Following closely on the heels of the 5800 series are the more affordable HD 5700 products. In the recent past, ATI have used four variants – Extreme dual-GPU (x800 X2), Performance (x800), Mainstream (x600) and Entry Level (x500/x300). That caused a problem with the 4800 series – there was a large void between the $80 4670 and the $199 4850. This is a popular segment – and Nvidia sold large quantities of 9600 GT and 9800 GT cards.
This time, with the Evergreen series, ATI are going for five levels. Furthermore, with the price point of the 5850 part increased to $259 (instead of $199 for the 4850), an entire series (5700) has been designed to fill the gap.
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Originally rumoured to a 800 SP / 128-bit memory chip – something I doubted – Anandtech now suggests it is going to be a 14 SIMD part. Which signifies specifications of 1120 SP / 56 TMU. A cutback from the 32 ROPs in Cypress is also expected – perhaps 24 ROPs. The memory interface may end up being 192-bit. A fair increase from the previously rumoured 800 SP / 128-bit.
This means that the HD 5700 series will end up faster than the 4800 series after all, in the same price bracket. The 5750 is rumoured to be priced at $149, replacing the 4870, with the 5770 at $199, replacing the 4890. From the Nvidia side of things – the HD 5750 and HD 5770 will favourably compete with GTX 260 and GTX 275, respectively – two cards that currently cost far more to manufacture. Both 5700 products are expected to run cool and be very power efficient, and retain all feature benefits of the HD 5800 series. So far, other details about the HD 5700 series is scarce – though the HSF closely resembles that of the 4770 reference design.
The HD 5700 series is expected to launch around the Windows 7 release time-frame, i.e. October 22nd/23rd, though some rumours call for an earlier release date – around October 10th. Following the HD 5700 cards closely will be the dual-Cypress monster Hemlock (5800 X2) in late-October/early-November.