Though the ATI Radeon HD 5800 is barely three weeks old, there is already talk of a HD 5900 series. Nordichardware have “got word that the HD 5900 series is being prepared for launch”. The have also quoted a driver mentioning “ATI Radeon HD 5900 Series”.

Nordichardware speculates that the HD 5900 series will be a response to Fermi – a refresh of the HD 5800 much like RV790 and HD 4890 refreshed HD 4870. However, this is clearly open speculation and word of HD 5900 could mean several things.

UPDATE: Nordichardware is now reporting that Radeon HD 5970 is indeed Hemlock. So, instead of HD 5870 X2, the new branding is HD 5970. We can expect a slower HD 5950 to follow. No sources have been cited, but this is the latest rumour from Nordichardware.

More details next page.


Though the ATI Radeon HD 5800 is barely three weeks old, there is
already talk of a HD 5900 series. Nordichardware have “got word that the
HD 5900 series is being prepared for launch”. The have also quoted a
driver mentioning “ATI Radeon HD 5900 Series”.

Nordichardware
speculates that the HD 5900 series will be a response to Fermi – a
refresh of the HD 5800 much like RV790 and HD 4890 refreshed HD 4870.
However, this is clearly open speculation and word of HD 5900 could mean
several things.

First of all, we have the soon releasing Hemlock. Widely rumoured to be branded ATI Radeon HD 5800 X2, we have received no official statement from AMD. It could very well be that AMD are going to brand the dual-Cypress Hemlock products as HD 5900. This recalls the RV670 – till the very late, everyone assumed it would be branded HD 2900; it ended up being HD 3800. RV790 was rumoured as HD 4900 as well, thought it was rightly branded HD 4890, considering it was a minor refresh on the same fab process.

The HD 5900 could very well be the 32nm refresh of Cypress, which is expected in Spring 2010. Although, one could say this is far too early for a product months into the future to appear in advance. It is worth noting that the first 32nm TSMC tape-outs were scheduled for Q4 2009.

Others suggest HD 5900 is merely a fine-tuned Cypress with few enhancements, ala RV790. In that case, we would have expected a HD 5890 branding – which in turn is another rumoured product.

Or, it may simply be a cheeky AMD plant – they have a history of planting misinformation through the media. (Remember HD 4800 and 480 shaders? That had everyone convinced. Talking of HD 4800, it was Nordichardware who had in fact first suggested 800 shaders from Chinese sources, something that was widely ridiculed at the time, in favour of 480. We know how it turned out – so we will hold Nordichardware’s latest information with some value.)

What is the HD 5900 then, in the end? A whole lot of confusion is all we can say as of now.

UPDATE: Nordichardware is now reporting that Radeon HD 5970 is indeed
Hemlock. So, instead of HD 5870 X2, the new branding is HD 5970. We can
expect a slower HD 5950 to follow. No sources have been cited, but this
is the latest rumour from Nordichardware.

Reference: Nordichardware