Tuesday, June 1st 2010
Call it the admin's graphics card or the gamer's network card, but PowerColor seems to have come up with an unusual combination of a graphics processor (ATI Radeon HD 5770) with a hardware-accelerated network processor (Bigfoot Killer), which are seated on the same board, and share the system bus using a PCI-Express bridge chip. The GPU is a fairly standard HD 5770 that packs DirectX 11 support, 800 stream processors, and 1 GB of GDDR5 memory across a 128-bit wide interface, while the NPU is an ARM-derived system-on-chip (SoC) which offloads network stack processing completely from the host in a bid to cut system latencies. The inclusion of a PCI-Express bridge chip and the NPU significantly increased the size of PCB, yet the card seems to make do with just a single 6-pin power input. Given that a standalone PCI-E Killer NIC easily costs over $120 and the HD 5770 around the $150 mark, with the $10-odd PCI-E bridge chip, one can expect this product to easily cost over $250.