AMD has taken the wraps off its new ATI Radeon HD 5800 series of high-performance graphics cards: the controllers feature a whopping 2.72 teraflops of processing power, and (perhaps more importantly) are the first video cards to support Microsoft DirectX 11, which is shipping with Windows 7. Of course, the cards also suppose DirectX 9, 10, and 10.1, along with OpenGL—in both single-card and multi-card configurations using ATI’s CrossFireX technology. The cards also support AMD’s Eyefinity multi-display technology (enabling a single environment to span multiple screens) and support offloading computing functions to the GPU processor…although apps have to be smart enough to take advantage of it.
“With the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series of graphics cards driven by the most powerful processor on the planet, AMD is changing the game, both in terms of performance and the experience,” said AMD senior VP Rick Bergman, in a statement. “As the first to market with full DirectX 11 support, an unmatched experience made possible with ATI Eyefinity technology, and ATI Stream technology harnessing open standards designed to help make Windows 7 that much better, I can say with confidence that AMD is the undisputed leader in graphics once more.”
The HD 5800 series consists of two cards, the Radeon HD 5850 and Radeon HD 5870. Each feature 1 GB of video memory; the 5850 sports 1,440 stream processing units and 72 texture units, while the 5870 bumps up to 1,600 stream processing units and 80 texture units. Both sport GDDR5 memory interfaces with 153.6 GB/s bandwidth, support OpenGL 3.2, and support dual stream 1080p playback. The units sport integrated HDMI, DisplayPort, dual-link DVI, and VGA output, and can support stereoscopic displays. There’s also an integrated HD audio controller for handling 7.1 sound over HDMI with no additional cables.
Although AMD hasn’t announced pricing or availability information, the Radeon 5850 should be available in the United States shortly for a street price around $270; the Radeon HD 5870 is widely available for pre-order at prices around $380.
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