Toronto (Canada) - AMD is preparing an answer to Nvidia’s recently released GeForce 9800GTX+ card. Overclocked Radeon 4850 cards are set for an introduction in the second week of July.
The first wave of Radeon 4850 boards is already on store shelves, with prices that already are below the MSRP of $199. In Europe, we have seen prices of 130 Euro - which is about $200 and quite surprising, as prices in Europe always have been higher than in the U.S. in the past.
Now we hear that ATI has removed all overclocking restrictions, giving add-in board (AIB) partners more room for new products. Our sources indicate that vendors are preparing a second wave of cards that will feature higher clocks for the GPU and the memory.
Senior ATI officials told us that "4850 Overclocked" cards are likely to come with a core that is clocked about 50 MHz higher, while the GDDR3 memory will be clocked to get at least 5-6 GB/s of bandwidth. Cooling will also change. Pre-announcements indicate that overclocked cards are on their way from companies such as HIS, Sapphire and Diamond.
If you are looking for a big performance jump for acceptable money, this summer is likely to be hot: The Radeon 4850 and the GeForce 9800GTX+ are aiming to attract all those customers that want the most bang for the buck.
As a side note, we also learned that the Radeon 4870 will not be tied down to its default clock speed for very long. We heard that at least one AIB vendor is preparing an overclocked 4870 card.