Today it's all about highest end stuff, nearly. And as usual one of our main sources is Fuad Abazovic
who is still very close to ATI it seems. Anyway, let's start:
The R600 powered cards will come in two flavours, one equipped with GDDR3 and the faster one with GDDR4 memory. The news is that the GDDR4 memory will be clocked at 2100MHz which is 100MHz faster than previously reported. The GPU core clock will remain at around 800MHz. But if you are keen on the GDDR4 board you will get a premium waiting time besides the premium price and performance - the GDDR3 card will be introduced first, a 'couple' of weeks earlier. As both GPU coolers for the two R600 variants will be the same its quite interesting to know that this advanced 2-slot air cooler is not louder than the Radeon X1950XTX cooling solution.
One of ATI/AMDs soon to be announced contenders to the R600 is the GeForce 8850 GX2. We already got hold of that news here
. It was called '8950 GX2' back then and because no one could really imagine such a beast to become reality it was more a rumor than a hard fact. Though it looks quite real now and the details recently disclosed are more then promising. The 8850 GX2 comes with two G80 chips, which are clocked above 600MHz and gets stuffed with 896MB of memory. The amount of shaders implemented varies from source to source. Some say you get 192 shader units, whereas others insist on 2x96 or 128. The date on which this monster card will be announced/available is not known as of yet too but I would bet it will be out sooner than the R600.
The last chip I want to write about is the 8600GTS. A couple of weeks ago it was in our news because someone got a 8600GTS 3DMark06 score
which later on was uncovered as a fake
. The last thing we then heard about it was it's launch date: April 17th
. The VR-Zone
got their clammy hands on one of these rare cards and had nothing better to do than to add some voltage tweaks and stuff like that in order to overclock it. In the end they squeezed 1006MHz out of the core (1265MHz RAM). The cooling solution used was a hefty copper CPU cooler (attached using lacing cords) together with a very powerful (around 10W) 80mm Delta EHE which is 38mm thick. So don't expect similar results from the stock cooler.
Don't miss the first two parts of the Graphics Card Tidbits: Part II | Part I.