Mountain House (CA) - AMD’s Radeon 4850 and 4870 have been widely praised in the media and put the ATI team back on the map. But it appears that we have just seen a small portion of what the ATI guys have in space for users. The new boards are actually running at well below the clock speed they can support and there is every reason to believe that these cards will be challenging Nvidia’s very best.
The ATI Radeon 4870 ships with two six-pin power connectors, which support a maximum thermal design power (TDP) 225 watts (75 watts +75 watts and an additional 75 watts from the motherboard), while the board will never consume more than 160 - 170 watts at stock speed, we are told. That means that there is at least 55 watts of room for overclocking and enough space to find out what these GPUs are capable of.
AMD GPG (ex-ATI) is binning the parts to a lowest denominator required for good yields and a level of performance that reaches or sometimes overtakes Nvidia’s GTX 260. But this time around, the company developed an AIB/OEM-only product codenamed "Super RV770", which will be much more powerful.
The "Super RV770" will arrive with pre-installed water-cooling and features unlocked BIOS, which enables the GPU to be pushed all the way to 950 MHz, while the memory can be pushed to 4.8 GT/s (1.2 GHz QDR). According to our sources, you may be able to push the GPU even beyond 1 GHz, if you use TEC elements, and keep the temperature of GPU low.
At 4.8 GT/s, the "Super RV770" can achieve a bandwidth of 150 GB/s, taking the crown from the GeForce GTX 280. The RV770 chip has a 256-bit (32-byte) interface, which means we can calculate the bandwidth in the following way:
ATI RV770: 32-byte x 4.8 Billion Transfers/sec = 150 GB/s
Nvidia GT200: 64-byte x 2.2 Billion Transfers/sec = 138.37 GB/s
Not surprisingly, the first "Super RV770" product is already out. Diamond Multimedia teamed up with Danger Den and Smooth Creations to launch the "ATI Radeon HD 4870 XOC Black Edition".
Diamond clocked the core of its Super RV770 at 800 MHz and the memory at 4.4 GT/s (1100 MHz QDR). There is some room for overclocking left, as Diamond its own version of an unlocked BIOS and the board can be propelled up to 950 MHz for the GPU and 1200 MHz for the memory.
Mario Gastelum, director of product development & engineering stated that the "The Diamond Radeon HD 4870 XOC Black Edition was clocked to kick some ass. We wanted the fastest card that could kick the living daylights and bust some performance records".
Diamond’s version of the Super RV770 is available in systems from Smoothcreations. Expect more announcements from other AMD/ATI partners, including Asus, Sapphire and GeCube.