In just a few weeks from now, AMD is set to announce its next-generation graphics processing units which will make up the Radeon HD 4000 series. The series is headed up by the RV770 GPU and, during Computex, Gigabyte was showing off what looks to be an early Radeon HD 4850 graphics card.
From the looks of things, this will fit into the same price bracket as the existing Radeon HD 3850 graphics card which, at launch, sold for around £130 (inc. VAT). It uses virtually the same cooling solution and the PCB looks to be a similar size and layout as well.
While AMD hasn't spoken officially about the card's performance yet, information from sources close to AMD have suggested that the Radeon HD 4850 will feature either 480 or 800 stream processors (at least 50 percent more than the Radeon HD 3850), a 256-bit memory interface and 512MB of GDDR3 memory.
There will also be a Radeon HD 4870 too, which will feature the same 480/800 stream processors and 256-bit memory interface, but this particular card will be the first to use the new GDDR5 memory. These cards will fit into the mid-range market and the latest information we've received suggests that they're not priced to compete at the high-end.
AMD will compete at the high-end in the same way that it has done with the Radeon HD 3000-series - it will introduce a dual-GPU Radeon HD 4800-series card about a month after the original launch. Why the delay, you ask? Well, we gather that the hardware is ready, but the company is busy optimising the drivers to make sure performance is good across the board.