updated 07:45 am EST, Thu February 25, 2010
Radeon HD 5830 aims at upper mid-range
AMD today filled out one of the few holes remaining in its current-generation graphics chipsets by launching the ATI Radeon HD 5830 as well as detailing the promised Eyefinity version of the 5870. The 5830 chipset sits exactly between the 5770 and 5850 with 1,120 stream (visual) processors, 56 texture units, an 800MHz core clock and the full 256-bit memory interface. It also carries the same 1GB of GDDR5 memory as its higher-end sibling.
Performance of the 5830 is roughly on par with the earlier 4870 and 4890 but adds DirectX 11 (OpenGL 3.2) visuals, better OpenCL and Eyefinity. A typical card based on the new chipset will often have at least dual-link DVI and DisplayPort, but third-party cards can add HDMI or VGA and combine the available ports to make an extra-large screen area.
Pricing is the key to the new Radeon as it will officially sit at $239, or about $60 below the official price of a 5850 board; actual pricing can change depending on any special features or discounts. Cards will ship next week from companies like Sapphire and XFX. OEM computer builders are also likely to use the 5830 themselves, though none of these have been named.
The Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition isn't yet ready to ship but has much more detailed specifications. It centers on six Mini DisplayPort connectors, all of which can be used either directly with a screen like Apple's LED Cinema Display or through adapters that will bridge it to full DisplayPort, single-link DVI and HDMI. Performance is exactly the same as the 1,600 processor original but will bring 2GB of video memory to accommodate the extremely large frame buffer needed by six HD displays.
Pricing is unknown for the Eyefinity 6 but should be significantly above the $400 asking price for the regular 5870; despite the use of Mini DisplayPort, there's no indication so far that Apple will use it in a future Mac Pro.
Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition