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Radeon HD 3870 X2 launch causes a stir

by Scott Bicheno on 28 January 2008, 19:42

Tags: HIS Radeon HD 3870, AMD (NYSE:AMD)

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2 much 2 soon?

At long last AMD/ATI has produced a graphics card which will perch, however briefly, at the top of the FPS (frames per second) charts ahead of the fastest Nvidia has to offer.

The Radeon HD 3870 X2 retakes the performance crown by the simple expedient of putting two 3870 GPUs on one card. The fact that it has also managed to keep the price down to around £250 ex VAT/£300 inc VAT has meant demand has been pretty healthy.

On the flip side it can safely be assumed that Nvidia will launch its own double GPU offering before long, but for once it’s not AMD/ATI that’s playing catch up.

Channel insiders have told that many distributors are selling out of their allocations of the cards within minutes and there is a feeling that this may be a return to form for AMD after a pretty wretched 2007.

However, the one fly in the ointment today seems to be retail availability. A range of board partners, including Sapphire, Club 3D and HIS have been quick to announce their X2 products, but a quick look through the usual-suspect etailers reveals only one with product actually in stock – an HIS board – although many have the product on pre-order.

“HIS have experienced strong demand for the new 3 series and are pleased to have been a successful AMD launch partner,” a chuffed Wayne Tritton of HIS told “It is always very satisfying when you see the products in stock for gamers to purchase on the launch date.”

So the question remains: where are the rest? Independent retailers have observed a growing trend of component launches pre-empting supply and the problem is by no means isolated to AMD. would like to hear from any readers who’ve spotted something we’ve missed or from any other channel insiders who can shed some light on the general topic of channel product availability.

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