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ATI, graphics products group of Advanced Micro Devices, has no immediate plans to release a new dual-chip flagship graphics card based on the recently launched ATI Radeon HD 4890 (RV790) graphics processing units (GPUs) to address the market of performance-hungry customers as there are graphics cards that could satisfy their needs in the company’s product family.

In the recent years ATI decided to concentrate on development of very competitive performance-mainstream graphics chips that would be not very expensive in manufacturing, but which could still offer leading-edge performance when working in tandem. As a result, both previous-gen performance mainstream ATI Radeon processors – models 3870 (RV670) and 4870 (RV770) – powered dual-chip “X2” graphics cards. However, the company does not want to release ATI Radeon HD 4890 X2 now since the Radeon HD 4870 X2 is still competitive and price-points of the single-chip HD 4890 boards will not allow the company to sell HD 4890 X2 at price-point beyond $500.

ATI Radeon HD 4890 1GB graphics cards have recommended price between $229 and $249 in the USA. Two of such graphics cards would cost around $500, whereas for AMD it would make sense to introduce a flagship board at $549 price-point so to differ substantially from ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 that has recommended price-tag of $399.

“The single-GPU ATI Radeon HD 4890 makes sense because it fills an important price band within the market and a gap within our product line. With respect to an X2 variant, as you know, the ATI Radeon X2 products are specifically designed for the ultra-enthusiast. We continue to sell well into this small, but important part of the graphics market with the ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 as well as CrossFireX configurations of our single-GPU performance products and feel an additional product addressing the ultra high-end is not warranted at this time,” explained David Cummings, director of product marketing of discrete desktop graphics at AMD’s graphics products group, AMD.

There is no surprise that the price-war between ATI and Nvidia Corp. in the mainstream and performance-mainstream product segments popularized multi-GPU configurations consisting of two now-inexpensive graphics cards and slightly decreased popularity of dual-chip flagship offerings.

Since ATI RV790 graphics processor is not pin-to-pin compatible with ATI RV770, add-in-card manufacturers will not be able to just install new chips onto print circuit boards of ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 cards. Moreover, Simon Vivera, another spokesperson for AMD’s graphics products group, said that the company does not encourage its partners to create their own Radeon HD 4890 X2 graphics cards.

Tags: ATI, AMD, Radeon, RV790, 55nm

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