ATi Radeon HD 5970 “Hemlock” arrives – packing 5 TeraFLOPs of processing muscle

November 18, 2009, By Thomas Antony

ATi Technologies today announced the release of their much anticipated HD5970 dual GPU video card. Codenamed “Hemlock”, the card is being called as the ” fastest graphics card in the world”. There is nothing on offer from competitor nVidia that can match up to ATi’s latest offering and it is expected to stay that way until nVidia brings out their “Fermi” offerings in Q1 2010.

ATi Radeon HD5970

The ATi Radeon HD5970, consists of two 5870 “Cypress” GPUs packed onto a single card resulting in an awesome 5 TeraFLOPs of pure graphics processing muscle. The card, whose pictures have been leaked in the last few weeks, like the other HD5xxx cards, packs DirectX 11 support, ATi’s Eyefinity multi-display technology and supports ATi Overdrive for overclocking. A demo showed the dual CPU card rendering graphics at a mind-blowing 7680×1600 resolution using three displays placed side by side. This monstrosity of a video card will retail for $599 from manufacturers including Asus, Diamond, Gigabyte, MSI, Sapphire, VisionTek and XFX. It will also be available as a component in Alienware’s Area-51 Area-51 ALX and Aurora range of gaming desktops.

The HD5970 will come clocked at 725 MHz, and you can further push that up using ATi Overdrive in case you want to pump out more performance. The card has 2GB of GDDR5 video RAM running at 1000MHz . In case you need even more performance, you can buy two of these and use them together using ATi CrossFireX. Benchmarking has proved that the card is capable of breaking the 40fps mark in graphic intensive games such as Crysis Warhead. Even in Batman : Arkham Asylum , a game that has been noted to be very nVidia-friendly, the HD5970 is able to beat out all the existing cards.

HD5970 Spec comparison

In terms of power consumption, you will need at least a 650W PSU or better, since the card pulls around 463W at full load on a Core i7 bases system. And with the dual cards, each with billions of transistors, the temperature at full load can touch 95°C . According to most hardware reviewing sites, you really need to overclock this card to get the best performance out of it. It is clocked low out of the box to help with the power consumption. Right now, there aren’t any games out there that can seriously strain the card. Upcoming games that support DirectX 11 include Battlefield Bad Company 2 from EA DICE, DiRT™ 2 from Codemasters, Alien vs. Predator from Rebellion.

So if you are a hardcore PC gamer with cash to spend, and are looking for a good upgrade , the HD5970 may be the best thing for you. Oh yea, don’t forget to pick up a few widescreen displays on the way, so that you can truly bring out the best in the video card.

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