AMD Offers Preview Of Radeon 6000 Series Chips

AMD'S new Radeon GPUs are almost here, and customers are getting a few official glimpses of the 6800 graphics cards ahead of their release.

The Sunnyvale, Ca.-based semiconductor firm confirmed the model numbers for its new cards late Monday. The Radeon HD 6870 and the slightly less powerful Radeon HD 6850 are scheduled for launch this Friday. AMD has released external photos of the reference design for both cards along with details that for the most part confirm rumors about the cards from last week.

According to slides posted on, the Radeon HD 6850 includes 12 SIMD engines, 32 ROPs, 256-bit memory and clock speed of 775 MHz. With just one PCIs power connector, the lower-end 6950 manages to keep its power consumption down with a TDP of 127W and idle power of 19W.

The Radeon HD 6870 includes 1120 stream processors, 32 ROPs, 1 GB of GDDR5 memory, a 256-bit bus and 42-MHz of memory clock to go with cores clocked at 900 MHz. Its thermal design power (TDP) is 151W when loading and 19W when idle, according to

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From the pictures, it appears that the new cards are much like AMD's powerful 5000-series cards released last year, the first graphics cards with Microsoft DirectX 11 support. Designed for Windows 7, DirectX 11 visualization technology improves the detail and fluidity of graphics from various chipmakers. The new Radeon HD 6000 series is the second generation of DirectX 11 cards from AMD.

Next: What Makes The 6000 Series Different?

One significant difference between the 5000 series and the 6000 series is the I/O bracket. The cards offer multiple connectivity options with five ports, including two DVI, one HDMI, and two Mini Display Port jacks.

In August, AMD dropped the ATI brand name five years after acquiring ATI and the Radeon product line with it. The new Radeon cards will be the first to not bear the name ATI.