ATI, graphics product group of Advanced Micro Devices, said that it would release two versions of its high-end dual-chip ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics cards to target different market segments. In addition, the company said, it is testing 8-way multi-GPU technology, but has no immediate plans to release the technology commercially.
"The HD 4870 X2 is going to be available in August. There will be two different flavors for that, available at different price points," said Chris Hook, head of desktop platform PR and performance communication, in an interview with Techtree web-site.
Currently little is known about the specifications of the different ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 flavours, but a natural guess would be to expect different memory configurations on two boards. This will allow ATI to address customers with different budgets and be a little more flexible in terms of costs.
In addition, representative of AMD indicated that the company had begun playing with 8-way multi-GPU technology, but did not say when it plans to make such technology available for consumers.
"As an aside, AMD has already built a computer that has four 4870 X2s in it. So it has eight GPUs; drivers will not be supporting eight GPUs at this point of time," Mr. Hook said.
Potentially, eight graphics processing units may offer extreme performance and quality, however, given that virtually all games are rendered using alternate frame rendering mode (the mode when each graphics chips render their own frames in parralel, which has a number of drawbacks, one of which is freezing) in multi-GPU environments, the actual potential of 8-way multi-GPU graphics sub-system may never be demonstrated in real-world video-games (which frequently require results of the previous frame to render the next one).
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