|AMD Radeon HD 4870 X2 technology preview|
|Inter-GPU communication&heading=AMD Radeon HD 4870 X2 preview|
AMD Radeon HD 4870 X2 technology preview
Whichever way you look at it, it's been a good few months for AMD's ATI graphics division. After a torrid spell since the introduction of DirectX 10 hardware to the market, which saw NVIDIA rule the roost almost across the board to win both marketshare and mindshare by the truckload, the launch of the Radeon HD 4800 series has finally seen them produce the de fact 'must have' consumer graphics hardware for the first time in what feels like an age.
How AMD won this particular skirmish was not by creating a massively powerful, monolithic design, but instead fighting smart by creating a smaller design than their rivals that could be priced hugely competitively, while still offering more than enough performance to satiate the vast majority of gamers. To put it bluntly, this move caught NVIDIA cold, leaving boards based around their own monolithic GT200 GPU design looking ridiculously overpriced despite its overall performance advantage in the enthusiast segment. Even some massive price drops to NVIDIA's offerings haven't particularly succeeded in changing this state of affairs, while also leaving the company to deal with the fallout of vastly shrinking margins and unhappy AIB partners as a result of those lower prices.
Of course, when things aren't going quite your way, it never rains but it pours, and today sees AMD attempting to pour a proverbial torrent of water over their rivals by stealing their thunder even in the flagship enthusiast segment. Their weapon of choice to carry out this 'soaking' is the Radeon HD 4870 X2 (although we'll also be talking about a future Radeon HD 4850 X2 board too) which, as the X2 moniker should suggest to you, involves 'teaming' two RV770 GPUs on a single board to offer performance aplenty via ATI's CrossFire technology.
Of course, we've seen X2 boards from AMD before (with the last generation providing Radeon HD 3870 and 3850 X2 parts), but there are a handful of interesting points to discuss here with regards to this particular generation, so to make the most of this launch we'll cover those issues as well as showcasing the specification and expected performance of these new parts.