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Jugs o’ Clocks: Powercolor ATi HD3870 X2

“When does 670 + 670 = 680?” When ATi slaps two RV670 together that is! Twice the graphical ability on a single slot. Sounds cool? Not till you overclock it, like a true-blue VR-Zone reader. Now includes a new memory voltage modification, as well as el-cheapo tricks to maximise performance.

Multi-GPU technology has come a long way in consumer graphics acceleration. A while ago, we looked at 3-Way SLI (courtesy of Asus) and emphasised the importance of system power in driving the Multi-GPU graphical subsystem. Multi-GPU systems also often necessitate the use of specific motherboard chipsets that support a particular brand of multi-GPU solution. This is understandably, an anal situation for consumers who seek to upgrade their graphics without switching chipsets. What use is the constant marketing blabber on the goodness of HD gaming when upgrading graphics acceleration for HD displays is an issue?

While industry watchers may comment that the discrete graphics acceleration market is far from saturated, two strongholds are all it takes for an almighty pixel warfare to break out. The need for a single-card, motherboard chipset independent graphics acceleration product becomes apparent. Previously, Asus, Galaxy and Sapphire have pushed out products utilising two GPUs on a single expansion card, yet these unacknowledged products were merely the technological equivalent of a warhead parade – taunts that instilled fear in enemies and drew new allies.

This creates the niche for multi-GPU (read: dual-GPU) solutions which don’t require hardware upgrades other than the graphics accelerator itself. Before the GeForce 9800GX2 hits the market (or NDA for that matter), AMD has already sneaked it’s 3870X2 into stores around the globe.

With us today, is the PowerColor 3870×2, a default ATi design. We also have a couple of shots of the Asus 3870X2, an Asus engineered rendition with not two, but 4 DVI outputs.

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