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  (Source: All pictures from AlienBabelTech)
New card will likely be the most powerful solution on the market when it lands late this month

The AMD/ATI success story in the GPU sector has shown little signs of fading with the transition from the 4000 series to the 5000 series.  Continuing its competitive pricing, AMD's 5870, 5850, 5770 and 5750, the world's first DirectX 11 GPUs, are all showing strong sales in their respective price ranges, leaving NVIDIA in a painful wait for its Fermi series to reach market readiness.

Now AMD is reportedly preparing to take the single-card performance crown, currently held by the GTX 295 away from NVIDIA, with the release of a dual GPU single-slot, single-printed circuit board solution.  Codenamed Hemlock, the card was initially named 5870 X2, a designation that was reportedly scrapped in favor of the name HD 5970.

Alienbabeltech has leaked what may be the first images of the new card and it looks to be a beast in every way.  Measuring 13.5 inches (34.29 cm) long, the prototype 5970 has no reason to feel insecure -- after all, it's endowed with presumably the longest PCB on a mass-produced graphics card to date.  It's reportedly a struggle to fit the card inside even full size tower cases like the Antec 1200. It is unknown if these dimensions will carry over to the production card.

The leaked card was perhaps running the leaked Catalyst 9.11 drivers, as the version number in CPU-Z was listed as 8.14.10.708 for the Direct3D driver, versus 8.14.10.700 on Catalyst 9.10.  Benchmarks showing the card trouncing the NVIDIA GTX 295 in performance were aired then quickly removed at AMD's request.  If these benchmarks holds true, it appears that AMD will wrest the title of having the most powerful single-card solution, at least temporarily, from NVIDIA.

A few scraps of information remained after much of the info was pulled -- apparently the fan will run at 4700 rpm under load.  And the card uses one 8-pin and one 6-pin power connector.  Pictures also remained posted

According to previously released information, the card will launch late this month and will likely hold the performance crown until NVIDIA launches its DirectX 11 offerings.  The card is expected to feature 2 GB of GDDR5 memory and a thrid-party PCI-E bridge, similar to Radeon HD 4800 X2 cards.  DisplayPort, DVI, and HDMI connections are all included, as would be expected.

Accompanying the HD 5970 will be a dual-GPU variant of the 5850, dubbed the HD 5950.  No pricing has been announced, but thus far AMD has been very aggressive with the pricing of its 5000 series.

According to AnandTech, NVIDIA's Fermi, which has been delayed already, won't reach general availability until, at the earliest, Q1 2010.  That means that for the holiday season, it appears that the highest end solutions will likely carry the HD 5970 and HD 5950.  However, it is rumored that AMD may have supply issues with the HD 5950 and HD 5970 in the first months of availability, so don't count on your HD 5970 dream machine until it arrives.


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RE: ATI equivalent?
By MrBungle123 on 11/3/2009 4:51:56 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder why ATI didn't go with a dual PCB sandwich design and make the thing shorter so I could fit into more modest cases...

Not every enthusiast that is willing to spend 500 bucks on a video cards is using an enormous full tower for a case, asking them to shell out for a new case and video card is going to put this GPU out of reach of more people, it will also cause big problems for the ones that buy without checking the dimensions of thier cases first... Im sure many in that crowd will feel "burned" after buying a 500ish dollar video card that they can't use because its longer than the current crop of high-end cards.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By Reclaimer77 on 11/3/09, Rating: 0
RE: ATI equivalent?
By ClownPuncher on 11/3/2009 5:05:54 PM , Rating: 3
Folks with Eyefinity setups might want the power. Also, the 4870x2 held the crown for several months, and the 295 has had the crown for what, a year now? 3-6 months might be a little false.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By imaheadcase on 11/3/2009 10:10:07 PM , Rating: 1
Eyefinity setups? Thats like saying people will buy it just to run folding at home. In cause you did not catch that humor it means not many people do it.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By Amiga500 on 11/4/2009 3:10:46 AM , Rating: 3
Not many shell out this much for a GPU, and of those people, a higher percentage (than the overall market) would be running eye-finity setups.

He/She does have a point.

Although I personally think its just too expensive to be justifiable... ( goes off to look at Audi RS4s again on the 'tinternet :-D )


RE: ATI equivalent?
By The0ne on 11/4/2009 5:54:54 AM , Rating: 2
And many just have money to burn but are clueless to fully utilize such a card.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By dgingeri on 11/4/2009 7:45:12 AM , Rating: 2
I would if I had the money.

think about it: 3X 24" monitors, dual 5870's driving them, world of warcraft. I would be a god tank. I'd be able to see everything around me.

Oddly, if I get this job I'm interviewing for now, I would probably have the money for this in about 6 months.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By Frallan on 11/4/2009 10:04:25 AM , Rating: 4
Well you might have but then again you probably wont have the time to use it...


