Besides we know that DAAMIT would fail before they even finialized details for the R680
Sources familiar with the plans of ATI, graphics product group of Advanced Micro Devices, said this week that the company does have plans to conquer the market of high-end graphics cards again with the product code-named R680. Unfortunately, the new graphics board will not be released shortly from now and will also have a number of drawbacks.
The rumoured code-named ATI R680 graphics product does exist in the roadmap, sources confirmed. However, the R680 is not a high-performance single-chip graphics solution, but a dual-chip graphics board akin to Nvidia’s GeForce 7950 GX2 or ATI’s Rage Fury Maxx. One ATI R680 graphics card will carry two ATI RV670 graphics processing units (GPUs) with dedicated memory and connected using ATI CrossFire interface for multi-GPU solutions. Actual specifications are currently under consideration by both AMD and its partners among graphics cards makers.
Even though two of ATI R680 boards may provide the power of four ATI RV670 graphics processing engines to enthusiasts without budget constraints, one of such graphics cards may not become the best solution for those demanding high performance, but not willing to pay enormous sums. Performance of all multi-GPU solutions depends on drivers and in case the driver does not recognize an application, performance of a dual-, tripe- or quad-GPU graphics solution may be similar to a single-chip graphics card. Theoretically, ATI Catalyst driver developers may force so-called alternate frame rendering (AFR) multi-GPU rendering technology for all unknown applications for CrossFire configurations, but this may add lag effects in numerous games.
The code-named ATI R680 graphics card is currently set for introduction at Consumer Electronics Show in January, 2008. Since availability timeframe of the final product is currently unknown, AMD may reconsider announcement dates too. Actual product name is unclear as well.
Based on what is known about the code-named RV670 product, the new GPU features DirectX 10.1 capabilities, PCI Express 2.0, DisplayPort and double-precision floating point calculations. ATI RV670 is projected to deliver “R600 performance, better thermal & power”, according to AMD’s own documents. If the information is correct, two of such chips will deliver similar performance to ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT graphics cards in CrossFire mode. Even though in a number of cases two of such chips outperform Nvidia’s GeForce 8800 Ultra, which retails for $849, in many cases the high-performance single-chip product leaves the CrossFire tandem considerably behind, based on a review by X-bit labs.
Officials for graphics product group of AMD did not comment on the news-story.