So then let's first have a chat about the generic 5870 specifications and features. Let's have a peek at some of the key features for this product:
1GB GDDR5 memory
ATI Eyefinity technology with support for up to six displays
ATI Stream technology
Designed for DirectCompute 5.0 and OpenCL
Accelerated Video Transcoding (AVT)
Compliant with DirectX 11 and earlier revisions
Supports OpenGL 3.1
ATI CrossFireX multi-GPU support for highly scalable performance
ATI Avivo HD video and display technology
Dynamic power management with ATI PowerPlay technology
DL-DVI, DL-DVI, DisplayPort, HDMI
PCI Express® 2.0 support
First let's focus on the sheer technical specifications. Transistor count for example. The number of transistors always works as an indicator of how powerful a product will be. For example, the Radeon HD 4870 which we all know and love for its performance had 956 million transistors embedded onto that die. The new Radeon HD 5800 GPUs have 2.15 billion transistors. Correct, that is 2150 million transistors tucked away in a small chip. The fabrication node was 40nm for this product, resulting in a die size of 334 mm², which for AMD is monolithic, yet thanks to the 40nm fabrication process only a third bigger than the previous 4890 GPU.
Now you'd think with so many transistors high clock frequencies would be an issue. Incorrect, the high-end Radeon HD 5870 will be clocked at a cool 850 MHz. Shader processors then, we went from 800 Shader processors on the Radeon HD 4850/4870/4890 to 1600 shader processors (also called stream processors) on the Radeon HD 5870. That's doubled up. The ROPs went up from 16 to 32 as well and sure... texture units from 40 to 80 as well.
The Radeon HD 5850 will have some units cut away though. 1440 Shader cores, still we find 32 ROPS and 72 texture units. This product will for example be a good heap faster than say, a GeForce GTX 285.
MSI R5870 Lightning review We test the MSI R5870 Lightning. The MSI R5870 Lightning is from ground up a custom board design. I mean literally; the only thing original on that graphics card is the GPU from ATI and even on the GPU MSI tries to tweak a little. Custom PCB, specific component usage, a bucket load of VRM phases (15 phases) and Twin Frozr II cooler. This Mc Daddy of graphics cards should be ready for some good overclocks. What will also be of interest are V-Check points that allow you to check GPU and memory voltage, and a series of twelve LEDs on the rear of the card showing active vGPU power phases.