Also Announced: Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition

While we were being briefed about the 5830, AMD also used the opportunity to tell us about the 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition. You may better know this card as Trillian, a card that AMD was showing off (but not naming) all the way back at their 5800 series launch event in September. The 5870E6 is the 6 port mini-DisplayPort card that AMD was using to drive their 6 monitor and 24 monitor setups during the event.

AMD is finally ready to launch the card (and we’re assuming the 6 display Samsung mega-monitor is done too) which is why AMD is announcing it today. We have the complete specs of the card, but AMD is not quite ready to discuss its performance so we have yet to receive a sample card nor can we talk about its expected performance until a later date.

  AMD Radeon HD 5970 AMD Radeon HD 5870E6 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 $599 >$400 $400 $300

In a nutshell, the 5870E6 is a 2GB version of the 5870 equipped with 6 mini-DisplayPorts for its output. The core and memory clocks are the same as the regular 5870, while the extra RAM is to cover the larger framebuffer that would be required for such a large surface (6 1080P monitors would be 12.5MP). AMD has to equip the card with 16 GDDR5 chips in 16bit mode (as opposed to 8 chips in 32bit mode) to get 2GB of memory, so the power usage of the card will be 228W under load, and 34W idle. This means it will take a 6pin PCIe power plug and an 8pin power plug to drive the card, the only 5800 series card to have such a requirement.

AMD will once again be using the 5800/5900 series trademark shrouded cooler, this time with a full vent along the second slot to deal with the additional heat from the extra GDDR5 chips. At this point we don’t know how long the card will be, although we wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up being longer to fit the extra GDDR5 chips and power circuitry.

In order to drive adoption and to make things a bit easier for buyers, AMD will be having their partners include a number of dongles with the card so that no one is caught completely off guard by the exclusive use of mini-DP. The 5870E6 will come with 2 mini-DP to DP dongles, 2 mini-DP to single-link DVI dongles, and a single mini-DP to HDMI dongle. This will give the 5870E6 a similar degree of output flexibility as the 5870, even though it’s composed entirely of mini-DP ports.

Since this is still being driven by Cypress, the clock source limitation has not changed. Cypress only has 2 clock sources for DVI-type displays, so the 5870E6 can only drive up to 2 DVI/HDMI displays using passive adapters. Furthermore if you want to drive a 2560 display or a 120Hz 1920 display, you’re going to need active adapters regardless of clock sources. So if you’re thinking of buying this as a 2GB 5870 to drive your 2560 DVI monitor, you’re still going to be shelling out another $100 for an active adapter. Even with the dongles, it’s clear that this card really is meant to be paired with DP/mini-DP monitors for the long-run.

As for pricing information, AMD has not announced a final price for the card. But since the regular 5870 is already at $400 it’s safe to tell you that this card will be in excess of $400.

Finally, we’re left wondering whether this card is a bit ahead of its time. Eyefinity is certainly ready (particularly with the Catalyst 10.3 driver additions that will be coming) but AMD’s current power situation means that they can either offer a 2GB 5870 or a 2GB (1GB effective) 5970, but not a 4GB (2GB effective) 5970. Based on our reviews of the 5870 and 5970 we’re not convinced that a 5870 is fast enough to drive 6 monitors and run games at a high level of detail at the same time, and at the same time more memory would seem to be critical for the frame buffer size that would result from such a setup. With Crossfire Eyefinity fully working as of the Catalyst 10.2 drivers, we suspect anyone serious about a 6 monitor setup is going to want to go for a pair of these cards in Crossfire mode so that they have the rendering performance to drive such a high resolution display. It would be costly (>$800) but then again so would a 6 monitor setup.

We’ll have more on the 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition once it launches.

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  • heflys - Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - link

    Are you kidding Anandtech? Who in their right mind would buy a 4870 over a 5770? Hell, they're pretty much even in performance, and the 5770 possesses more features. Reply
  • kallogan - Sunday, March 14, 2010 - link

    Not to mention they're so quiet and their low power consumption allow upgrades even on a weak PSU. Reply
  • Alouette Radeon - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    Nope, AnandTech's last great review of something (by that I mean intelligent and unbiased) was the review of the Phenom II X4 920 and 940. I applauded AnandTech for that on other boards because AnandTech didn't drink Intel's kool-aid at the time. AnandTech didn't do the idiotic thing like other sites and compare the Phenom II X4 to the i7. No, AnandTech did the RIGHT thing and compared it to the Core 2 Quad Q8200 and Q9400 (I think those were the Q #'s). That was the day I REALLY got into reading AnandTech because all other sites were left in the dust. I also applauded AnandTech for having the balls to point out that the GTS 250 was just a rebranded 9800 GTX+ regardless of the consequences and even posted Charlie's article about it. Those were the days when AnandTech was the best review site I'd ever seen. Those days are unfortunately...over. Reply
  • nickime - Saturday, February 27, 2010 - link

    long reader of anandtech but with this article for me you have lost all credibility, am not a fanboy, but it has become so obvious

    for once AMD is executing like a clock, it is not their fault that there is no competition (but maybe you can blame them for that as well) and they can charge premium on their products

    if they renamed and offered 4790 as 5830 might have pleased you but then it might not as it would come from wrong company

    won't be checking this site that often anymore, will try to time it with Nvidia releases, have a nice day
  • piroroadkill - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    Ho ho ho, I see what you did there

    Actually, I don't, this is just retarded
  • UnBiasedGuru - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    It seems that Anandtech takes pride in using outdated Catalyst drivers to run their tests here. It is a shame that they are too lazy to re-run the tests with newer drivers.

    It is a deception to its readers/members to use HORRIBLE drivers and attempt to use the results as an indicator of the ATI card's performance. None of you should listen to any of these results because Anandtech nor Guru3D can be trusted.

    You will see the other websites with reviews on the 5830 actually use the 8.703 and 10.3b drivers ---> All all ATI cards!!!

    Shame on you Anandtech for misleading the community and public. How much is Nvidia paying you? Your results don't match ANY of my results with the 5870. You are a bogus reviewer!
  • Alouette Radeon - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    Haven't you figured it out? nVidia isn't paying AnandTech. It's Intel that's behind this. AnandTech has been Intel's pet puppy for almost a year now. The idea isn't to hurt ATi for nVidia's sake but to hurt AMD for Intel's sake. Just read any Intel review and I swear that AnandTech sounds like they want to date that criminal organization the way that they coo and fawn over everything Intel does. Reply
  • Voo - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    Yeah so because they used older cards for the RV770 chips which more or less don't profit from new drivers at all (didn't read anything in the release notes and didn't noticed any performance gains with my 4870), the 5830 didn't perform as well!

    That's absolutely logical! I mean the bad karma of old drivers - for other cards - just horribly disturbed the 5830 and that's why it ended up, being.. as bad as in the 3dguru review :(
  • silverblue - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    Send me a test rig and a 5830 and I'll give it a go ;) Reply
  • Hrel - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    I wouldn't be willing to spend a pennny over 150 for this card; and I feel that's generous. The GTS250 was going for 110 for a while; and this card is only a little faster. It has DX11, which is a requirement at this point in time, and not a feature. And it is faster, but only to the amount that I'd expect this far into the future; in relation to the GTS250. In other words, it's the same class card, but for some reason it's selling for over twice as much; that's just stupid. I understand price drops got out of hand last generation; which is why I say 150. Really, excluding the 5850 and 5870 I'm really really disapointed with the performance of the 5000 series. Reply

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