ED#93 : The ATI Radeon HD 4870 Is Prepped For Launch!
While we were at Computex 2008, we were told by at least 3 ATI partners that the Radeon HD 4870 was not ready for launch anytime soon, and that if anyone was showing one off, it would have to be a mechanical mockup. We were also told that ATI had decided to delay the launch of their Radeon HD 4850 graphics card from June 18 to June 25, 2008.
At first, we figured that ATI pushed back the Radeon HD 4850's launch date to avoid the launch of the NVIDIA GTX 280 and GTX 260 graphics cards which was scheduled, coincidentally or intentionally, for the day before the ATI launch. Perhaps that was originally the reason but we now understand that the delay has also allowed them to launch the Radeon HD 4870 together with the Radeon HD 4850.
Earlier leaked reports had certainly suggested that both the Radeon HD 4870 and the Radeon HD 4850 would be launched together, but as recent as Computex 2008, ATI partners were telling us that the Radeon HD 4870 was "just not ready" to be launched. One ATI partner even told us to expect it around the middle of July.
However, it looks that they finally managed to fix whatever issues they had with the Radeon HD 4870 because one of the same ATI partners we talked to earlier has just informed us that their Radeon HD 4870 card has been finalized and will start shipping next week, just in time for the June 25 launch. So, come June 25, ATI will not only officially launch the Radeon HD 4850 but also the Radeon HD 4870.
We are not sure if the launch will include the other ATI Radeon HD cards rumoured to be launched at the same time, like the dual-GPU Radeon HD 4870 X2, the Radeon HD 4600 series (4670 and 4650), and the Radeon HD 4400 series (4470 and 4450), but we know for sure that the Radeon HD 4870 is fully prepped for its official launch this June 25!
When it is officially launched on June 25, the ATI Radeon HD 4870 will be the first graphics card in the world to use GDDR5 memory. Whether that technological superiority will yield any real performance or marketing advantage to ATI, however, remains to be seen...
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