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Review: Twin-gun AMD R700 aims to blow NVIDIA out of the water

by Tarinder Sandhu on 14 July 2008, 18:41

Tags: ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2, GeForce GTX 280, AMD (NYSE:AMD), ATi Technologies (NYSE:AMD), NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qan3c

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Introduction



Mirror, mirror on the wall, who makes the fastest graphics card of 'em all?

In answering this question the evidence seems to suggest that it's probably GeForce GTX 280, the monolithic monster that was released less than a month ago and can now be had for around £349.

Some may argue that it's still the NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2, mustering dual-GPU rendering to claim top-dog status.

ATI's decision to opt bring the also-new Radeon HD 4850 and Radeon HD 4870 GPUs up with mid-range pricing firmly in mind indicates that it won't be the red team, no matter how efficient the architecture from a performance-per-mm perspective.

Hold your horses, Sandhu, because can't two Radeon HD 4870s be coupled on one board, much like Radeon HD 3870 X2? Wouldn't the bewildering power then come to pass and claim the single-card throne?

That's what the much-vaunted R700 is all about - slapping two high-performing Radeon HD 4870 GPUs on to one board, CrossFiring them, and launching a card whose specs have us grabbing for the tissue paper.

HEXUS has been testing an early engineering sample of AMD R700 with very much work-in-progress device drivers, so read on to find out at least how fast AMD R700 promises to be and, once launched, whether it's likely to provide a tenable solution for the hardcore enthusiast.