Recent reports have hinted that Nvidia's next-generation graphics cards will be both power-hungry and priced well above AMD's own next-gen offerings. However, VR-Zone now suggests AMD may compete with Nvidia's future high-end champion using a dual-GPU card—and that card will actually turn out faster.
Quoting its usual source, VR-Zone says the Radeon HD 4870 X2 can beat the GeForce GTX 280 by a healthy margin in 3DMark Vantage. Earlier reports quote a 240W thermal envelope and a $650 launch price for the GTX 280, while different reports claim single-GPU Radeon HD 4000 GPUs will all be priced under $350. If that's the case, the 4870 X2 may end up in the same playing field as the GTX 280. And if these power consumption numbers are correct, Nvidia may not be able to retaliate with a next-gen, dual-GPU card of its own for some time.
Of course, these cards might not all launch at the same time. A separate article from Nordic-Hardware says the 4870 X2 will come out in the middle of the third quarter—September, in other words. The Inquirer also stated last month that Nvidia had a die-shrink of the GT200 GPU on the way for the late summer or early fall.