updated 10:15 am EDT, Fri September 4, 2009
Radeon HD 5800 Five Parts
AMD's ATI Radeon HD 5800 line will have five models by the time it's complete, a detailed leak of data shows. The 5870 and 5850 known to be launching first are now believed by Xbit to be just upper mid-range parts that would replace the 4870 and 4850 sold today. Falling under the codename Juniper, they would use the same processor as higher-end chips but would be eclipsed by two higher-end models, Cypress and Hemlock.
Cypress would be the true high-end regular chipset and would replace the Radeon HD 4890. Hemlock would be the ATI dual-chip, single card offering and should be labeled the Radeon HD 5870 X2 when it ships with 2GB of memory onboard. As with the 3870 X2 and 4870X2, each individual chip won't run as fast as the best single-core card but will be paired together to provide much faster performance in any operating system and app that recognizes AMD/ATI's CrossFire feature.
Veering away from its recent approach to the low end, though, ATI's mainstream and budget chipsets will be consolidated into a simpler range. One part, Redwood, should replace at least two existing Radeon models (likely those used in the 4500, 4600 and possibly 4700 lines) while the entry level Cedar will replace the least expensive models.
AMD is known to be launching the 5870 and 5870 in the fall and may announce them this month with a release in October. Stand-alone upgrade cards are the most likely choices for the early launch, though AMD's single-chip graphics hardware is regularly included in large computer manufacturers' systems, such as the build-to-order Radeon HD 4850 and 4870 chips found in the 24-inch iMac and Mac Pro.