AMD would be giving the RV770 a refresh, with the introduction of a new graphics processor, which could come out before RV870. This graphics processor is to be codenamed RV790 while the possible new SKU name is kept under the wraps for now. AMD would be looking to maintain the same exact manufacturing process of the RV770 and all its machinery, but it would be making changes to certain parts of the GPU that genuinely facilitate it to run at higher clock-speeds, unleashing the best efficiency level of all its 10 ALU clusters.
Déjà-vu? AMD has already attempted to achieve something similar, with its big plans on the Super-RV770 GPU, where the objective was the same: to achieve higher clock speeds, but the approach wasn’t right. All they did back then, was to put batches of RV770 through binning, pick the best performing parts, and use it on premium SKUs with improved cooling. The attempt evidently wasn’t very successful: no AMD partner was able to sell graphics cards that ran stable out of the box, in clock-speeds they set out to achieve: excess of 950 MHz.
This time around, the objective remains the same: to make the machinery of RV770 operate at very high clock-speeds, to bring out the best performance-efficiency of those 800 stream processors, but the approach would be different: to reengineer parts of the GPU to facilitate higher clock speeds. This aims to bring in a boost to the shader compute power (SCP) of the GPU, and push its performance. What gains are slated to be brought about? Significant and sufficient. Significant, with the increase of reference clock-speeds beyond those of what the current RV770 can reach with overclocking, and sufficient for making it competitive with G200b based products.
With this, AMD looks to keep its momentum as it puts up a great competition with NVIDIA, yielding great products from both camps, at great prices, all in all propelling the fastest growing segment in the PC hardware industry, graphics processors. This is going to be a Merry Xmas [shopping season] for graphics cards buyers.