Meet the Rest of the Evergreen Family

Somewhere on the way to Cypress, AMD’s small die strategy got slightly off-track.

AMD’s small-die strategy for RV770

Cypress is 334mm2, compared to 260mm2 for RV770. In that space they can pack 2.15 billion transistors, versus 956 million on the RV770, and come out at a load power of 188W versus 160W on the RV770. AMD called 256mm2 their sweet spot for the small die strategy, and Cypress missed that sweet spot.

The cost of missing the sweet spot is that by missing the size, they’re missing the price. The Cypress cards are $379 and $259, compared to $299 and $199 that the original small die strategy dictated. This has resulted in a hole in the Evergreen family, which is why we’re going to see one more member than usual.

As Cypress is the base chip, there are 4 designs and 3 different chips that will be derived from it. Above Cypress is Hemlock, which will be the requisite X2 part using a pair of Cypress cores. Hemlock is going to be interesting to watch not just for its performance, but because by missing their sweet spot, AMD is running a bit hot. A literal pair of 5870s is 376W, which is well over the 300W limit of a 6-pin + 8-pin power configuration. AMD saves some power in a single card (which is how they got the 4870 under the limit) but it likely won’t be enough. We’ll be keeping an eye on this matter to see what AMD ends up doing to get Hemlock out the door at the right power load. As scheduled we should see Hemlock before the end of the year, although given the supply problems for Cypress that we mentioned earlier, it’s going to be close.

The “new” member of the Evergreen family is Juniper, a part born out of the fact that Cypress was too big. Juniper is the part that’s going to let AMD compete in the <$200 category that the 4850 was launched in. It’s going to be a cut-down version of Cypress, and we know from AMD’s simulation testing that it’s going to be a 14 SIMD part. We would wager that it’s going to lose some ROPs too. As AMD does not believe they’re particularly bandwidth limited at this time with GDDR5, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a smaller bus too (perhaps 192bit?). Juniper based cards are expected in the November timeframe.


Finally at the bottom we have Redwood and Cedar, the Evergreen family’s compliments to RV710 and RV730. These will be the low-end parts derived from Cypress, and will launch in Q1 of 2010. All told, AMD will be launching 4 chips in less than 6 months, giving them a top-to-bottom range of DX11 parts. The launch of 4 chips in such a short time frame is something their engineering staff is very proud of.

Meet the 5870 A Quick Refresher on the RV770
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  • Qfromchicago - Friday, November 27, 2009 - link

    Windows 7 Profession
    Onkyo 805
    Diamond 5870
    Still no 3rd option for hd audio.

    Has anyone been able to work this thing
  • charme - Friday, November 27, 2009 - link

    same here.
    no 3rd option for hd audio
  • otni - Sunday, November 29, 2009 - link

  • FlyTexas - Saturday, November 14, 2009 - link

    What good does it do to launch this, if there are still none for sale a month later?

    Yes, I know there were a few sold up front, but NewEgg has been out for awhile...
  • RavnosCC - Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - link

    The 57xx series are readily available, they also support HD Audio.
  • RavnosCC - Monday, November 23, 2009 - link

    "As of today, new PowerDVD 9 Ultra customers will receive build 2320, which includes support for HDMI bitstreaming of undecoded (full quality) audio with ATI Radeon 5000 series graphics cards, and the Auzentech X-Fi Hometheater HD sound card. An update patch for current owners of PowerDVD 9 Ultra is scheduled to be available next Friday (11/27).

  • Qfromchicago - Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - link

    Though happy that finally we will get hd audio using powerdvd, but why limit it to new customers only. It seems to me that if you can offer it to new customers, you should be able to offer it to everyone at the same time.
  • Qfromchicago - Sunday, October 18, 2009 - link

    I have win 7, a diamond 5870, powerdvd 9 ultra version 2201 and still I don't get he 3rd choice for the HD audio bitstreaming. Has anyone been able to get bitstreaming to work with powerdvd 9. Thanks
  • RavnosCC - Thursday, November 5, 2009 - link

    UPDATE: Looks like late November for the mythical patch...

    "Hi everyone,
    Yes... we read these forums regularly. Feedback is forwarded to the appropriate people. These forums aren't the best way for us to provide customer support, so if you have an issue, please open a support ticket through our website.

    We can't always comment on new developments... or at least we like to wait until we have a definite answer. I know everyone noticed the reviews for the ATI Radeon 5000 series graphics cards, where certain reviewers were using a pre-release version of PowerDVD 9 to demonstrate HDMI bitstreaming of Blu-ray audio. Support for this feature will be in the next PowerDVD update (patch), which will be available later this month. I don't have a firm date on this, but we're trying to expedite it. Please keep in mind that each of our regular updates includes fixes for new BD titles and new (or forthcoming) hardware / drivers across the PC ecosystem, and so the feature you are anxiously waiting for isn't the only thing that we need to include in the update. Of course, each update has to go through a full quality assurance testing procedure, to make sure that none of the changes introduced any new issues.

    So... sorry for going quiet on you... but I and others read every post in this thread and other relevant threads, following up as needed (in some cases, directly through private messages on these forums).

  • RavnosCC - Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - link

    I am in the same boat, with Vista, I have powerdvd 9 ultra fully patched and still no third option for hi-def passthrough... :-/

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