Infotek, the maker of graphics cards based on ATI Radeon graphics processors under GeCube brand-name, said recently it had plans to release a graphics card based on two ATI Radeon graphics processing units (GPUs). The first of such products will be released as early as in April 2006, providing customers a relatively fast solution based on mainstream graphics chips.
“We’ll be releasing a dual-GPU graphics card, which we’ve tentatively named ‘Gemini’. It’ll be based on the [Radeon] X1000 series GPU from ATI and will have four DVI output ports,” said Larry Yeo, general manager of Infotek’s multimedia business unit, in an interview with DigiTimes web-site.
An idea to make graphics cards with two GPUs is not a new one: throughout history a lot of graphics cards makers have tried it and in the recent quarters companies like Asustek and Gigabyte successfully launched graphics cards featuring two high-end GPUs. This has helped to attract a lot of attention from the enthusiast community, however, the products did not become mass because of the price. Asus only released two thousand of dual-GeForce 7800 GT graphics cards, a not really high quantity. ATI’s chief executive also predicted dual-chip graphics cards based on the Radeon GPUs.
“This probably will be available by April after we display it at CeBIT and fine tune the drivers. We’ll probably first launch the X1600XT high-end version for around $399,” Mr. Yeo said.
ATI Radeon X1600 XT graphics processor sports 12 pixel processors, 5 vertex processors and 4 texture units. The chip works at 590MHz and is equipped with 1380MHz 128-bit memory. Theoretically, the product can demonstrate performance similar to the Radeon X1800 XT, but in reality multi-GPU technologies, such as Nvidia Scalable Link Interface (SLI) or ATI CrossFire, cannot boast with maximum efficiency. Moreover, recommended pricing of the Radeon X1600 XT is $179, which means that users demanding a multi-GPU computer based on two of such chips can get two Radeon X1600 XT GPUs at a lower cost than $399.
One of the selling points for dual-chip Radeon X1600 XT-based graphics cards could be four DVI outputs (two dual-like DVI and two single-link DVI), which will provide ability to drive up to four displays at once, according to Mr. Yeo.