It might seem that AMD/ATI have really managed to come up with two really grand graphics monsters this time, in the form of the HD 4800 series. And even if the launch wasn't exactly the most carefully-planned event (after all, there were quite a lot of add-in-board (AIB) partners that have announced their new versions of this family before the AMD/ATI managed to), the truth of the matter is that this event might actually change the face of graphics as we know them.
As you've been able to see from our previous articles, pretty much all of the major names in the industry have rushed to release their own version of ATI's latest GPU, including VisionTek, ASUS, PowerColor, MSI, GIGABYTE, GECUBE, Force3D, SAPPHIRE Technology, Diamond Multimedia, Club 3D, HIS (Hightech Information Systems) and Palit Multimedia. Moreover, the world's best-known system integrators (ABS, Alienware, AMAX, Canada Computers, CyberPower, Extreme PC Corporation, Falcon-Northwest, iBUYPOWER, Maingear, Systemax, Ultra Gaming and Velocity Micro) have also announced plans to employ this graphics monster into their future systems.
And we're not using the word "monster" lightly, since the HD 4870 has a visual computing power of up to 1.2 teraFLOPS, featuring a stock GPU core clock speed of 750 MHz, 512 MB of GDDR5 memory rated at 3.6 gigabits/second and coming in a dual-slot PCI Express 2.0 configuration with a maximum board power of 160 watts.
Given this level of power, it's no wonder that the ATI Radeon HD 4870 series includes new HD media capabilities, like picture-in-picture HD viewing, fast format conversion of various types of media, as well as support for the latest HD audio technologies like 7.1 surround sound. It also incorporates ATI PowerPlay technology, which adjusts requirements to ensure performance is there when required while reducing the power consumption and graphics "prowess" in more mundane tasks, in order to consume less power.
"The ATI Radeon 4800 series represents a 2X performance jump over the ATI Radeon HD 3800 GPU, the biggest generational increase since the game-changing launch of the Radeon 9700 in 2002," said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, Graphics Products Group, AMD. "AMD made a strategic decision to focus on GPU designs that maximized our efficiency and allowed us to provide enthusiasts, performance and mainstream users with the most compelling value proposition at every price point. The ATI Radeon 4800 series sets a new industry standard in key metrics such as performance-per-watt, performance-per-mm2 of chip die size, and performance-per-dollar."
And given its price point, of just 300 US dollars, this is one graphics solution to consider when planning your future system, not to mention the vehicle that might actually boost AMD/ATI towards the leading position on the graphics market.