It has been a very long time since the gaming GPU
market has been exciting. Not since the launch of the X800
from ATi and the 6800 series from nVidia have we seen a major launch
at the same time from both companies. This time, things are
even more interesting, since ATi is now wholly owned by AMD, and has
since made a much heralded exit from the ultra high end GPU market. Instead, AMD and ATi have vowed to fight nVidia
in the midrange, staking out claims in performance per dollar
instead of performance at all costs. While this has left many
hardcore enthusiasts disappointed, we all know that more money is to
be made in the mid-range market anyway. This tactic has made
an interesting impact in the market, most notably in the fact that
ultra high end is no longer that appealing for enthusiasts anyway.
With the lack of competition in this segment, nVidia has left us
with rather lackluster parts in the high end that has left many
enthusiasts cold, most notably the 9000 series re-hash of the G92
core and the high price of the GTX 280.
So, what does this mean for ATI? I believe
it gives ATI an opening to once again attack not only the midrange
market, but also the high end market as well. So today, Club Overclocker is taking a look at the 4850 video
card to see exactly what kind of challenge it will bring.