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Advanced Micro Devices has revealed the look of its next-generation Radeon HD 6800-series graphics cards. The boards look similar to the current Radeon HD 5800-series graphics cards, which points to certain details.

The new graphics cards to be unveiled shortly are called the Radeon HD 6850 and the Radeon HD 6870. Just as model numbers suggest, the former will be faster than the latter and will consume more power, which is why it features two six-pin connectors. In fact, given that cooling system of the HD 6870 resembles that of the Radeon HD 5850, which points to similar power consumption below 150W.

As is known, the new generation Radeon HD 6000-series graphics processors are based on the code-named Barts chip featuring Northern Islands architecture that heavily inherits from the Evergreen-series of GPUs. Therefore, it is more logical to expect optimizations in terms of price and performance rather than massive improvements in terms of speed or feature-set.

The more advanced ATI Radeon HD 6870 graphics card has only one CrossFireX connector, whereas earlier released picture of AMD Radeon HD graphics card presumably based on Cayman chip has two, which allows to install up to four of Cayman-based graphics cards into a single system. The fact that the Radeon HD 6800 does not support 4-way CrossFireX points to its positioning in relatively price-sensitive performance-mainstream market segment (circa $200).

Both novelties will support up to five or even six displays, which means that the Eyefinity technology in all of its glory will be available in performance-mainstream lineup of products.

The new graphics boards - the Radeon HD 6850 and 6870 - will emerge for sale shortly. The novelties will not carry ATI brand like predecessors.

Tags: AMD, ATI, Radeon, Northern Islands, 40nm, Barts

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