lunes, 11 de octubre de 2010

2x1: Novedades sobre las Ati… Ejem… AMD 6xxx

En TechPoweUp me encontré con estas 2 noticias, casi en forma consecutiva, sobre la inminente salida de la línea 6000 de las placas de video AMD (ahora sí y finalmente, ex-Ati). Parece que AMD no va a dejar ganar a Nvidia ni un metro de terreno y quiere coronarse definitivamente como rey de cada segmento… Tengo mis dudas con el rebranding.. personalmente detesto esa práctica, pero bueno, es cierto que bien aplicada, ayuda mucho al consumidor a encontrar de que forma está posicionado tal o cual producto con respecto a la línea actual de producto en plaza, cosa harto complicada en otras epocas, el darse cuenta de la diferencia de performance entre una placa de línea anterior y una actual, cuando no siempre un número de modelo más grande, significaba mayores prestaciones…
Falta poco para los primeros lanzamientos, por lo que ni bien salgan las primeras reviews serias, selecciono y como siempre, traigo :)

Here it is, the AMD Radeon HD 6870, all dressed up to go to work. There has been quite some speculation surrounding the naming scheme AMD is going to adopt with the HD 6000 series, but fresh information suggestively lays some of that to rest. Firstly, Radeon HD 6800 series is built around the "Barts" GPU, not "Cayman". Barts is a new performance GPU, though isn't the highest-end single GPU from AMD (which is reserved for Cayman). Barts "XT" is Radeon HD 6870, and Barts "Pro" is HD 6850. Pictured below is the HD 6870. At a purely subjective glance, the HD 6870 reference design card seems to be as long as the HD 5850 reference.
The new Radeon logo has been Photoshopped on to the fan, so the products in market will definitely do away with the older ATI logo. The rear panel resembles that of the Radeon HD 5800 series, except that the exhaust grille seems slightly wider, there are two DVI-I connectors, one standard HDMI, and two mini DisplayPort connectors for a change. The connector output sharing scheme isn't known right now, it could be 3 or 4 head Eyefinity, or all-out 5 head Eyefinity, a yet to be detailed "Eyespeed" feature is mentioned. We will definitely know more about this card in the weeks to come.

Earlier today, we were treated to the first picture of the Radeon HD 6870, a new and upcoming performance graphics card from AMD. It was also learned that the HD 6870 is based on a new GPU codenamed "Barts", which is intended to be a successor to the previous-generation "Juniper" GPU, which was at the center of the Radeon HD 5700 desktop and Mobility HD 5800 series. That left some uncertainty as to what GPU was going to drive the sub-$199 HD 6700 series. AMD may have found an answer, rebranding.
AMD seems to have been on the crossroads of which naming scheme to adopt. The first scheme based on conventional logic tells users that Barts-based SKUs should sit in the HD 6700 series, and Cayman-based single-GPU SKUs in the HD 6800; while the second scheme promotes Barts to the HD 6800 series, and Cayman to the HD 6900 series, pushing the low-volume, high-end Antilles (dual-Cayman) graphics card to the HD 6990 SKU. Evidently, AMD chose the newer, second scheme. The only rationale that makes sense is that the x800 series seems to be very popular, and if Barts, with its radically redesigned SIMD components can perform on par or better than the HD 5800 series SKUs, that's enough to justify its upwards push.
Since the new performance SKU will be labeled HD 6800 series, that leaves some vacuum with the HD 6700 series. The solution to this came in the form of a perceptually bad practice of rebranding Juniper-based SKUs to HD 6700 series. There is a possibility of AMD stepping up clock speeds, or adding software features to the HD 6700 series, but that's as far as we can see the Juniper going. "Turks" and "Caicos" are new GPUs, that trail behind in the HD 6600, HD 6500, and HD 6400 Series, respectively.
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