AMD to Nvidia: Two chips are better than one

From CNET Advanced Micro Devices announced on Monday its most powerful graphics technology to date, going after Nvidia in the rarified--and closely watched--enthusiast game segment.

This also marks the current performance pinnacle of AMD's strategy to beat Nvidia at the high end by building comparatively smaller chips and then ganging them together for better performance.

The ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics board houses two 4870 graphics processing units (GPUs) and competes with Nvidia's fastest board, based on the GTX 280. In chip-to-chip competition, Nvidia's GTX 280 generally beats a single 4870 in performance because it's bigger and faster: the Nvidia chip packs 1.4 billion transistors onto one chip, while ATI has about 950 million.

But because AMD puts two chips on one board and has improved chip-to-chip communication, the 4870 X2 is is expected to equal or exceed the Nvidia chip in many cases.

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