They planned on engineering a mid-high-end GPU to compete with the 9800's, and instead came within a notch of beating their competitor's flagship product. When ATI releases the 4870X2 it's going to dominate the GTX280 in single-slot performance.
I think Nvidia is going to even lose the "cost-doesn't-matter" performance crown because with a single 4870 this close to the GTX280, I just cannot see Tri-SLI outperforming QuadFire when the drivers mature.
To be honest, when ATI announced their new "end of the monolithic core" strategy, I thought it was more of a surrender of the high end. Needless to say, I have been stunned by what I've seen from the ATI camp leading up to this launch. If they can pull the same thing off with the HD5k series, they will have proven that it really is the end of monolithic designs. Until that time, I look forward to getting my HD4870
Edited by darkcloud89 - 6/25/08 at 6:38pm