RE: ATI equivalent?
By xti on 11/6/2009 2:55:50 PM , Rating: 2
im going 4 42" hdtvs. but barely working on #2 :(

come on black friday, no whammy no whammy


RE: ATI equivalent?
By iocedmyself on 11/5/2009 9:16:34 AM , Rating: 3
I i've got a pair of 4870x2's in crossfire, though someone grabbed them out of the AMD lab when they weren't needed anylonger so i didn't have to shell out the cash. though i was prepared to do so happily. I got the first card a month before the x2's actually launched and the second one 4 months later. so they've already lasted me 15 months or so. That averages out to $2.20 a day for cost to duriation of use. The 295's were only..what $750-$800 at launch? and they still cost $550 despite being pretty well whooped by 57** cards in crossfire for 2/3 the cost.

people buy what they like and i happen to like ATI cards...the last nvidia card that didn't give me any problems was a 6600 ultra, so about 5 years ago. one benifit of the 4870x2's is that unlike the 295's, they are actually capable of ussing AA in 19**x1*** and higher resolutions. the 295 either fails totally or performs horribly.

the 4870x2's still beat the 5870's in some benchmarks, which isn't surprising considering the extra available memory and second gpu core. But where the 5870 wins me over is the power consumption. 4870x2 eat 350w+ each under load and 180 or something at idle, where the 5870 is at 160w load 27w idle...with 15% more processing power then the x2. the 5970x2 will more than double that, 5.6 teraflops overall, with gddr5 effective clocked over 5ghz.

$500 to bring 2 cards drawing 700-800w in xfire down to a single card with nearly a teraflop greater computational power and support for 6 19**x1*** displays or higher ( of which i already have 4 to make use of....and a "highend" case that would fit a 13.5in card...is just a full tower case....as in $100-$150 depending on sales now, though my lian-li Pc=g70 cost $300....4 years ago. gamers have no exscuse for not investing in a good case.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By jonmcc33 on 11/3/2009 5:57:35 PM , Rating: 5
People still obsessed with finding SOMETHING that will run Crysis on max settings...even though the game is boring and has no real MP aspect.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By roostitup on 11/3/2009 11:09:52 PM , Rating: 2
Pfft...I've been running Crysis/warhammer on the highest setting with quad SLIed 9800GX2's which were released almost 2 years before this. People wont need these to run Crysis on full detail :-P

If you ask me this ATI card will be overkill and overpriced, but that's what it will take to finally pass up Nvidia. To ATI this is probably their opportunity to finally start getting out of debt and to pass Nvidia. Nvidia got what was coming to them, though. I don't feel sorry for Nvidia one bit!


RE: ATI equivalent?
By BZDTemp on 11/4/2009 7:09:28 AM , Rating: 2
It depends on what resolution you will want to play in - besides who is to say the next game coming out will not need even more power.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By EasyC on 11/4/2009 12:08:14 PM , Rating: 3
I find it amusing that you're calling an ATI card that isn't even released "overpriced" while nVidia just FINALLY lowered their price (gtx 285) to compare with the 5870 price, even though it gets trounced with performance.

Why yes, nVidia. I would like to pay the same/more for less :)


RE: ATI equivalent?
By MrPoletski on 11/9/2009 11:31:49 AM , Rating: 2
Must be said, my 4870x2's let me run crysis at 1920x1200 max details (I draw the line on AA tho).

Crysis is a great game though. I was disappointed with the low grav end bit, but the second story was even better and did not suffer that issue.

As for MP, when it first came out, it sucked, but nowadays, crysis wars has it fairly well fixed and there are quite a few decent servers out there. Unfortunately I think they missed the boat a little and didn't get as many people playing power struggle (the only mode worth playing crysis mp.. WHERE IS MY CTF?!?) as would have done the game justice.

Now they need to focus on more maps and stuff.

I will be buying crysis 2 the day it comes out or the day I decide to get my DX11 upgrade, whichever comes last.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By bighairycamel on 11/3/2009 6:08:18 PM , Rating: 5
Keep in mind these are leaked "prototype" pics. The first site I read about this thing said it will likely not be 13" long and this is just the engineering sample. Wait until they start sending the real ones to reviewers before you all start modding your cases.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By bighairycamel on 11/3/2009 6:13:32 PM , Rating: 2
I also wanted to add that the guy who leaked these pics (they call him DJ on alienbabel) can't be the sharpest tool in the shed. How many of these prototypes went around so that this guy can feel safely anonymous? I think it's probably a safe bet ATI knows exactly who leaked the pics.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By just4U on 11/3/2009 7:48:06 PM , Rating: 5
While that may be so I'd lay money on AMD actually giving their consent in a round about way to leak it. It's a win situation for them and keep the Radeon in the news for all that much longer.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By StevoLincolnite on 11/3/2009 10:28:19 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Keep in mind these are leaked "prototype" pics. The first site I read about this thing said it will likely not be 13" long and this is just the engineering sample. Wait until they start sending the real ones to reviewers before you all start modding your cases.


