The first time I laid eyes on this card I was visiting AMD's headquarters in Sunnyvale before the Radeon HD 5800 series launch event.  I could take photos of the 6 displays it was driving, but not the card itself.  So we'll start off with a picture of the things that set the Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition card apart from its 3-display counterpart.

The most obvious changes are the display outputs.  While your standard 5870 has two DL-DVI, one DisplayPort and one HDMI output, the Eyefinity 6 Edition has six mini Display Port connectors.  

You can further convert two of those DP outputs into any combination of DVI, HDMI (only one can be HDMI) and VGA.  The remaining four connectors must remain Display Port due to the limited number of timing sources on the 5870.  The card will come with two mini DP to DP adapters, 2 passive mini DP to SL-DVI dongles and one passive mini DP to HDMI dongle.

Clock speeds have not changed.  The GPU still runs at 850MHz core and the memory runs at a 1.2GHz clock speed (4.8GHz data rate).  Memory size did change however, the Eyefinity 6 Edition card ships with 2GB of GDDR5 to accommodate the resolutions this thing will be driving. As 256MB GDDR5 is still not available for mass production (and won't be until later this year), AMD is using 16 x 128MB GDDR5 chips in 16-bit mode.

  AMD Radeon HD 5970 AMD Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 AMD Radeon HD 5870 AMD Radeon HD 5850
Stream Processors 2x1600 1600 1600 1440
Texture Units 2x80 80 80 72
ROPs 2x32 32 32 32
Core Clock 725MHz 850MHz 850MHz 725MHz
Memory Clock 1GHz (4GHz data rate) GDDR5 1.2GHz (4.8GHz data rate) GDDR5 1.2GHz (4.8GHz data rate) GDDR5 1GHz (4GHz data rate) GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 2x256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
Frame Buffer 2x1GB 2GB 1GB 1GB
Transistor Count 2x2.15B 2.15B 2.15B 2.15B
TDP 294W 228W 188W 151W
Manufacturing Process TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm
Price Point $699 $479 $390-420 $300

As a result of the added memory, power consumption has also gone up slightly.  The Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition now requires both a 6-pin and an 8-pin PCIe power connector instead of the two 6-pin connectors of the stock 5870:

The extra memory and five adapters that you get in the box do come at a price.  The Radeon HD 5870 E6 Edition is expected to retail for $479.  That's $100 more than the MSRP of the 5870 but only $59 more than its actual street price.  It remains to be seen what the street price of the 5870 E6 will end up being given that TSMC 40nm production is still limited with improved but not yet perfect yields. These cards should be available immediately.

Update 4/1/2010: Launch prices appear to have missed their target. We're seeing the 5870E6 sold out at $499, and in-stock elsewhere at $549. This puts it at an $80 premium over the reference 1GB 5870.

Setting up Six Displays
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  • Zstream - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    Hmm, wonder if they have a snap to grid function in Windows 7 for each LCD. That would be nice... Reply
  • Taft12 - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    Those of us with 6 or more screens have been using multiple low-end video cards (including PCI where necessary) for many years now. It's still much cheaper than this. Reply
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    Perhaps because such solutions have been available for non-gaming uses for VERY many years. You could grab Matrox graphics cards (still hanging around in the business world), or use two GXM products to get six displays on a standard ATI/nVidia graphics card.

    There are also other solutions from other companies, or just the possibility of sticking three dual-head graphics cards in a system, which can be pretty cheap if you don't need powerful 3D performance.

    In short, for productivity, this is old news; Eyefinity is really only of note for gaming, and it doesn't look very useful or practical for that either. Triple-head gaming has merit since it avoids many of the problems, and that can be done fairly easily (some graphics cards support three outputs, or you can use a GXM product).
    Reply
  • lwatcdr - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    I could see this being used for Simulators and military systems as well.
    Reply
  • Maroon - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    I hope AMD didn't spend a lot of time on this because this is an unbelievably niche market they are after with this card.

    What needs to be done (if possible) is take the monitors apart and just piece together the screens and somehow relocate the hardware all behind everything.

    Reply
  • sparkuss - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    Anand wrote:

    The larger frame buffer did help raise minimum frame rates, but not enough to positively impact the average frame rates in our tests.

    I thought there had been review comments before about the 5870 being memory limited in some tests. Does this mean that the added 1GB doesn't solve any of that without further hardware/software changes from ATI?

    The 2GB cards, standard not eyefinity, are starting to list at manufactures sites. I was going to wait for them but maybe not worth it after all? I'm not interested in eyefinity, just CF for 1920 +above gaming.

    Do you have any of the base 2GB cards planned for review shortly?


    And P.S. the new comments system lose all adv editing?
    Reply
  • poohbear - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    6 monitor support is good and all, but seriously how much demand is there for a card that can support 6 monitors? its a niche product, not sure what all the hoopla is about.:p Reply
  • notty22 - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    From Review "It's worth mentioning that these power numbers were obtained in a benchmark that showed no real advantage to the extra 1GB of frame buffer. It is possible that under a more memory intensive workload (say for example, driving 6 displays) the 5870 E6 would draw much more power than a hypothetical 6-display 1GB 5870."

    I think a tester should run Furmark when in 3 way or 6 way eyefinity. I have a sinking feeling, this would break the card. The tests prove out that you need crossfire grunt of two 5870's to do any gaming. So the extra cost of this card , trying to do it all in one is a failure.
    Reply
  • catalysts17TX - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    i have a 4870, great card but runs hot and sucks up a lot of wattage at idle power both the 5850 and 5870 due much better in heat and wattage, but at load the 5870 uses more wattage than my 4870 does. the 5870 card is NICE with the eyefinity 6 edition. MY question is will there be a 5850 Eyefinity 6 Edition? dont care about price just performance and wattage

    Reply
  • Taft12 - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    Will Displayport ever start catching on as a monitor connector? The majority of displays still don't include a DP input and if it hasn't started by now, I wonder if it ever will... Reply

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