We are less than two days away from the big launch of AMD’s current generation flagship – Hemlock, or to be branded as ATI Radeon HD 5970. As we know, the HD 5970 is basically two Cypress dies from the HD 5870 on one PCB, much like the HD 4870 X2 was to RV770. HD 5870’s TDP does end up at 188W, nearly 30W higher than the HD 4870. Thus, to comply with PCI SIG standards, AMD have reportedly downclocked the GPU to 725 MHz and 4000 MHz for the memory. The full complement of 1600 shaders each is retained.

The TDP, as expected, is just below 300W, with Fudzilla reporting 294W. This is exactly where we would expect it to be – contrary to earlier rumours of >300W. The HD 5970 packs 40 SIMD units, 3200 shader units, 160 TMU and 64 ROP in total, with a theoretical computer performance of an amazing 4.64 TFlops.

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We are less than two days away from the big launch of AMD’s current
generation flagship – Hemlock, or to be branded as ATI Radeon HD 5970.
As we know, the HD 5970 is basically two Cypress dies from the HD 5870
on one PCB, much like the HD 4870 X2 was to RV770. HD 5870’s TDP does
end up at 188W, nearly 30W higher than the HD 4870. Thus, to comply with
PCI SIG standards, AMD have reportedly downclocked the GPU to 725 MHz
and 4000 MHz for the memory. The full complement of 1600 shaders each is
retained.

The TDP, as expected, is just below 300W, with Fudzilla reporting 294W.
This is exactly where we would expect it to be – contrary to earlier
rumours of >300W. The HD 5970 packs 40 SIMD units, 3200 shader units,
160 TMU and 64 ROP in total, with a theoretical computer performance of
an amazing 4.64 TFlops.

The HD 5970, initially rumoured to be HD 5870 X2, was expected to release in October. However, widespread misavailability of Cypress products meant there were not enough Cypress dies to put into Hemlock – since it used two of them. The price was initially reported as $499, but the HD 5970 is now expected to be priced at $599. A fair price for a future proof product likely to remain far and away the fastest graphics card on the market for a few months to come.

We know how HD 5800s perform in crossfire, so there should be no surprises in performance. We can expect the HD 5970 to perform between HD 5850 CF and HD 5870 CF. Unless…. One of the things we have been looking forward to ever since AMD adopted the dual-GPU enthusiast end strategy with the HD 3800 series is an advanced inter-GPU interface, rather than simply a Crossfire through a PLX chip. While the HD 4870 X2 did feature a Sideport, which increased inter-GPU bandwidth, this was not found to be a bottleneck, and it was disabled. Can we expect anything new from the HD 5970? We will have to wait and see. It is probably wise to not get your expectations high, though. Something else that has curiously bothered me is the presence of at least 3 different types of heatsink bodies for Hemlock. What will it look like in the end?

A HD 5950 is expected to release later. We can expect even lower clocks, 2880 shaders, and a TDP of around 250W.

Interestingly, Nvidia are expected to demonstrate Fermi the next day, on 19th November. We’ll keep a keen eye out for that – though we don’t expect Fermi to hit stores anytime soon. However, we cannot expect details on Fermi’s gaming abilities, as it is a Supercomputing Conference.

Reference: Fudzilla