As Homer Simpson would scream ... BAAAAAAAART. Well, look no further, he's here, carefully hidden in our lab the entire week already. Yes Sir, AMD today releases the first series 6000 graphics cards. And as you guys are too familiar with, each launch comes with some sort of creative family codename, the last generation GPUs were focused on Evergreen trees as the family codename with products deriving from that range known as Cypress, Juniper, Redwood and Cedar.
For this (Radeon HD 6000 series) generation the new products are codenamed after islands in the Caribbean, Northern Islands depending on how you look at geographical location, of course.
When we subdivide the Northern Islands groups we get small segments of islands, each GPU range is named after an island for all new Radeon HD 6000 series products, ready ? Here they are ... Barts, Cayman, Blackcomb, Antilles and Whistler.
Today we travel to the island known short for Barts, Barts also named Bart is the GPU codename for the products you'll know and learn as the Radeon HD 6850 and 6870. Bart is named after Saint Barthélemy island and will be the performance/upper-mid segment GPU series which can be considered to be the successor of the Radeon HD 5700 (Juniper) series, not the high-end segment as many of you expected. AMD made a shift in the naming schema, meaning the 6850 and 6870 as tested today will fit into the upper segment of the mid-range graphics card market.
AMD has a lot more coming though, later next month a new product arriving from the "Cayman" series GPUs (after the Cayman Islands) which will actually become the high-end product in the AMD Radeon HD 6900 series, the successor to Cypress, which right now you guys know as the Radeon HD 5800 series.
And while we're still on the island rollercoaster we might as well make note of "Antilles" then, named after the Antilles Islands of course. This will become a dual-GPU graphics card that makes use of two Cayman GPUs, which will also be positioned in the Radeon HD 6900 series of products.
Confusing ? Yeah we agree, well let's do one step at a time though and try to simplify everything. Today our focus is the all new Radeon HD 6850 and 6870. These two product are segmented in the upper range of the mid-range area, and in fact will be positioned directly against the competition's GeForce GTX 460 series.
The new mid-range series 6800 promises to deliver a very decent chunk of gaming performance, a set of new features and as always, will carry a nice price tag. Let's have a quick peek at the new duo and then head onwards into the review, where we'll cover the features, architecture, photo-shoot, power consumption and heat levels and benchmarks .. oh yeah .. you are in for the entire Guru3D treat today. Next page you guys.
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