updated 10:30 am EDT, Tue July 1, 2008
AMD Water Cooled 4870
AMD is gearing up for the launch of a special Radeon HD 4800 card designed explicitly to push past the GeForce GTX 280 in sheer performance, according to a new leak. The unnamed hardware would use the extra energy headroom of the card along with a custom water cooling system to clock the card well above the company's best individual card, the 4870: the core would reach 950MHz or more, while the video memory would be pushed to a 1.2GHz actual speed.
The upgrade would give the RV770 chip, which sits at the heart of the AMD card, a 150GB per second transfer rate that would be just enough to edge out the NVIDIA-made GeForce card and eliminate one of the few weaknesses of the current Radeon platform.
Diamond is already said to have delivered a rough version of the technology with its Radeon HD 4870 XOC Black Edition card, which underclocks AMD's official version slightly but is otherwise identical. The official release, however, would give PC builders a drop-in option either for their own stand-alone cards or for manufactuers designing complete systems. Release dates haven't been made official but are expected soon from card designers such as ASUS and Sapphire.