Ah good gawd man... it has been a while since we had something really new to report from that big graphics arena we all like so much. Yeah, it's probably no secret that AMD ATI today launches their Radeon series 5000 cards today as well... every technical detail was leaked like two weeks ago.
None the less, for true facts and no fiction, you know where you need to be. With the press being briefed two weeks in advance we can tell you we are eager to bring you a nice lengthy article with all the ins and outs of the AMD ATI product lineup. Here's what is being announced today:
ATI Radeon Series 5800:
- Radeon HD 5850 (299 USD)
- Radeon HD 5870 (399 USD)
So before I start off, let me state that our focus today will be the Radeon HD 5870, the Radeon HD 5850 samples have not been distributed just yet and will likely arrive in two weeks' time. The Radeon HD 5870... it's a beast, it's dark, really a little evil and it's just so much freaking fun. You have no idea. Why am I making silly euphemisms you ask? Well, I always tend to do that when I am excited about a product. Face it, we have had a dull year when it comes to graphics cards. DirectX 11 is now around the corner and as such both ATI and NVIDIA have been preparing themselves to show off their latest and greatest. Today, AMD's graphics subdivision ATI.
ATI has been focusing on three primary features and key selling points for the series 5000 products. First off, the new graphics adapters are of course DirectX 11 ready. With Windows 7 and Vista being DX11 ready all we need are some games to take advantage of DirectCompute, multi-threading, Hardware Tessellation and new shader 5.0 extensions. DX11 is going to be good. More on that later on in this article of course.
Another big feature of the product that you already learned about is of course Eyefinity, the ability to connect one to up-to six monitors (depending on AIC/AIB choices in outputs) to your videocard and use it in a desktop environment, or to create an incredible wide monitor resolution to play games in. It's nice, it is niche and yes... certainly not an option many of you will use... but really it is breathtaking as well. We'll explain this in a separate chapter though.
The third big and prominent feature is of course performance. Often in the past we have seen a new OS released with a new class of DirectX. Typically manufacturers like ATI and NVIDIA kept performance low and product costs low, barely allowing new titles to be played well with the new graphics cards. ATI has changed the rules today as the Radeon HD 5870 now has 1600 stream processors (shader processors). ATI litrerally doubled up everything inside that GPU and as such we spot a GPU die with 2.15 billion transistors. That's 2150 million transistors you guys. In comparison, the Radeon HD 4890 has 956 million.
So quite a lot in the architecture of this GPU has changed with one important task in mind, creating the absolute fastest single-GPU based graphics card on the market. The Radeon HD 5870 to date will be the world's most powerful GPU pushing more than 2.7 TFLOPS of computing power; it's the first DX11 GPU on the market and, as this article will show, also comes with a revolutionary energy design as this card's peak wattage is only 188 Watts.
So without further ado, have a peek at the Radeon HD 5870 1024MB, then head on over to the next page where we'll startup a nice in-depth review. Guru style... what else?