Getting components to work together in groups has been a constant theme in the evolution of computer technology over the last several years. Implementing dual channel memory, multi-core processors, and hard drives in RAID arrays allows for greater system performance and prove that the concept of teamwork doesn't apply just to people.
Graphics cards have also taken advantage of this idea, as SLI and Crossfire setups have become increasingly popular with computer enthusiasts since coupling the power of two (or more) graphics cards can greatly improve performance. The latest and greatest cards from both Nvidia and ATI take this idea to the next level by combining two high powered graphics processing units on one card. In addition to offering a dramatic increase in the performance available from one card, these "X2" cards can still be used in conjunction with other cards allowing for three or four GPUs to work together for some serious fire power.
is a manufacturer of computer components best known for their graphics cards and motherboards, and they have been producing ATI based cards since 2001. One of their newest releases ties into the tangent found in the previous two paragraphs as it harnesses the power of two Radeon HD3870 GPUs on one PCI Express x16 graphics card. The 1GB Sapphire Radeon HD3870 X2 is the graphics card in question, and it is shown in the promotional image below.
In lieu of posting the lengthy list of the features and specifications for the HD3870 X2, please visit the product page
on the Sapphire website and this page
on the AMD website for the most up-to-date and complete information.
Of greatest interest from all the information on those links may be that this card features two HD3870 GPUs running at 825MHz, and each has 512MB of its own GDDR4 memory running at 901MHz. When we get to the testing portion of the review some of the key specifications will be listed side by side with those from the other cards to be tested with the HD3870 X2.
The packaging that Sapphire uses for the HD3870 X2 is shown below. You get a good deal of information on the features and specifications, some obligatory images of a shapely female with big weapons, but the product itself isn't pictured anywhere.