DigiTimes writes we can expect a dual-GPU graphics duel as AMD will present the Radeon HD 3870 X2 on January 23rd and NVIDIA is expected to release the GeForce 9800 GX2 on February 14.
In the past, GPU makers would normally design for the highest-end GPU first and then reduce chip speeds and functions to create a product range targeting the different market segments. However, with high-end chip design taking longer, while at the same time graphics card product-cycles have got shorter, AMD and Nvidia will both change their strategy, and now use their respective CrossFireX and SLI technologies to help prolong the life of their chips, detailed the sources.
GeForce 9800 GX2 cards will have a total of 256 stream processors and adopt a double PCB design. The two GPUs will share the same PCI Express port by using Nvidia's BR05 chip; a similar design solution to that employed in AMD's Radeon HD 3870 X2. The performance will be 1.3-1.5 times faster than that of a single GeForce 8800 Ultra card, noted the sources.
The GeForce 9800 GX2 will keep SLI support for quad GPU configurations. Pricing will be set at US$449.
Graphics card makers aren't too enthusiastic about these dual-GPU cards. Most makers will only order small volumes and aren't planning to order any more after they have sold out.