Radeon HD 5870 Review

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Series 5000 Product positioning


Product positioning

Okay people, let's get this show on the road! We have lots and lots to tell you. Despite being in rough water due to the the economic climate and massive restructuring, last year AMD slowly and steadily started recovering, and things are picking up for AMD. A big part of that success is due to AMD's takeover of ATI. ATI has been going strong for a while now. Nobody, seriously nobody, will deny that the Radeon HD 4000 series has become a tremendous success. That definitely irritated and haunted NVIDIA and in fact cost them some good business. ATI's approach is simple. To offer great features, great performance at a fair price. It's exactly that strategy and sentiment that you will find once again back in the Radeon 5000 series.

Now a lot of you guys have been avid readers of Guru3D for years, and know I'm not easily impressed. Heck I've been testing videocards since 1997 (3Dfx Voodoo Graphics), yet with the release of the Radeon HD 5870 once again I was pleasantly surprised. An absolutely stunning product that will make you giggle a little nervously after installing it.

AMD had several goals to develop this product series:

  • They wanted product leadership
  • Best performance at every price point
  • Create the most powerful and efficient GPU

To understand the Radeon HD 5850 and 5870 we however need to take a deep dive into its technology. And that's what we are starting here and right now.

Starting at DX11 class products, you will no longer see product numbers like RV770 / RV870 etc. A change here is that ATI is switching to code-names, well at least on the consumer side. Internally we know for sure they will still use the numbering. I guess it's another way of marketing.

The new Series 5000 products are tagged under the family name 'Evergreen' and within the Evergreen family over the months to come we'll see several products released, what you see below is unconfirmed information, though:

  • Hemlock - dual-chip (X2) flagship graphics solutions powered by two RV870 chips (originally known as R800).
  • Cypress - single-chip high-performance graphics solution based on the RV870 chip that will replace the ATI Radeon HD 4890; this is the Radeon HD 5870 as tested today and the Radeon HD 5850.
  • Juniper - single-chip performance graphics solution that will replace the remaining Radeon HD 4870 and 4850 graphics boards. We expect Radeon HD 5750 and 5870.
  • Redwood - single-chip mainstream graphics solution(s) based on the RV830 chip that will replace both RV730 and RV740-based solutions.
  • Cedar - single-chip entry-level graphics solution(s) based on the RV810 chip.

I know that you guys have been wondering about it a lot. Yes, there will be a dual-GPU product, likely to be called the Radeon HD 5870 X2. This card should be on the market by Christmas 2009. It is rumored that the dual-GPU (Hemlock) solution will cost a hefty $549~599. But that's all we can tell you right now.

So the Radeon HD 5870 is set to go on sale for $389-399, while the cheapest entry in the 5800 series, the Radeon HD 5850 is priced in the $289-299 bracket. Both cards will be fast, really fast. In fact we expect the 5850 to outperform a GeForce GTX 285. And the Radeon HD 5870... well, you are going to find out today where its performance is to be found ;)

Radeon HD 5870

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