Last night we received word that AMD’s manufacturing partners are going to be introducing new models of their HD 6870 cards. They gave three examples of what to expect.
- Sapphire-Toxic Version clocked at 975MHz engine, 1100MHz Memory clock.
- XFX-Black Edition clocked at 940MHz engine, 1150MHz Memory clock.
- PowerColor: clocked at 940MHz engine, 1100MHz Memory clock.
Prices will range anywhere from $229 to $259, depending on the partner. Not too bad, especially considering the Toxic is knocking on the door to a 1 GHz GPU clock from the get-go.
In addition to those, around mid-February we can expect to see factory-overclocked HD 6950’s hitting the market, with prices around $269 – $279.
Lastly, there is a hotfix available for Catalyst, dubbed the 11.1a hot-fix. They report numerous improvements in efficiency in both the 6800 and 6900 series cards. According to AMD, “performance improvements for the AMD Radeon HD 6800 & HD 6900 series include but not limited to:
AMD Radeon HD 6900 and AMD Radeon HD 6800 Series:
- 3DMark Vantage improves ~7%
- 3DMark06 improves ~3%
- Call of Duty Black Ops improves ~20% at 4xMSAA and up to 35% at 8xMSAA
- Riddick Assault on Dark Athena SSAO performance improves ~20%
- Unigine Heaven OpenGL performance improves ~10% at moderate, 30% at normal and 100% at extreme tessellation levels
AMD Radeon HD 6800 Series:
- Aliens vs. Predators improves ~9% at 2xMSAA and up to 20% at 4xMSAA
- Batman Arkham Asylum improves ~4%
- Crysis Warhead improves ~2-4%
- Metro 2033 improves ~28% at 4xMSAA
AMD Radeon HD 6900 Series:
- Battleforge DirectX 11 performance improves as much as 6%
- The Catalyst Control Center includes an early prototype of some new tessellation controls. Our goal is to give users full control over the tessellation levels used in applications. The default selection “AMD Optimized” setting allows AMD, on a per application basis, to set the best level of tessellation. The intention is to help users get the maximum visual benefit of Tessellation, while minimizing the impact on performance. Currently no applications have been profiled, so the “AMD Optimized” setting will be non-operational until further notice.
- The “Use Application Settings” option gives applications full control over the Tessellation level. Users can also manually set the maximum tessellation level used by applications with the slider control.
- The long term goal for the “AMD Optimized” setting is to use the Catalyst Application Profile mechanism to control the AMD recommended level of tessellation on a per application basis. AMD’s intention is to set the tessellation level such that we will not be reducing image quality in any way that would negatively impact the gaming experience.”
Based on that, it is definitely an upgrade worth downloading for anyone with 6xxx series cards.
Still no word on the availability of the rumored powerhouse, the 6990. Rest assured we’ll bring you any news we get on them, and we hope to bring you some detailed testing when that time comes!
– Jeremy Vaughan (hokiealumnus)