AMD ATI Radeon HD 5870: Unquestionably Number One

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The GPU at the heart of the Radeon HD 5800 series has literally double the amount of processing power of the previous generation--up to 2.72 TeraFLOPS to be precise. As such, AMD has dubbed it their TeraScale2 GPU Architecture...

The GPU features 20 SIMD engines, each with 16 thread processors, that each have 5 stream cores, for a grand total of 1600. If you recall, the Radeon HD 4890 has a total of 800 processing cores. The Radeon HD 5800 series GPU also sports 80 texture units--4 per SIMD engine--and a GDDR memory interface that offers approximately 150+ GB/sec of peak bandwidth.

With a core clock speed of 850MHz, the Radeon HD 5800 series GPU offers 2.72 TeraFLOPS of single-precision processing power, or 544 GigaFLOPS double-precision. Its Texel fill rate (bilinear filtered) is 68 Gigatexels/sec, and its pixel fill rate is 27.2 Gigapixels/sec.

As the comparison chart above shows, the Radeon HD 5870 offers essentially double the performance of the Radeon HD 4870 in a number of key categories. But in addition to the increased processing resources and performance, the Radeon HD 5800 series GPU also offers many more features, like full DirectX 11 support, ATI Eyefinity, and updated video engine, and more.

    

   

    
Radeon HD 5870 Reference Design

The Radeon HD 5870 card itself is 10.5" long and features a black fan shroud that encases the entire PCB. The card's cooler has a barrel fan that draws air into the shroud, where it is forced through the heatsink and partially exhausted from the system through vents in the card's mounting plate. Two more small vent at the back of the card also direct some air to be vented within the system. Overall, the cooling solution is much like the one used on the Radeon HD 4890--we cover more details on the power consumption page towards the end of the article.

The Radeon HD 5870 sports a GPU clock of 850MHz with a memory clock speed of 1.2 GHz (4.8Gbps effective)--that equates to roughly 153.6GB/sec of peak memory bandwidth. According to AMD, maximum board power is 188 Watts, up slightly from the previous generation, but idle board power is down to an impressive 27 Watts. The low idle power comes by way of aggressive clock gating and voltage reductions when the card is not under a significant workload. And as you can see, two 6-pin PCIe power connectors are required.

The outputs on the Radeon HD 5870 consist of dual, dual-link DVI output, and HDMI output (with audio) and a DisplayPort output. A future version of the card will feature 6 DisplayPort outputs--more on that on the Eyefinity page.


ATI Radeon HD 5850--Coming Soon

AMD is also announcing the Radeon HD 5850, which is very similar to the 5870 save for a smaller PCB, lower clocks, and fewer stream processing units (1440). We hope to take a look at Radeon HD 5850 in the not too distant future, and will of course fill you in on the pertinent details as soon as possible.

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Now this is what I'm talking about. That Spanish review on Tom's Hardware was a little difficult to understand, lol.

One of the things that struck right off the bat was the idle power usage, much lower than any of the other cards tested. The 5870 delivers the best bang per watt and is the best performing single GPU solution on the market. And the price point of $379 is brilliant move by ATI (some sub-$300 should be had this holiday season).

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If I can get one of these mommas for under $300, I'll do it, even though I don't have a system to put it in.

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Are you sure this is a GPU? I don't see any pictures of Batman characters on it.

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That thing is a hoss of a card. And not bad on the numbers even slightly behind the gtx 295 and that is a dual gpu card set.

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One unexpected thing that really stuck me as impressive was the power consumption.  Right around 4890 or 285 level... nice.

Of course the performance is the main thing.  Freaking incredible for single GPU and it spanks the crap out of the GTX 285 despite only costing around $30-$55 more.  And why pay $80+ more for the GTX 295 when it's barely faster (or in many cases not faster)?  ATi is back on top and without price gouging like some other companies have been known to do ($650 video card in June 2008, anyone?).

With the system requirements of most PC games only very gradually improving, one of these would be all someone needs for quite a bit - though people demanding Crysis perfection will want to pick up 2.

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The GTX was in many cases faster than the ATI 5870. But at the same time it had much higher power requirments and costs more. Remember, we'll be seeing 5870 X2's soon as well. Nate's review over at legit reviews shows the 5870's potention in crossfire config. It looked pretty damned impressive.

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The GTX 296 doesn't support DX11 either.

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I think that the ATI Radeon HD 5870 Is a better deal than the tested Nvidia Card, especially when you take into consideration the amount of performance for the price.

NVIDIA will probably lower prices to counter this situation, but then ATI will follow suit.

I know that every time that I've bought a graphics card within the past two years, ATI offered the best bang for the buck at that time.

I appreciate that,...Big Smile

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The reviewers at AnanTech were disappointed that the 5870 didn't outperform the GTX 295. And even moreso that doubling the hardware power from the 4870 didn't translate into the double the performance.

ATI made such a large leap from the 3870 to the 4870, and I think we didn't witness the same with the 5870. However, it's still the best single GPU card on the market, and barring two GTX 295x in SLI (though there are problems associated with quad GPU configs and the enormous power requirements), two 5870's in Crossfire will give gamers the most stable, powerful video gaming power available.

A 5870 x2 poses problems for ATI, especially in terms of power. Right now we're seeing a lot of great news on the 5870, but Nvidia can really beat ATI into the ground with something that's revolutionary rather than evolutionary.

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That's a very good looking card, however regardless of the performance, I'm still loyal 100% to nvidia.  I always have driver issues with ati.  Driver issues outweigh the performance in my opinion.

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