Leaked AMD Radeon 6000 Details Reveal Powerful Performance


AMD acquired the Radeon GPU architecture in its acquisition of ATI in 2005, but only dropped the ATI name in August. Based on early reports, they chose an opportune time to place their name before the Radeon brand: just before a significant improvement in processor performance.

If the leaked details for the upcoming 40-nm chips are correct, it may spell trouble for rival Nvidia. The Radeon 6000 series would challenge the performance levels of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 470 and GTX 480 cards.

Meanwhile, rumors of a possible shift to Southern Islands-based nomenclature for future architectures as well as a GPU refresh bringing increased clock speed, texture and ROPs have been intensifying.

In September of 2009, AMD released the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series to widespread acclaim -- much to the chagrin of Nvidia. ATI Radeon HD 5870, 5850, and 5970 came with 1GB GDDR5 memory and the fastest processing of any graphics card in the 5970.

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AMD also beat Nvidia to the punch by providing full support for enhanced graphics from Microsoft DirectX11.

Next: If It Is True, What Happens To The GPU Market?

The figures for the new cards on the specs aren't drastically different from their predecessor's. However, if the reference HD 6870 is any faster than the HD 5870 it would challenge the performance of the GTX 480 and possibly cause a ripple effect in the market with lower-end products.

If nothing else, competition is driving down the price of both products. The price tags on the GeForce GTX 460 768 MB and the Radeon HD 5830 have sunk below $200 down to $175 in October. Offering competitive pricing for the GeForce line is a new strategy, and with the introduction of the GeForce GTS 450, one that Nvidia has adopted rather abruptly.

Nvidia is planning to unveil a new card of its own on October 19. According to Digitimes Nvidia is planning to release its lower-end GeForce GT 430 architecture on the same day as the AMD show in Taipei.