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


View All Comments

  • MamiyaOtaru - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    Dude was joking. And it was funny.

    It's apparently pretty dangerous to joke around here. Two of my friends died from it.
  • CyberHawk - Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - link

    ... but I find a response a bit cold.

    It's the fastest card for God sake!
  • Samus - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    it was pretty negative. there really isn't anything negative about this card. price and power consumption (the only arguably negative things about this card) are in line with anything nVidia would have had they made a product to compete against this. Reply
  • Finally - Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - link

    And what is this?!

    "When you start pushing up over $450 and into multi-GPU solutions, you do have to be prepared for even more diminished returns on your investment, and the 4870 X2 is no exception."

    Man! This is a bullshit card for bullshit buyers, sry I meant: ENTHUSIASTS... What the heck do you expect? Low power consumption and reasonable price-to-power-relations? I totally don't get it...
    Isn't this the "We like power supplies only if they can assure us that they will kill the rain forest single-handedly" site?
    Where is the bullshit, sry again: enthusiasm?
  • Finally - Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - link

    Is it just my eyes or did they actually read the following heading on page2?

    "NVIDIA Strikes Back"

    *sound of a Vegas-style gambling automat turning out big coin*
    If there was a prize for a totally out-of-order title... this would take rank 1 to 3...
  • Finally - Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - link

    You are right; got that perception, too...

    Although I would never buy a dualchip cardmonster like this one (save SLI or CF...) I actually love it how they manage to take an article about an AMD product and turn around till you don't know wheter it was about the new HD4870X2 or the lackluster 280...
  • drisie - Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - link

    In my opinion this review is way too negative. It is solutions like this that have caused Nvidia to drop prices and increase competition between the competitors. Its the best card money can buy for ffs. Reply
  • formulav8 - Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - link

    Yeps, this is one of the worst reviews Anand himself has ever done. He continues to praise nVideo who just a month or 2 ago was charging $600 for their cards.

    Give credit where credit is do. He even harps on a sideport feature that doesn't mean much now and AMD says it didn't provide no real benefit even when it was enabled.

    I've been a member of this site since 2000 and am dissappointed how bad the reviews here are getting especially when they have a biased tone to them.

    Of course, this is only my opinion.

  • BikeDude - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    I think Anand's initial comments has to be viewed in the light of his conclusion:

    "I keep getting the impression that multi-GPU is great for marketing but not particularly important when it comes to actually investing R&D dollars into design. With every generation, especially from AMD, I expect to see a much more seamless use of multiple GPUs, but instead we're given the same old solution - we rely on software profiles to ensure that multiple GPUs work well in a system rather than having a hardware solution where two GPUs truly appear, behave and act as one to the software."

    I wholeheartedly agree. The software profile solution has baffled me for years. Why are they messing about with this? It was supposed to be a temporary thing. Creating unique profiles for every game title is not feasible. At the very least give the developers an API that will help them do this themselves.

    Instead of messing about with the power hungry sideport nonsense, AMD should have invested some R&D time on how to get rid of software profiles.
  • Locutus465 - Thursday, August 14, 2008 - link

    Probably because from a design perspective it works... And based on the benchmark results it works very well indeed. Additionally we know from the early days of SLI that not all games will respond well to all modes, so it seems to be that at a HW level the task of getting the card to automatically perform amazingly with multiple GPU's is going to be difficult to say the least (perhaps feautal?). Reply

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