AMD launches the Radeon 5800 line of video cards today

by: John -
More On: Radeon HD 5850 Radeon HD 5870
Today marks the launch day of the next generation of AMD video cards. The ATI Radeon HD 5870 and the ATI Radeon HD 5850 mark the two new cards in the AMD line supporting DirectX 11, Eyefinity, ATI Stream technology, and offering up to 2 teraFLOPS of performance. That's a lot of computations there.

This is the first set of cards that support the upcoming DirectX 11 in Windows 7. Windows 7 comes out next month so you'll be in line for that with this card. Of course, DirectX 11 games are few and far between currently as a few games in the near future will support the feature such as DiRT 2 and the new Stalker game. AMD expects a wave of them next year which makes sense given that the OS is just going to be in its infancy in 2009.

ATI's Stream technology will allow applications to leverage the GPU's computational power and increase performance. For example, transcoding speed can greatly be increased by using the RV870's core and its many stream processors rather than just the single, dual, triple, or quad core of your CPU.

Eyefinity lets you connect multiple monitors to one single card. We're talking up to four cards per card here using a multitude of connections.

The 5870 runs at 850MHz with 1600 stream processors with GDD5 memory running at 1200MHz. For the less expensive 5850, you'll get a card running at 725MHz with 1440 stream processors and GDD5 memory running at 1000MHz. Pricing has the 5870 at $379.99 while the 5850 will run you at a very nice price point of $259.99.

From what I've read, the Radeon HD 5870 is the single fastest card out there hands down and it should be. I'm hoping to secure one for testing soon and will have my thoughts should one drop my way.

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