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AMD's 3870X2 GPU slips out despite last-minute delay

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AMD's twin-GPU ATI Radeon HD 3870X2 isn't supposed to be announced until next week, but some graphics card suppliers have accidentally unveiled products based upon it.

Asus Japan, for example, today announced its EAH3870X2/HTDI/1G, a board with 1GB of GDDR 3 memory clocked at 1.8GHz effective and sitting on a 256-bit bus. The 3870X2 core runs at 825MHz. It's a DirectX 10.1 part.

The card uses a PCI Express 1.1 interconnect and is fitted with a pair of DVI-I ports - HDCP's supported - and an HD TV port. The card comes with DVI-to-HDMI and DVI-to-VGA adaptors.

Asus said it will bundle Company of Heroes: Opposing Front with the card.

AMD was to have announced the 3870X2 today, alongside the 3650, 3470 and 3450 low-end GPUs.

However, sources close to the company revealed the release had been pushed back a week to 28 January at "short notice". So short that board makers had to pull pre-prepared launch statements, with a number failing to re-reschedule automatic website updates.

AMD mentioned the 3870X2 back in November 2007 when it launched the 3850 and 3870 GPUs. These 55nm parts are codenamed 'RV670' and the 3870X2 is two RV670s fitted on the same board and operating in CrossFire mode. Whether it delivers double the performance of the 3870 remains to be seen.

Since each RV670 contains 666m transistors, by definition the 3870X2 must have twice that - roughly 1.3bn transistors.

The RV670 essentially a die-shrink of the old, 65nm Radeon HD 2900 core.

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