As much as technology enthusiasts will talk up the latest and greatest graphics cards, around two-thirds of desktop graphics cards sold around the world are priced at less than $100. Any new graphics technology that is introduced must eventually reach this critical market in order to truly be dominant. DirectX 11 is no different, and ATI plans to address the sub-$100 market with today's launch of the Radeon HD 5670.
ATI had previously launched the Radeon HD 5700 series targeting the mainstream performance segment between $100-$200 in October, and has had great success as the only DirectX 11 solution in that market. Those cards use a 40nm Juniper chip that is half the size of the Cypress chips used in the Radeon HD 5800 series. This has enabled a boost in yields and volume to the market, enabling these low price points.
The Radeon HD 5670 attacks the mainstream value segment using similar techniques. The Redwood XT GPU itself is only 104mm2, with a total transistor count of 627 million. Power consumption is impressively low at 61 watts at load and 14 watts at idle. Radeon 5670 cards will be the first DirectX 11 cards to fit in a single slot solution, and passive cooling may even be an option later this year when Add-In-Board partners start tinkering with their own designs.
Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games have brought a lot of new PC gamers into the upgrade
market, but many of them are uncomfortable with PCIe power connectors or may not have the necessary power supplies needed for more powerful solutions. ATI thinks that this new card will be perfect for them as it will be able to replace most of the integrated or value graphics included in most low-end PCs.
GDDR5 graphics memory will be standard, although sizes will vary to accommodate different price points. The 512MB version will be available for $99, while the 1GB version will sell for around $119 due to the high price of GDDR5 (fueled by demand from other DX11 cards).
ATI is touting its Eyefinity multi-monitor technology, which you would not expect for this price point. Current reference cards use a DVI port, HDMI port, and DisplayPort to achieve three outputs, but some AIB partners may choose to support the obsolete VGA connector. The card itself can support four monitor outputs, but it seems those same partners would rather wait for a new reference design from ATI.
The graphics arms of AMD is hoping to dispel nagging rumors about yields on its 40nm process by pushing massive volume into this mainstream launch. DailyTech has been told that there are at least 50,000 Redwood XT GPUs available at launch, and more are being produced every day. ATI has sold more than 2 million DirectX 11 GPUs so far, and expects to double that number over the next few months as it moves into the mainstream value and Mobility Radeon segments.
ATI will also be launching new graphics cards in the Radeon HD 5500 series and Radeon HD 5400 series next month that will target the value market. The Radeon 5500 series will have a TDP of less than 50 watts, while the Radeon 5450 will be available at launch with a passively cooled solution.
ATI Radeon HD 5870
ATI Radeon HD 5850
ATI Radeon HD 5770
ATI Radeon HD 5750
ATI Radeon HD 5670
1.2GHz (4.8GHz data rate) GDDR5
1GHz (4GHz data rate) GDDR5
1.15GHz (4.6GHz data rate) GDDR5
1000MHz (4000MHz data rate) GDDR5
Memory Bus Width
1GB / 512MB
$149 / $129
$119 / $99
quote: It is interesting to see NVIDIA missing product cycles this time around like ATI did a few times.