officially confirm specs or hardware details - and officially we weren't even allowed to mention the 4870 (thank goodness for the public domain). Those issues are behind us now, because the whole RV770 family is now here to play. So, what's the story, morning glory?
RV770, as the chip inside the 4800-series cards is know, offers the following across the board:
*800 stream processors.
*55nm manufacturing process.
*256-bit memory interface.
*Support for GDDR3, GDDR4 and GDDR5 memory.
*DirectX 10.1 support.
*Improved UVD engine e.g. GPU accelerated Blu-ray picture in picture and 7.1-channel audio pass-through.
The cards themselves come in as follows (granted, we already know the 4850s specs, but reiteration doesn't hurt):
AMD ATI Radeon HD 4850
*Core clock: 625MHz.
*Memory type: GDDR3.
*Memory clock: 2GHz (effective).
AMD ATI Radeon HD 4870
*Core clock: 750MHz.
*Memory type: GDDR5.
*Memory clock: 3.6GHz (effective).
To allow the higher clock speeds, and this larger heat output, the 4870 features a dual-slot cooler. A 4870 X2 is also rumoured to be forthcoming which we're interested to see the performance of.
Pricing is an area AMD really wins in. Currently (r)etailers seems to be charging around £130 for the 4850 and £200 for the 4870. The cheapest the GTX 260 and GTX 280 can be found for a little over £300 and £400 respectively. With the 4870 predicted to go head-to-head with the GTX 260, in terms of performance, it seems AMD may have a winner on its hands.