I remember when my Voodoo 5 5500 was 9.5" long, and the up-coming Voodoo 6 6000 was going to be even longer. (It would have been a 4 GPU one-PCB solution). - Everyone complained about the length of the cards back then...

I personally doubt there will be much change in card length between the engineering sample and the production sample, but AMD/ATI might make cost reductions in the future which might include using a smaller PCB.
Plus the 3rd party's like HIS, Saphire etc' might make there own alterations to the design as well.

I guess we will have to wait and see! - I personally never buy the fastest of the fastest GPU or CPU, I find better value in the mid-range/mid-high-end range of parts. (Like the 4670/4830).


RE: ATI equivalent?
By leexgx on 11/5/2009 12:25:28 AM , Rating: 2
the will not make an card bigger then 11.5" as it not fit in most cases apart from thermaltake armor type of cases or simmer type of cases (getting an 9800gx2 into my old case was funi had to put the end where the power connectors back end in first before i could put the other end in, and not use 2 hard drive bays)


RE: ATI equivalent?
By Ristogod on 11/3/2009 8:48:40 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong. I owned my 4870X2 for a year with nothing coming out to beat it. nVidia had their dual-gpu solution which was relatively around the same performance.

Also, I run high res with all settings at max. There were plenty of games that still taxed the card. So there are plenty of people who NEED this kind of "bleeding edge" power.

I currently run 2 5870s in Crossfire. I suppose that makes me stupid too huh?


RE: ATI equivalent?
By MonkeyPaw on 11/3/2009 9:28:32 PM , Rating: 5
No, that doesn't make you stupid, but I think that your definition of NEED is what I'd call my definition of WANT.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By The0ne on 11/4/2009 5:58:14 AM , Rating: 2
It could be that he's running max settings on a 20" monitor too. But I can't really complain because if I want to max settings on my 2 30" then I would have to have the best performing cards out there.

However, that's a want and not a need since my single 4870 1GB is plenty enough :D


RE: ATI equivalent?
By MrPoletski on 11/9/2009 11:33:54 AM , Rating: 2
There is no such thing as need, only want.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By Redwin on 11/9/2009 12:48:15 PM , Rating: 2
Need and Want are loaded terms because they are not self defining. You have to say what you NEED or WANT something FOR before it makes any sense.

If you desire to keep living, then you probably NEED to keep breathing. If you don't mind dieing, then its probably only a WANT.

If you desire to run games at full resolution and full speed with all options high at 2560x1600, then you probably NEED a massive multi-gpu video card to accomplish that, otherwise, its probably a WANT.

Saying there's no such thing as a need without providing the context of what it may be needed FOR is kind of pointless though.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By bryanW1995 on 11/3/2009 9:23:52 PM , Rating: 2
um, there still isn't a single gpu card that "blows away" 4870x2, and that thing is over a year old. In fact, we're probably going to be pushing 2 yrs before that happens.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By moriz on 11/3/2009 4:57:07 PM , Rating: 3
the sandwich board design costs more, and tends to be harder to cool. this is why AMD/ATI never used that design.

and let's face it, the people who would spend this kind of money on a graphic card likely have a very large and expensive case to match. if all else fails, i guess we can take a circular saw to the top few drive bays.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By ClownPuncher on 11/3/2009 5:02:10 PM , Rating: 3
Less overall power draw too when using a single PCB design.

The same people who buy a desk without measuring if it can fit in their home are the ones that will order this without checking dimensions first.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By kattanna on 11/3/2009 5:41:03 PM , Rating: 5
you mean like this FD

http://www.news-tribune.net/archivesearch/local_st...

quote:
A new, approximately $1 million fire truck, recently purchased by the town of Clarksville, is too large to fit in the town’s professional firehouses.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By AlexTRoopeR on 11/3/2009 4:58:33 PM , Rating: 2
Because a sandwich is more expensive, having 2 PCBs instead of 1. This is exactly why nVidia went from a 2 PCB GTX 295 it made in the beginnig to a single PCB GTX 295.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By MrBungle123 on 11/3/09, Rating: 0
RE: ATI equivalent?
By VashHT on 11/3/2009 5:32:53 PM , Rating: 2
I'd think that people who want the performance of this card will make it fit somehow, and the market for the super high end isn't very big anyway so it's kind of doubtful that a lot of people would sit on the fence because of its size.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By Amiga500 on 11/4/2009 3:15:38 AM , Rating: 2
No.

How can you make up the cost through more sales if each card sold costs more due to material/manuf costs?

R&D (one-off costs) can be recouped through more sales. Manufacturing/Material (continuous/regular) cannot.


RE: ATI equivalent?
By jonmcc33 on 11/3/2009 5:56:47 PM , Rating: 3
Because dual PCB designs (nVIDIA) are horrible.


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