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AMD enter's the GPU market!

By olefarte · 14 replies
Apr 1, 2005
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  1. Product: FIRST LOOK : AMD GPU!!
    Author: Ryszard Sommefeldt and Nick Haywood
    Date: 1st April 2005

    AMD enter the GPU market!

    Now it might be said that where Intel lead, AMD follow, but if we’re honest, that’s all just clever marketing and it has long been known that AMD run faster and cooler than certain Intel chips. But GPUs were an area that Intel did foray into and AMD wisely left well alone, probably believing it better to focus on CPUs instead.

    But suddenly, out of nowhere, AMD have delivered a hammer blow to ATI, NVIDIA and Intel with a stunning new GPU that is set to light up the accelerator scene in a fashion not seen since 3Dfx brought out the Voodoo.

    The new chip, codenamed Apollo Fir, has SIXTEEN, yes that’s right, SIXTEEN pixel pipelines. Throw in just about every damn shading technique and hardware feature you can think of and it would seem that on paper, AMD has just won the entire GPU market with its first chip.

    And no, this isn’t just hyperbole, or me getting carried away with a press release. Taking a cue from the XFX SLI system with two NVIDIA 6800 Ultra 512MB boards, AMD have produced an engineering board with a massive 2GB of ultra-fast DDR2 memory.

    HEXUS’ Technical Editor, Rys, has this to say:
    “I’ve just taken a look at a leaked engineering spec for the Fir and at first glance it looks almost too good to be true, for a first graphics processor from AMD. Supporting a 256-bit memory bus and being fully compatible with WGF1.0 with its four quad fragment, and six vertex unit, setup means the chip won’t be small, even using AMD’s 90nm SOI process at their fabs in Dresden.

    It’s going to have roughly the transistor count of a pair of current 130nm Athlon FX processors. It also looks like it can share vertex load with a dual core processor, too, letting you use one of the cores entirely for geometry processing, to go with the vertex units on the Fir core. It looks like impressive stuff, with it hinting at future virtualisation of the render core in a possible Apollo Fir 2006 refresh, to go with the WGF2.0 spec.

    And 2GB of framebuffer will definitely come in handy for the upcoming version of Playboy: The Mansion that uses masses of uncompressed normal maps for even better breasticle fidelity.”

    At the time of writing, AMD are remaining tight-lipped about any further specs and details such as core speeds were, unfortunately, not on our leaked spec sheet. From what we’ve seen though its likely that 3DMark scores will be somewhere up in the 30k range, putting the board way ahead of a Sun system. By the way, the world record is roughly 35K, so the Apollo is only 5K off as an 'out of the box product' and those figures are on an engineering sample board! All this power means that even high-end business users are going to be grabbing the board on release.

    When asked to comment, ATI’s spokesperson, Louis Frappe-Mocha, had this to say;
    “We’ve long known about the Apollo Fir as one of the AMD engineers is notoriously gobby after two pints and a curry, so we’ve been working on a similar system based on 8 R480 chips. To save space we’re stacking them two high in four piles on each board… we think that we’ll be able to push at least 24 pipelines as soon as the damn thing stops blowing all the fuses in the building when we plug it in…”

    In a similar vein, NVIDIA remain officially unconcerned, as their spokeswoman, Sandy Beaches, stated:
    “We’ve been working on a new version of the NV45, which effectively doubles the triple filtering pixel overlay relay quad pass scan of each geometric shape BEFORE the GPU even has the information needed. We’ve designed a way to create small wormholes within the GPU and we pass information through that way. Admittedly, there are stability issues and as soon as we get the main part of Taiwan back in this dimension, we’ll be going ahead with production”

    Intel’s Hugh Jass had this to say about the AMD board:
    “Look, stop bothering me, I KNOW I have a funny name, and oh yes, ha ha, it is so very funny, isn’t it? So now you’ve had your little giggle, why not go and bother someone else?”

    So there you have it, the Apollo Fir looks to be the board of choice with no-one else even being able to get close until ATI can stop blowing electricity substations and NVIDIA can get Taiwan back within the same space/time envelope as us. Set for an April release you’d have to be a fool to miss out on this one!

  2. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,341


    WOW i am a intel man, but i will buy that board any freaking time they are ready to release it. 16 pipelines, 2G ram....i think im dreaming....

  3. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,452

    Happy April's Foolsday.
  4. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 1,312   +13

    Yeah, I thought everybody would recognize that. That's why I made sure the date was in the headline.

    But wouldn't it be something if it was really true. A little competion for ATi and nVidia.
  5. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,452

    Ati just started motherboards, and apparently their firstling is none too shabby.
    I don't think it's worth AMD's while to get into graphics cards, but GPUs could be something to think about. I have no idea how far or how close a CPU is from a GPU.
  6. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,341

    wow that was a blonde moment

    Now it is most obvious that
    I wont be sly and say i was just kidding, i honestly didnt put two and two together. wow.... :knock:

  7. Finchy

    Finchy TS Rookie Posts: 350

    Hey ATK_spade, dont you think its stupid that Intel named a processor core after a fat, pig ugly Labour Party Minister with more grease in his body than the local Mcdonalds deep-fat friers
  8. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,341

    Umm sure

    I seriously have no idea what your talking about? I live in america and i have no labour party..sorry. I am sure that Intel didnt name their processor after him!! :cool:

  9. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,182

  10. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,341


    I like the gpod! Cant wait till it comes out!!!! HA sorry i wont fall for it this time folks

    Sean aka durr
  11. Finchy

    Finchy TS Rookie Posts: 350

    Atk_Spade, i meant the BRitish Labour party, with lying A.R.S.E Tony Blair, the one your George Bush is so buddy Buddy with
    I hate the way Blair follows BUsh (cos their both stupid). Bush is the playground bully, stealing other kids choc, and Britains the kid who leans round behind him and says 'yeh' (in a threatening voice)
  12. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,341

    Dont get me started for bush

    I am 16 now...almost 17, that makes me old enough to get drafted and go to fight for "war" for george bush. I hate GB with a passion. I am a republican and i hate him. I wont tell why, but lets just say i gave a report on him for class and got an A...so i have a good list.

  13. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,545   +429

    Come on man, you are as bad as the politicians with trying to pass off near facts as the TRUTH.
    You can't be drafted at 16 in the US.
    I don't care whether you like George Bush or not, but saying you don't like him and then half backing that up with a grade you got as a jr in hs (based on your age I made that assumption) isn't a very valid argument. Regardless of how smart you think you are, HS is still HS and generally HS people are pretty uninformed of how things are.

    I'm not trying to attack you personally even thought it may seem like it.
  14. isatippy

    isatippy TS Rookie Posts: 307

    He has to be better then Kerry.
  15. Secondgunman

    Secondgunman TS Rookie Posts: 90

    Re First Post...

    The real funny thing is that AMD/VIA is working on a new GPU Card and there is little talk of it, aside fome the fact that the first one are going to be lowered cards till the come out with a new CPU they are working on and have said nothing about it other them "we are working on a new CPU." At witch point they are going to release the two one the same date and they plan to stomp two markets into the the red carpet. I am thinking as AMD is going more and more to dual core it will be a dual core but for now your bid is as good as mine I still would like to get one of these new "low end GPU Cards" to "play with".

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