updated 10:55 am EDT, Thu March 27, 2008
AMD Radeon 3850 X2 Leak
AMD is making the unusual move of designing a dual-chip video card aimed at mid-range gamers rather than the high end, contacts inside the graphics business claim. The Radeon HD 3850 X2 will reportedly reflect its name and take two of the mid-range, ATI-branded 3850 chipsets, merging them into a single design. Like the top-range 3870 X2, the 3850 X2 would supply nearly twice the 3D performance of the single card in ideal conditions. While most details are unavailable, the card would carry between 512MB and 1GB of memory to be shared between the chips and will ramp up the memory from 1.66GHz to 1.8GHz to match.
The update is said to be almost unintentional and the result of better chip yields for AMD's mid-range video hardware, which allows the company to safely run the dual chips as well as order more of them. As a result, the new card is believed to be priced at between $299 and $379 depending on the memory and will likely be positioned as a direct competitor to the GeForce 9800 GT or GTX. The AMD card is understood to be shipping in May, roughly a month after the debut of its closest NVIDIA competitors.
AMD is also known to be working on the Radeon HD 3830, a budget video card that shares the same core feature set but reduced performance.