While details on AMD's high-end ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics card began surfacing last month, today this dual-GPU graphics card has formally launched and will begin shipping to retailers. The good news this time around is that this graphics card will actually be something worth looking at under Linux now that there's the needed CrossFire support on the horizon. We're not yet permitted to publish the Linux CrossFire benchmarks, but today we have a few pieces of information to share about the Radeon HD 4870 X2 on Linux.
To start with, the Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics card we have had our hands on for the past couple of days is the VisionTek Radeon HD 4870 X2 with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. The Radeon HD 4870 X2 (codenamed the "R700") is based around two RV770 graphics processors and is connected via a PCI Express bridge and CrossFire X SidePort. Over the Radeon HD 3870 X2 are the benefits of PCI Express 2.0, an increased number of stream processing units, Unified Video Decoder 2, PowerPlay+, and increased efficiency. The two GPU cores operate at 750MHz and the 2GB of GDDR5 memory (1GB for each GPU) runs at 900MHz. For more information on the Radeon HD 4800 series features, check out our Radeon HD 4850 and Radeon HD 4870 reviews.
When the ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 was introduced back in January, many Linux users were left in the dark. With CrossFire support not having yet arrived, instead of just enabling the support for one of the two GPUs, AMD has left out any form of support for this high-end graphics card. Up to this point, those using the Radeon HD 3870 X2 on Linux have to rely upon one of the open-source drivers and currently for the R600 series that only contains mode-setting support with no 2D or 3D hardware acceleration. The good news with the ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 is that it will be fully supported on Linux. Last month we had exclusively shared CrossFire support is coming to Linux and with AMD reaching a feature parity across Windows and Linux, as part of their Radeon HD 4800 series strategy to have a scalable design, you can safely assume that the CrossFire support will be delivered this month.