When we reviewed AMD's dual-GPU Radeon HD 4870 X2 in August, we noted that the company had a cheaper derivative in the works: the Radeon HD 4850 X2, which was supposed to hit stores later that month at $399. Well, more than two months have now passed, and the 4850 X2 remains mysteriously absent from stores.
The card might still be on the way, though. Expreview has come upon spy photos of an upcoming Sapphire model, which supposedly runs both of its GPUs at 625MHz with 2GB of 993MHz GDDR3 memory. Those specs essentially mirror those of a dual Radeon HD 4850 config, albeit with twice the amount of RAM per GPU. Sapphire outfits this specimen with four DVI ports, a CrossFire connector, and some hefty aluminum heatsinks, as well.
Expreview says it doesn't know about a release date or specific pricing. If it launched at $399 today, though, this 4850 X2 might not be such a good deal—the cheapest Radeon HD 4850s cost around $160 right now, so you can build a 4850 CrossFire setup for way less than 400 bucks. By contrast, Radeon HD 4870 X2s cost around $530 nowadays, which is about what you can expect to pay for two single-GPU 4870s.