Hello everybody and welcome to this R700 -- Radeon HD 4870 X2 preview.
We felt we first needed to come up with a small explanation. Typically when new graphics cards are released, previewed or whatever, Guru3D is among the first websites to publish an article on it.
So last week, on Monday, a couple of websites posted a preview while Guru3D did not have our card yet... our neck hair grew back inwards. Especially considering we had been in contact with AMD regarding this very topic, the X2 cards.
What happened? -- Somewhere within AMD the decision was made to arrange a preview, with worldwide roughly 10-15 boards available for the previews. Within that same line of reasoning / decision making, these preview boards would be geographically distributed. Meaning, USA, UK, France, Germany, Scandinavia ... but unfortunately the tiny little Netherlands was not included, and yes, that's exactly where our office is.
So despite the fact Guru3D writes in English, we were not included for the preview just for the sole fact we are stationed in the Netherlands. It was seriously the biggest cockup I've seen in years. My contacts at AMD however got aware of my frustration on preview day, last Monday. Guru3D & AMD got in a conference call on Tuesday, and by Thursday we had the preview board as well.
So on behalf of Guru3D, our apologies for the delay, but finally today we'll actually look into a product that's been a big success since it's release .. yet now doubled up. I'm of course talking about the mighty new Radeon HD 4800 series of cards, the X2. It was already known for a long time that AMD would release a product under codename R700. We just didn't know for sure if that product was a single "GPU" based product, or a multi-"GPU" based product.
We now have the answer, in very short wording, you take a large PCB (printed circuit board), slap two 4870 processors and a bridge-chip on there and call it a Radeon 4870 X2. It's surely not the most elegant method of getting a graphics card in the high-end segment, it is however as this preview will show you, a very effective one.
Before we dive into the preview, we need to mention that there is one restriction we got from AMD. We can use any benchmark we want, yet are limited to a small number (four games) considering this is a preview. A second note that we must make is that this is an early beta engineering test-sample, the power saving features are disabled on these boards meaning that IDLE wattage and even peak wattage will be off by a good number.
Other than that we have a green light to tell you what we want. Good good .. as it should be an interesting read, let's have a peek first and then slide onto the next page please.
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