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4 ATI GPUs = 25,000 Pentium Pro CPUs
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Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:43 pm Reply and quote this post
AMD kicks off this week, with the announcement of the 9250 card,without providing lots of details and not even an availability date.But besides the name of this card, it is interesting to note that thecard is rated at more than 1 TFlops of performance and a powerconsumption of about 170 watts. Compared to the current 9170 model power consumption is up from 150 watts, but the performance has more than doubled from 500 GFlops.    

Sincethe 9250 has a RV770 core, future owners of 4800-series cards will alsobe able to squeeze that performance also out of their graphics boards.The ATI team declined to say how much more than 1 TFlops the card canhit, but we were told that a 4x Crossfire X configuration is good foralmost 5 TFlops. So, we would be tempted to assume that ATI is playingwith a number of about a theoretically possible  1.2 TFlops per RV770GPU.

And yes, the R700 - the dual-GPU 4870 X2 card – is goodfor almost twice that performance: According to AMD, the R700 willdeliver 2 TFlops per board.

“Teraflops” does not mean a lot tomost of us and floating pointing performance has not (yet) become acritical performance description for mainstream computing. But to putthat number into perspective, consider the fact that 5000 Pentium Pro processors delivered 1 TFlops back in 1996.To match the 1.2 TFlops, you would need 6000 of these CPUs and to matchthe (32-bit) floating point performance of a quad-Crossfire system youwould need 25,000 of these processors.

Though these are highlytheoretical numbers and the actual performance always depends on aspecific application, there is no doubt that today’s graphics cards aresleeping performance monsters. We wonder who will wake them up.

Contributed by Editorial Team, Executive Management Team
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