Graphic card companies don't actually design their cards by their own. The main part of the graphic card, the GPU, is in fact designed by another company that, in the end, sells the chip to a graphic card manufacturer along with the standard board layout.
In the early years, companies used to fine tune their own board layout, but today not much can be obtained with such a process, since the chip manufacturer already has the best possible solution. But sometimes, companies like Sapphire develop custom designed solutions like the Sapphire HD 4850 X2 2G GDDR5 PCI-E.
This is a custom Radeon HD 4850 board outfit with an extra GPU. So in the end there are two Radeon HD 4850 GPUs working together to improve gaming frame rates. With 1600 stream processors and 2GB of GDDR5 video memory, this card is set out to compete with its 4870 brother. Imagine having two of these cards in a CrossFire setup, leading to 4 GPUs juicing up your frame rates.
Imagine this solutions as a single board CrossFire setup. It allows users to crank up the 24X custom filter AA to enjoy smooth edges at respectable frame rates. The integrated video technologies allow the hardware to scale video sources beyond Full HD.
HDMI and HDCP go hand in hand in providing the best BluRay experience coupled with a HDTV. The Unified Video Decoder uses GPU power to reduce the load of the CPU when HD playback is in progress. Features like hardware VC-1/H.264 decoding and PIP would strain even a high end CPU to its limits.
Another very important aspect of the new 4850 generation is the performance/Watt ratio. Compared to the previous 3870 X2 cards, the 4850 X2 is almost twice as efficient with 8.8 GigaFlops/Watt, compared to 48.GF/Watt. As graphic cards are evolving more and more into the VR machines we see in movies, it is important to improve on power consumption.
As the entire Radeon HD 4xxx series, the Sapphire 4850 X2 is Shader Model 4.1 compliant. But the thing that really is new with the 4850 X2 are the four (4) DVI outputs that come on the card. Can't even imagine playing a game spread alongside four 30” LCDs.