Here we go again! The past two months has been one of the craziest on record for graphics product launches. While it makes a lot of work for the reviewer, it is a very good day for the consumer. The Nvidia launch of GeForce GTX 570 last Tuesday was a good shot in the arm for those of you looking for great performance under $400. At $350 the GTX 570 is an attractive buy but that is still a bit out of reach for the majority of gamers. While this is the FiringSquad, “Home of the Hardcore Gamer,” most of us don’t have hardcore discretionary budgets to acquire toys with.
Today AMD is launching its Cayman architecture under the heading of Radeon HD 6970 and Radeon HD 6950. As you will see, AMD changed some of the architecture to make it faster in several areas but also is introducing some new features. The best part of this launch is the performance per dollar. Radeon HD 6970 is being introduced at $369 to compete directly with GeForce GTX 570. Radeon HD 6950 is launching at $299. This is the price range for GeForce GTX 470 and Radeon HD 5870. This should ultimately lower the price on all of the cards in that $250-300 band as HD 6950 pushes it way in.
On the pages that follow, we will explore the new power and overclocking features inside of Cayman. We will also take a closer look at the changes in the architecture and point out why AMD made these changes and how it relates to performance. AMD has a real winner in both cards it is launching today and as we take a walk through all of the changes you should have a clear understanding of this as well.