Today is all about the Radeon HD 4870 X2, the same card we previewed last month but AMD is quietly announcing a few other products alongside it. The 4870 X2, internally referred to as R700, is a pair of RV770 GPUs on a single card - effectively a single-card, Radeon HD 4870 CrossFire (hence the X2 moniker). Like previous X2 cards, the 4870 X2 appears to the user and the driver as a single card and all of the CrossFire magic happens behind the scenes.

  ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 ATI Radeon HD 4870 ATI Radeon HD 4850
Stream Processors 800 x 2 800 800
Texture Units 40 x 2 40 40
ROPs 16 x 2 16 16
Core Clock 750MHz 750MHz 625MHz
Memory Clock 900MHz (3600MHz data rate) GDDR5 900MHz (3600MHz data rate) GDDR5 993MHz (1986MHz data rate) GDDR3
Memory Bus Width 256-bit x 2 256-bit 256-bit
Frame Buffer 1GB x 2 512MB 512MB
Transistor Count 956M x 2 956M 956M
Manufacturing Process TSMC 55nm TSMC 55nm TSMC 55nm
Price Point $549 $299 $199

 

The benefit of single-card CrossFire is of course that you can use this single card on any platform, not just ones that explicitly support CF. Since CrossFire is supported on both Intel chipsets and AMD chipsets, it's a bit more flexible than SLI and the need for single-card CF isn't nearly as great as the need for single-card SLI.

Unlike most single-card multi-GPU solutions, the 4870 X2 is literally two Radeon HD 4870s on a single card. The clock speeds, both core and memory, are identical and this thing should perform like a pair of 4870s (which is pretty quick if you have forgotten). The only difference here is that while the standard Radeon HD 4870 ships with 512MB of GDDR5 memory, each RV770 on a X2 gets a full 1GB of GDDR5 for a total of 2GB per card.

...which leads us nicely into some of AMD's other products that will be coming out in the next month or so. There will be 1GB versions of both the Radeon HD 4870 and Radeon HD 4850.

Then at $399 we'll see a Radeon HD 4850 X2, which as you can probably guess is a pair of Radeon HD 4850 GPUs on a single card, but with 2GB of GDDR3 and not GDDR5 like the 4870 X2. As interesting as all of these cards are, we only have the 4870 X2 for you today, the rest will have to wait for another time. But it is worth noting that if you are interested in buying a Radeon HD 4870/4850 and keeping it for a while, you may want to wait for the 1GB versions as they should give you a bit more longevity.

Enough with being distracted by AMD's product lineup, let's talk about the competition.

Let's Talk Pricing
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  • M1KEO - Saturday, August 16, 2008 - link

    Buying a high end video card has little to no effect on the price of gasoline, seeing as very few power plants run off of oil. And are you relating electicity usage to forest fires and floods which are all natural disasters, and have been happening for milleniums? Look at what scientists are saying, and realize temperatures were actually warmer in the 1980's then they are now, and that plants even flourish with more CO2 in the atmosphere because that is what they use to make oxygen. Reply
  • far327 - Sunday, August 17, 2008 - link

    Whatever makes you sleep better at night. Your approach is as if energy, despite how it is produced or distributed is an endless commodity. Where as, I am trying to take a more conservative approach towards the ideal that energy is a valuable resource because of the ways we import it and produce it. Now if energy was made via solar or wind, I would loosen up a bit with my energy spending habits because that it would then be renewable energy. I'm just saying, don't feed the pig if it's already over weight. Eventually that pig will not be able to walk, and the meat with spoil. We as a country need to completely change the way we think about our energy spending habits. If we buy these power hog cards and create a viable market for Nvidia and AMD to invest in year after year. The exuberant careless energy spending cycle continues... We are therefore feeding that pig until it will eventually collapse. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE NEWS PEOPLE!! Global warming is not even debatable anymore! It is a very real threat towards our existence as a people. I am done with this childish debate and I'm sure all of you will be happy I leave the board, but don't say you weren't all warned. Reply
  • BenPope - Thursday, August 14, 2008 - link

    I guess SidePort will become useful on 4-way plus... in much the same way as 2 or more hypertransport links in opteron 4 and 8 way CPUs scale.

    So if you have 4 GPUs, the sideports could connect diagonal corners to reduce latency the two-hop latency and increase bandwidth.
    Reply
  • Barack Obama - Thursday, August 14, 2008 - link

    :) Reply
  • oldhoss - Thursday, August 14, 2008 - link

    Uh oh...Bedwetting tree huggin liberal alert! ;-P Reply
  • Hrel - Thursday, August 14, 2008 - link

    How the heck did you not include the 9800GX2 in your testing; I mean, that's Nvidia's only comprable card. And you said yourself it outperforms the GTX 280. When you factor in that it only cost 285 dollars on newegg it's a great buy. I'm actually amazed and sincerely confused as to why that card wasn't included in this review. Big mistake anandtech; not a small oversight but a complete disregard for common sense. Reply
  • jeffrey - Thursday, August 14, 2008 - link

    Usually, NDA dates are known well in advance for the latest and greatest tech. That means that many people are excited and looking forward to insight on release day.

    I was happy to see the 4870 X2 posted when I opened the site. I was even happier to see the authors of the review were Anand and Derek. This to me usually means a well-thought out unbiased article that would have unique industry insights.

    The article seemed rushed, incomplete, and unbalanced. What a disappointment! ATI released the current performance king in the 4870 X2, a mid-level 4850 X2, AND refreshed the 4870 and 4850 by doubling the RAM!

    So much time and effort was wasted in the article whining about AMD/ATI not using the Sideport that driver versions and system specs weren't even included.

    This post probably sounds like a broken record now that I'm number 70 something giving feedback that is not very positive. I just want this site to stay the best and I felt I owed it to you Anand and Derek to try and push you to do better. Thanks for all the great work that you have done over the years.
    Reply
  • Bezado11 - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    I loved the article and well it shows that the new king of cards is the 4870X2, however; I think your doing a bit of extra work for a benchmark nobody will use. AOC is tanking hard, not sure if you guys are aware of that games overall lack of integrity. Since AOC is not going to be a well played or viewed game, why use that as a benchmark standard? I mean we won't care one bit about it sooner or later because the game is in it's death stages.

    Just a heads up on that. I think taking the AOC benchmark out of future reviews will be advised. Stick to what we know best and what stresses the hardware the most like Crysis etc. AOC for heavens sake doesn't even support DX10 yet.
    Reply
  • Griswold - Thursday, August 14, 2008 - link

    While I dont play AoC or plan on doing so, you just showed what a foolish idiot you are by claiming its soon demise. It has been the fastest selling MMO launch in history, I think "some" people will stick to it and even more will return when the content problem has been solved. Just because you dont like it, doesnt mean its not a good benchmark.

    I mean, I couldnt care less about all these "quake wars" and "ssassins creeds" that are, in my opinion, played by dumbass kids such as you, but hell, I wont complain about them being used as a benchmark.
    Reply
  • Scour - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    This article is a way to negative for AMD/ATIs cards. This looks like the reviewer hate ATI, dunno why

    First the negative article about 790GX-chipset, now this :(
    Reply

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