updated 09:05 am EDT, Mon April 21, 2008
ATI Radeon HD 4800 Leak
AMD is moving up the launch of its next-generation video processors, say sources aware of the hardware at TGDaily. The company's Canada-based graphics division has reportedly seen breakthroughs in its development process and now plans to replace some of its Radeon HD 3800 cards with the 4800 series. Manufacturing improvements will give these higher clock speeds: the mid-range 4850 will jump from a 670MHz core (in the 3850) to more than 800MHz, while the 4870 should be the first mainstream graphics chipset ever to top 1GHz, the leak suggests.
In addition to the higher clock speeds, the new chips are also claimed to be more efficient at the same speed. An increase to 32 texture management units will enable both of the initial 4800 models to handle more simultaneous pixel and geometry effects at once. Memory is also described as faster and will run between 1.8GHz and 2.2GHz in real-world speeds thanks to newer GDDR5 (Graphics Double Data Rate) memory.
AMD has already confirmed that it will announce new graphics chips in May and is believed to be prepping the new cards for their first release at the same time; the launch is also likely to see new Mobility Radeon HD chipsets with similar improvements. The cost of the cards hasn't been discussed, though the 4850 and 4870 are both anticipated to come with 512MB of memory and may occupy the same $179 to $219 price points as before. Other cards will come with as little as 256MB of memory or as much as 1GB.