ATI launches Radeon HD 5870 and Radeon HD 5850

With the holiday’s almost upon us, the GPU gnomes come out to play. ATI’s launching two new video cards, the Radeon HD 5870 and the Radeon HD 5850. The big boy 5870 rolls in at $379, and the 5850 at $259.

GPU manufacturers are big on numbers, and they are LARGE this time.

ATrHD5870

Radeon HD 5870

  • 1600 Stream Processors
  • 850MHz Core Clock
  • 1GB GDDR5
  • 1.2GHz Memory Clock

Radeon HD 5850

  • 1440 Stream Processors
  • 725MHz Core Clock
  • 1GB GDDR5
  • 1GHz Memory Clock

The new GPUs are built on a 40nm process and have a whopping 2.15 billion transistors – more than double the amount found on the previous generation Radeon HD 4870. Support for DirectX 11 comes from day one, although we’re still waiting for the Windows 7 launch. ATI claims to have doubled performance per watt and reduced power consumption drastically when the the board is idle. At peak performance, the boards draw between 170W to 190W. Power consumption drops to 27W when idle. By comparison the Radeon HD 4870 consumes 160W at peak and gulps down 60W when idle.

Rumors indicate that supply for the board will be tight around launch, and initial reports show both the Radeon HD 5870 and Radeon 5850 out of stock at many online retailers. Basic supply and demand issues will likely push prices upward. We’ve already seen the Radeon HD 5870 creep up to $407, and the Radeon HD 5850 to $300.

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