R600 prototype card snapped

Written by Tim Smalley

March 2, 2007 // 9:30 a.m.

Tags: #amd #ati #card #crossfire #gddr3 #gddr4 #graphics #pictures #prototype #r600

ZDNet's David Berlind has managed to snap a good selection of pictures of a prototype version of the eagerly-anticipated ATI R600 graphics card at an event in San Francisco.

Berlind said that AMD gave him permission to post the pictures under the condition that he referred to the card as an R600 prototype. The card looks very similar to the shots that were posted in our forums a few weeks ago.

The next-generation R600 chip supports native CrossFire, just like the RV570-based Radeon X1950 Pro, and a pair of R600 stream processors are capable of delivering over one Teraflop of compute power using a general multiply-add (MADD) calculation.

R600's power requirements have been rumoured to be fairly colossal, but you could say the same about Nvidia's G80 graphics processor too. While GeForce 8800 GTX has two six-pin PCI-Express power sockets, the R600 prototype card has one eight-pin PCI-E 2.0 socket and a familiar six-pin PCI-E connector. This would point to higher power consumption than G80 but we're not going to find out the truth about the card's power requirements until we get our hands on the hardware in the run up to the launch.

A few weeks ago, sources close to AMD revealed to us that the retail versions of the card are expected to be much smaller than the prototype card AMD has already displayed. Looking at the reverse side of the prototype card, it's apparent that the PCB is much shorter than the humongous cooling solution and thus there is the prospect for retail R600-based graphics cards to be much shorter.

In related news, VR Zone is reporting that the R600 variants sporting GDDR3 memory will be available in early May, while the faster GDDR4 variants will not be available until the middle of May. This appears to shed some light on when we can expect to see the first R600-based graphics cards in the wake of the delays we reported last week.

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