Today's actually the day the NDA is lifted on the ATI Radeon HD 4800 series of cards. Well various sites had gone ahead and did some preliminary reviews of the cards since a company or two decided to sell the card early. I'll have the review of the 4850 and 4870 sometime early next week as I'm awaiting a motherboard with Crossfire support to come in today. In any case, here's the official press release on AMD's latest card offering teraFLOPping power and a great price.
AMD Delivers World’s First TeraFLOPS Graphics Chip
—ATI Radeon™ HD 4800 series represents a new milestone in graphics architecture, with 800 cores driving cinema-quality realism in all aspects of visual computing—
SUNNYVALE, Calif. — June 25, 2008 — AMD (NYSE:AMD) today achieved two world firsts in visual computing: the launch of the first teraFLOPS graphics card, the ATI Radeon™ HD 4850, and the launch of the first graphics card featuring ultra high bandwidth GDDR5 memory, the ATI Radeon HD 4870. These two innovations combine with trademark AMD energy-efficient design and powerful DirectX® 10.1 compatibility to deliver superior performance at the high-volume mainstream and performance price points. Both the ATI Radeon HD 4850 and ATI Radeon HD 4870 are immediately available.
“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.” AMD customers expressed excitement with the introduction of the ATI Radeon HD 4800 series.
“The new ATI Radeon HD 4800 series cards have really impressed us in a lot of areas,” said Kelt Reeves, president of Falcon Northwest. “In performance, the ATI Radeon HD 4850 and ATI Radeon HD 4870 just blew past competing cards at their respective price levels. Each draws less power and produces less fan noise for this level of performance as well. To cap it off, the driver support is solid. The ATI Radeon HD 4800 series represents a huge leap forward for AMD.”
“It is remarkable that we are now able to build high performance gaming PCs with over one teraFLOPS of compute power inside,” said Patrick Cooper, director of Product Planning, Alienware. “With that kind of performance and the addition of visual enhancements made possible by DirectX 10.1 and tessellation, gamers can now achieve cinema-quality realism. It’s an incredible step forward in gaming and Alienware is looking forward to introducing the ATI Radeon HD 4800 series in the near future.”
ATI Radeon HD 4870 introduces GDDR5 performance, pushes 1.2 teraFLOPS
The ATI Radeon HD 4870, available immediately with a suggested retail price of USD$299, represents an unprecedented 1.2 teraFLOPS of visual compute power. It features a stock GPU core clock speed of 750 MHz, 512 MB of GDDR5 memory rated at 3.6 gigabits/second, and comes in a dual-slot PCI Express 2.0 configuration with a maximum board power of 160 watts.
ATI Radeon HD 4850: one teraFLOPS of visual compute power
The ATI Radeon HD 4850, immediately available with a suggested retail price of USD$199, received an enthusiastic welcome from global graphics reviewers. The ATI Radeon HD 4850 is the world’s first teraFLOPS graphics chip, with 800 stream processing cores (identical to the ATI Radeon HD 4870), a stock GPU core clock speed of 625 MHz, 512 MB of GDDR3 memory rated at 2 gigabits/second, and comes in a single-slot PCI Express 2.0 configuration with a maximum board power of 110 watts.
Industry excitement for the ATI Radeon HD 4800 series is evidenced in one dozen AIB (Add-In-Board) companies offering custom designs of the products, a record number for AMD. Building high-performance versions of the
ATI Radeon HD 4800 series are VisionTek, ASUS, PowerColor, MSI, GIGABYTE, GECUBE, Force3D, SAPPHIRE Technology, Diamond Multimedia, Club 3D, HIS (Hightech Information Systems) and Palit Multimedia.
Systems integrators launching ATI Radeon HD 4800 series include ABS, Alienware, AMAX, Canada Computers, CyberPower, Extreme PC Corporation, Falcon-Northwest, iBUYPOWER, Maingear, Systemax, Ultra Gaming and Velocity Micro.
Early Reviews for the ATI Radeon HD 4850:
Excerpts from Anandtech:
· "…the Radeon HD 4850 looks to be the best buy at $199..."
· "All of AMD's Radeon HD graphics cards have shipped with their own audio codec, but the Radeon HD 4800 series of cards finally adds support for 8-channel LPCM output over HDMI. This is a huge deal for HTPC enthusiasts because now you can output 8-channel audio over HDMI in a motherboard agnostic solution."
Excerpts from ExtremeTech:
· “ATI's new graphics chip brings impressive leaps in architectural efficiency and performance.”
· “Meanwhile, ATI can rightly brag about reaching the 1 teraFLOPS barrier today. Each of the 800 stream processing units in the RV770 can perform a single-precision floating point multiply and add in the same clock cycle. Two ops per unit, times 800 units, times a 625MHz clock speed exactly equals one teraFLOPS of math-crunching power. Not bad for a $200 product.”
· “On paper, and in our preliminary tests, it looks as though they have made one heck of an impressive GPU...”
Excerpts from Tech Report:
· “The Radeon HD 4850 kicks more ass than a pair of donkeys in an MMA cage match.”
· “The graphics war looks more competitive now than it's been in a very long time. That's ultimately a good thing for consumers, especially since
High Definition Video
The ATI Radeon HD 4800 series has the power to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. The ATI Radeon HD 4800 series will allow users to experience HD digital content with uncompromising visual fidelity while helping to enhance the definition and clarity of lower resolution visual media.
· The ATI Radeon HD 4800 series can help improve the definition and image quality of any visual media including standard DVDs and videos.
· The ATI Radeon HD 4800 series was designed to easily handle the visual fidelity and clarity of all standard formats of today’s high definition media.
· The ATI Radeon HD 4800 series includes new HD media capabilities, like picture-in-picture HD viewing, super fast format conversion of your favorite media, and support for the latest HD audio technologies like 7.1 surround sound.
The ATI Radeon HD 4800 series offers optimal performance and breakthrough efficiency with platform-independent intelligent power management.
· ATI PowerPlay™ technology intelligently adjusts requirements to ensure performance is there when you need it most while throttling back for lesser user demands.
· With the ATI Radeon™ HD 3870, AMD set a new performance per watt standard, which has been broken by the ATI Radeon HD 4800 series. Compared to the ATI Radeon HD 3870 series GPU, the ATI Radeon HD 4800 series delivers twice the performance while drawing only 20 percent more power.
AMD Cinema 2.0 Demo
At a press conference held on June 16, 2008, in San Francisco, AMD demonstrated a milestone achievement in ultra-realistic and interactive visual
computing through the processing power of its ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics cards. The demonstration of what AMD terms the “Cinema 2.0 experience,” highlighted at www.amd.com/cinema2, punches a sizeable hole in the sensory barrier that separates today’s visionary content creators and the interactive experiences they desire to create for audiences around the world. The Cinema 2.0 demo shows the fusion of dynamic real-time interactivity with convincing cinematic digital effects that appear to be real places and things.
The Cinema 2.0 demo system in San Francisco featured two ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics cards rated at one teraFLOPS each, driven by an AMD Phenom™ X4 9850 quad-core processor and AMD 790 FX Chipset.