Product: AMD ATI Radeon HD5870
Company: AMD
Authour: James 'caveman-jim' Prior
Editor: Charles 'Lupine' Oliver
Date: September 23rd, 2009
ATI Radeon HD5870 Performance Preview

Welcome to Part 1 of Rage3D's AMD ATi Radeon HD5870 Review! Over the coming weeks we will examine the various aspects of the newest kid on the block, RV870.

Today we will examine not only the chip architecture of RV870, but also take a look at DirectX 11 and some of the new features that will be enabled.

It's hard to believe, but in the dark days of R600, when ATI seemed to have no response to the mighty G80, the backroom boffins were planning not only the shrink and fixes to make RV670 and the HD3000 series, but RV770 and RV870 as well. ATI changed tack from a large monolithic GPU design to a smaller scalable design and in our interview last year with Eric Demers, AMD's GPG Chief Technology Officer (then AMD Fellow), you can read more about some of what went on behind the scenes for the HD4000 series (link). AMD refers to this as the sweet spot strategy – hitting that mark of price and performance that delivers the best value to the consumer.

Sweet-spot Strategy
Sweet-spot Strategy

In the HD5000 series, AMD is reaching for a lofty goal, planning to deliver a top-to-bottom DirectX 11 lineup in a short time, producing four chips to market in six months.

The sweet spot strategy allows AMD to claim they have doubled end user value (in terms of $/GFLOP) every year since the release of the HD2900 in 2006, in fact outpacing Moore's 'Law' in terms of GFLOPS/Watt. Of course, they're claiming based on the HD2900 Pro; we're sure they wish everyone else would forget about the 2900XT, too.

Before unveiling AMD’s new bat-card, lets take a look at DirectX 11 and why this launch is going to be different from the sour taste left by DirectX 10.1 and the HD2900XT.

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