Another RV790 in May, Possibly X2?

While there's mention that a new ATI card based on RV790 may appear in May, the unnamed card may or may not be the must-speculated dual-GPU version of the Radeon HD 4890.

While April is waiting to pounce of consumers drooling in anticipation, there's certainly a lot of talk about ATI's and Nvidia's GPU offerings next month, most notably the 55nm ATI RV790. The upcoming GPU, slated to hit the streets sometime around April 9, will arrive as the Radeon HD 4890, offering a core clock of 850 MHz and a memory clock of  975 MHz. Additionally, the card will utilize GDDR5, a 256-bit memory bus width, a 124.8 GB/s bandwidth, and a thermal design power (TDP) somewhere around 190W. Needless to say, there's certainly a lot of anticipation for the RV970.

However, there has been some speculation that ATI is currently working on a dual-version of the HD 4890. Although the X2 version is neither denied nor confirmed, the end result would provide consumers a blazing fast card with a huge payload: nearly 380W of power consumption. It's highly unlikely that ATI will produce such a product, however consumers may see the X2 version produced by ATI partners instead, especially those who are accustomed to manufacturing overclocked boards. However, keep in mind that the previous HD 4870 X2 featured a TDP of 286W, whereas the Nvidia GeForce GTX 295--mounted with two GPUs--had a TDP of 289W. An X2 version of the Radeon HD 4890--with a TDP of 190W just for a single GPU--clearly push its power needs beyond those two cards.

Still, something seems to be in the midst. Apparently, the German tech website ATI Forum gained access to the release notes from the upcoming Catalyst 9.3 drivers due in May. The site discovered a year identification number (ASIC) associated with another RV790-based card. While the notes did not specify the applications, it's speculated that the RV790 offering could be a Mobility Radeon HD 4890 for notebooks, or the dual-GPU offering as previous believed. Either version is entirely possible at this point, and despite the power consumption the 2X version would generate, it's easier to put two and two together in regards to recent talks and the ASIC found in the Catalyst 9.3 drivers.

Look for more info to appear within the next few weeks, especially once the Radeon HD 4890 actually hits the market early next month.

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  • GavinT
    The HD4890 has been available for at least a week in some stores. I know this because I have one. Oh, Catalyst 9.3 came out in March, do you mean 9.5? The driver version gives you clues as to when it's released; 9.3 is 2009, March, i.e. 3.