If we are talking about more than 300 million transistors in the chip that is 17 square mm small, we believe that we are talking about one of the biggest semiconductor chip for a computer ever built and it will be used for games.
We still cannot predict the exact number of pipelines of R520 chip. ATI placed 32 pipelines inside, but there is a chance that it will enable just 24 for a start. It will be a pure marketing decision but technically every R520 "Fudo" will have full 32 pipes. ATI can just keep these extra eight pipes for the later chip and enable them if necessary. If ATI's czars decide that they need more performance they will go with full 32 pipes.
You can imagine that twice as much pipelines from R420 generation can result with almost twice the performance that we saw with the Radeon X800 generation of cards. This will be creepily fast and one R520 can possibly give two NV45 a run for their money.
If this is not fast enough for you, you will be able to plug two cards in and have 48 or even 64 pipelines rendering your graphics at once. If ATI Multi rendering becomes ready this summer and R520 turns out good and fast, Nvidia's SLI will definitely have some nasty competition. µ
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