AMD Radeon HD 4800 series technology preview
If you're a graphics enthusiast, and in particular one who likes to get into the nitty gritty of how a modern graphics board works, then it's fair to say that it's been a rather hectic time of late. First came NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 200 series parts, complete with a massive monolithic GPU totalling well over one billion transistors and with hefty price points to match that massive transistor count and wide memory bus. This has since been followed by the launch of the Santa Clara company's 55 nanometre die shrink of their earlier G92 architecture in the form of the GeForce 9800 GTX+, which NVIDIA will doubtless be hoping will keep pace with the subject of this article.
This brings us to today and the official launch of AMD's latest architecture, codenamed RV770 but known to the masses as the Radeon HD 4800 series. While the launch has been both confused and staggered somewhat by the early release of boards 'into the wild' by some retail outlets, prompting AMD to life the embargo on the Radeon HD 4850 early, today is 'the big day' for all you technophiles out there, as we finally get a chance to lift the lid in full on RV770 from an architectural point of view, on a day that also sees the launch of the company's current flagship Radeon HD 4870 board.
So, the scene is now set, and the focus of this article should be clear from its title, with this piece focusing purely on RV770 from an architectural perspective. So grab yourself a coffee (or four), put on your best technical hat, and let's get started, although not before I begin by teasing you just a little with a shot of the RV770 die itself...