AMD has been refocusing its efforts on the graphics market to deliver mainstream chips that will give you the most performance for your money – and they’ve been successful in that regard so far with both the Radeon HD 3000 and 400 series. It’s been a while, however, since the company churns out anything that can compete with Nvidia on the high-end sector, where the latter has been holding the performance for quite some time now.

But the tide could finally turn for AMD with today’s release of the ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics card, which will run at clock speeds of 750MHz and has 2GB of GDDR5 graphics memory. Priced at $549, this card is widely expected to outperform rival Nvidia’s top-end GeForce GTX 280 using a multi-GPU implementation of the well-regarded RV770 core.

Benchmark figures are already appearing all over the web, with the 4870 X2 outperforming every other single graphics card tested in a variety of applications and games – and it scaled well in a CrossFireX configuration too. Check out some reviews over at Hot Hardware, PC Perspective, and The Tech Report.

It’s also worth mentioning that the 4870 X2 will be followed by the release of the ATI Radeon HD 4850 X2 in September, featuring two 4850 GPUs each with 512MB of GDDR3 memory for about $399.