Did you wake up this morning with a strange feeling? Now that AMD has released the ATI Radeon HD 3800 series to the praise of many critics and review sites, the marketing wars between ATI and NVIDIA can once again begin. AMD has gotten the majority of the bugs out of CrossFireX, and while the driver for this four card setup isn’t public, it will be in the months ahead. Finally, four cards can be married together and scale to levels that seemed to be impossible a couple years ago.
Pretty soon enthusiasts with some cash can pick up four of these Radeon HD 3850 or Radeon HD 3870 graphics card and run CrossFireX on their AMD 790FX based motherboard. That was impressive until the rumors of the Radeon HD 3870 X2 or Radeon HD 3890 (the name isn’t offical) surfaced. The thought of having the power of a pair of Radeon HD 3870 graphics cards on a single slot solution is awesome. Our friends over at The Inq posted up the details on the Radeon HD 3870 X2 with a digital rendering of the card, which is cool, but where is the real thing? Today, we will do one better than that and bring you the first picture of the Radeon HD 3870 X2 running in CrossFire mode!
A picture is worth a thousand words and this one is surely worth that many. I’ll spare the details on the card, but since the Radeon HD 3870 X2 has two Radeon HD 3870’s on board it’s not too tough to figure out. The cards are the longest cards that I have seen ATI make and since the cards have just one CrossFire bridge connector it seems that running four of these in CrossFireX isn’t going to happen, well at least for now. It should also be noted that the cards were actually running on a demo system that AMD made available. I was able to play Unreal Tournament 3 with the cards paired in CrossFire and stability and performance were impressive.
One of the coolest features of the Radeon HD 3870 X2 is that you don’t have to get a higher priced AMD 790FX chipset powered motherboard with 42 PCI Express lanes to run a pair of Radeon HD 3870 X2’s. This means that this can run on lower priced chipsets like the 790X that offer just two x16 PCI Express slots. The Radeon HD 3870 X2 is set to be released in Q1 2008 if all goes well, and after seeing it in action, I have no doubt that it will come out. AMD is making a comeback in the desktop graphics card market, so sit back and relax as the marketing wars are just now being drawn up.