AMD's New DirectX 11 GPU: Power-Packed, Budget-Friendly

Following closely on the heels of its chart-topping Radeon HD 5970 graphics card, as well as its 5700 and 5800 series, AMD Thursday released yet another DirectX 11-capable GPU. The twist for the ATI Radeon HD 5670 is its attractive price tag: $99.

The Radeon HD 5670, which AMD is touting as the first sub-$100 DX11 graphics card, has more than just a compelling price point. The GPU offers computing power of up to 620 gigaflops and a core clock speed of up to 775MHz; the card itself has 400 stream processors and 640 million 40nm transistors.

The Radeon HD 5670 also comes with GDDR5 memory at either 512 MB or 1 GB (the 1-GB version is priced at $119), with a memory data rate of 4 Gbps and a memory clock speed of 1.0GHz. The new DX11 card comes with ATI's EyeFinity technology, allowing the 5670 to support up to three separate displays at launch; AMD executives said the 5670 eventually will support four separate monitors. The graphics card also supports ATI's Crossfire multi-GPU technology as well as ATI's Stream technology, which accelerates video encoding.

In addition to its DX11 capabilities and technical specifications, AMD is touting the 5670's power efficiency; the card's maximum board power is 64 watts, which the company calls "best-in-class," and its idle board power is a mere 15 watts. AMD executives said the 5670's low profile is ideal for smaller-form-factor PCs and home theater media center computers.

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AMD previewed the new graphics card at CES and detailed its strategy to attack the mainstream market with the 5670 GPU. The company is obviously hoping to win over mainstream gamers who want a powerful graphics card on a reasonable budget. But the 5670 also will be enticing to non-gamers who want better performance for HD video and productivity applications; the card comes with an integrated HDMI 1.3a output and supports Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio formats.