Radeon HD 4850 coming June 18, GeForce GTX 280 to follow

AMD has settled on launch dates and a naming scheme for its next-generation RV770-based graphics cards, according to VR-Zone. The Singapore-based website claims the first of AMD's new line, the Radeon HD 4850, will hit store shelves on June 18. A faster version, the Radeon HD 4870, will reportedly launch on June 25, but retail availability shouldn't follow until July. Later in the third quarter, VR-Zone says AMD will introduce a dual-GPU Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics card.

According to recent rumors, the 4850 will cost $269 at launch, and the 4870 will be priced a little higher at $349. Both cards will feature 480 stream processors and 256-bit memory interfaces, with the Radeon HD 4870 packing 1GB of 1935MHz GDDR5 RAM and the 4850 only featuring 512MB of slower memory (perhaps of the GDDR3 type).

In related news, several sources including HKEPC and Fudzilla report that Nvidia will dub its next-gen top-of-the-line graphics card "GeForce GTX 280." The lower-end variant will be known as "GeForce GTX 260." This new naming scheme may be tied to Nvidia's recent statements about its lineup being too large and confusing.

Both the GTX 280 and the GTX 260 will be based on the next-gen GT200 graphics processor, the sources claim. Older rumors suggest the GTX 260 could have 240 stream processors, 1GB of GDDR3 memory, a 512-bit memory interface, and a $499 launch price.

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