Chiphell have got their hands on pictures of AMD/ATI’s much anticipated next-generation DX11 cards, codenamed “Evergreen”, releasing September 10th. ATI have done away with the numerical RV***/R*** nomenclature and are only calling them by codenames now. There will be four classes of the Evergreen range – performance “Cypress”, performance-mainstream “Juniper”, mainstream “Redwood” and entry-level “Cedar”. The flagship will be the dual-chip Cypress, codenamed “Hemlock”. On a side note, all these codenames are derived from coniferous trees, which are incidentally ‘evergreen’, or have leaves all year round. It is clear that ATI have great confidence in the upcoming generation.

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Chiphell have got their hands on pictures of AMD/ATI’s much anticipated next-generation DX11 cards, codenamed “Evergreen”, releasing September 10th.

ATI have done away with the numerical RV***/R*** nomenclature and are only calling them by codenames now. There will be four classes of the Evergreen range – performance “Cypress”, performance-mainstream “Juniper”, mainstream “Redwood” and entry-level “Cedar”. The flagship will be the dual-chip Cypress, codenamed “Hemlock”. On a side note, all these codenames are derived from coniferous trees, which are incidentally ‘evergreen’, or have leaves all year round. It is clear that ATI have great confidence in the upcoming generation.

The first set of pictures are reportedly of “Juniper” or RV840, the successor to the Radeon HD 4770, in the mainstream segment. Indeed, the cooler is very reminiscent of the original dual-slot stock cooler on the 4770, this time with black outfitting, on the PCB as well. At the rear end is a host of output ports, what looks like 2x DVI ports, an HDMI and a Displayport. It is worth noting that the exhaust vent only takes half the space on one slot – which might indicate an efficient and cool (thermally as well as aesthetically) card. Juniper does, however, come with a 6-pin power connector, which would indicate a TDP above 75W, if barely so (like the 4770).

In the performance segment, ATI are offering “Cypress” or RV870, which will succeed RV770/790 (HD 4800 series), rumoured to be branded as ATI Radeon HD 5850 and 5870. The heatsink and top view pictures are available. It is unclear if this is the high-end Cypress XT, and of course, these pictures should be taken with a grain of salt. Unlike the Juniper cooler, which is similar to a design introduced for the 3870 – the Cypress cooler seems novel. The Cypress card does seem to be longer than the reference 4850/70/90, which were in the 9″ range. It would appear as long as the 4870 X2 or the GTX 200 cards, which are in the 10.5″ range. The die size does not appear to be as large, definitely much smaller than nVidia’s GT200 chips, and around the same size as RV770, at first glance. Which would beg the question, did ATI really need a full length cooler? If so, what kind of cooling would the rumoured dual-chip “Hemlock” require? It is quite possible ATI is playing it safe, as one of the major criticisms of the 4800 series was the high temperatures. It requires 2 x 6-pin connectors, which would suggest a TDP of between 150-200W, much like the 4870/90. The rumoured system requirements suggest a 500W PSU, or 600W if running in dual-card CrossfireX mode. So, the power requirements seem reasonable and within the range of the 4800 series.

According to rumours, these could possibly be the specifications:

Cypress – 1600SP, 256-bit, 80 TMU, 32 ROP
Juniper – 800SP, 128-bit, 40 TMU, 16 ROP

These specifications do seem realistic. However, ATI have a history of spreading false rumours about their cards. (Remember RV770? They convinced the entire world the card had 480SP, when in fact they had 800SP!) A significant step forward for ATI would be the 32 ROPs (render output units) on the RV870, if indeed these rumours are accurate. All ATI high-end GPUs have sported 16 ROPs since the X800 series way back in 2004.

RV830′s specifications are a dead match for the RV770 4800-series, except for the 128-bit. Considering the 4850 was largely bottlenecked by the slow GDDR3, and significantly outperformed by its GDDR5 siblings (4870/90) even adjusted to similar clock speeds, ATI must surely be using unprecedentedly high frequency GDDR5 memory for both GPUs – possibly reaching 5 Gbps. This would put the memory bandwidth in the region of 150 GB/s for RV870. For a 1600SP monster, there might still be a bottleneck. There have been rumours of a 384-bit memory bus in the past as well. No clock speeds have been revealed thus far, and all leaked speculations should only be considered as rumours.

At this stage, the Evergreen generation looks promising, and ATI have a good headstart over nVidia’s rumoured GT300 series, which are taped out and will only be arriving mid Q4-09 at the earliest.

Reference : Chiphell