diamond-radeon-terraflop-main.jpgI can, and I’m happy to say it. AMD starts 2008 with a bang with the introduction of the Radeon HD 3780 X2. This teraflop wonder is essentially two Radeon HD 3870 GPUs placed on a single card. Why create a new chip, when you can double up on the best card you have; that’s my motto. AMD has entered the thunderdome with this beast, so grab the popcorn and get ready for the fireworks. The battle for top video card begins.

In the race for the performance crown, AMD supplied some nice specs to backup their tough talk. The dual GPU solution has 512MB frame buffer on each, for a total of 1GB onboard memory. The GPUs on the Radeon HD 3870 X2 will be clocked at a minimum of 825MHz, up from the standard 3870′s 775MHz. While the HD 3870 X2′s frame buffer memory will be clocked lower, that only means applications that are limited by shader performance and fillrate should be faster on the 3870 X2. And yes, this includes a pair of Radeon HD 3870 cards running in CrossFire mode. Another juicy tidbit is AMD will be releasing drivers that allow pairing two HD 3870 X2 cards for quad-GPU rendering. If AMD comes through with this, you’ll essentially have 1280 stream processors and 2GB of memory at the games’ disposal with 2 Teraflops of computing power.

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To get the basics out of the way, AMD’s reference Radeon HD 3870 X2 card has a pair of dual-link DVI outputs, and an HD video output. One of the DVI outputs can be utilized as an HDMI output with audio using an included adapter. Because the Radeon HD 3870 X2 has dual GPUs, it is capable of supporting four DVI outputs.

Other key features to mull over

  • Ultimate Microsoft® DirectX® 10.1 Performance – You’ll be blown away by life-like graphics from the latest DirectX® 10.1 games, with stunning 3D graphics and shading effects.
  • Over 1 teraFLOPS of Compute Power – up to 640 stream processors (320 x 2) on a single card deliver the raw horsepower to attack the most demanding graphics applications
  • ATI CrossFireX(tm) multi-GPU – Upgrade to even greater 3D performance quickly and easily thanks to plug-and-play ATI CrossFireX technology with up to quad-GPU support.
  • Unified Video Decoder – View and manipulate the latest Blu-ray and HD DVD content with a dedicated hardware video decoder that leaves your CPU free to perform other tasks.
  • Integrated Digital Outputs – Enjoy your digital content the way you want to, with built-in HDMI that includes 5.1 surround audio for big screen entertainment.
  • More Processing Performance per Watt – Get up to twice the Gigaflops per watt of previous generations of high-end AMD GPUs.
  • ATI PowerPlay(tm) Technology – power saving features that reduce power consumption at idle or during low-usage
  • Runs Cool and Quiet – With a smaller chip designed to use less power, your system can take advantage of high-end Windows Vista® features while running more efficiently and quieter than ever.

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Now some may ask: “what is the advantage of getting this card rather than purchasing two separate HD 3870 cards?” That’s Easy – you can now purchase two HD 3870 X2 cards – Woohoo! Is it cheaper than purchasing two HD 3870 cards – sure, but that’s beside the point. Benchmarks from games will be released as the card becomes more available. The high-end graphics race is once more heating up and AMD is now on the other side of the teraflop horizon.

Related Links:

HD 3870 X2 cards, Available at TigerDirect.com!