Radeon 6xxx: architecture, photos (these ones look legit)

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Improved UVD, possible Eyefinity without needing DP->VGA/DVI adapter, and improved Stream Processor efficiency. TDP and die size will be higher than 5xxx series, performance is 25-40% higher than 5xxx series. (If these rumors are correct, then the HD5870 analog would be ~20% faster than the GTX 480.) Tessellation power is supposed to be 3-4 times as powerful as the 5xxx series.

Technical discussion about improvements made to 6xxx series architecture: http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?p=30402647#post30402647

Photos: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-cayman-and-caicos-pictures-leaked/9769.html (Note the two mini-displayports instead of one displayport. Also, the guy who leaked these photos supposedly has not one, not two, but TWENTY 6xxx cards. If that doesn't scream "imminent launch," I don't know what does.)

What's also interesting to me is that not only will the HD5870 analog part be faster than the GTX 480, but the HD5850 analog might beat it, too.

UPDATE: http://www.semiaccurate.com/2010/09/06/what-amds-northern-islands/

Charlie, who has good sources no matter what you think of his red vs. green politics, posts more about 6xxx series. Here are the takeaway points:

1) TSMC abruptly canceled 32nm process and AMD's plans got rearranged, hence the SI vs. NI naming confusion. The 6xxx series will be called Northern Islands.

2) Charlie confirms the 4+1 -> 4 redo of the stream processors (shaders), as highlighted by the Anandtech forum post. The new arrangement can do almost as much work as the old arrangement, and it's smaller, so you can jam more of them onto the same die space.

3) The non-shader portion of the chip is more efficient too. (Also, Charlie didn't mention this, but I heard that AMD had some unused die space in Cypress that they were able to reclaim for Northern Islands.)

4) The Northern Islands flagship GPU (analog to Cypress) will be a larger chip, 380-400mm2.

5) Currently there is scheduled an event for October 12 that has something to do with Northern Islands, but it isn't a launch.

6) AMD will launch the Juniper analog first, then the Cypress analog, then the Hemlock analog, all before the end of 2010. (If we use last year's terminology, it will be as if AMD launched 5770/5750 first, then 5870/5850, then 5970.) Lower-end parts will be released early next year.
 
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There are rumors that AMD will not be renaming every card similarly. E.g., in 5xxx series you have:

5970 <-- Hemlock, built from two Cypress chips
5870 <-- Cypress, the flagship chip
5770 <-- Juniper (half of Cypress)
etc.

Now, in a sane and boring world, AMD would simply increase each of those numbers by 1000, like this:

6970 = dual-flagship chip
6870 = flagship chip
6770 = half of flagship chip

However, some are saying that the new naming scheme will be:

6990 <--the analog to this would be the HD5970 (dual Cypress)
6970 <--the analog to this would be the HD5870 (single Cypress; Cypress is the flagship chip of the HD58xx series)
6870 <--the analog to this would be the HD5770 (single Juniper)
etc.

I hope they don't change the naming scheme, it is already confusing enough as it is.
 

USMC2Hard4U

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I hope they don't change the naming scheme, it is already confusing enough as it is.

I do.

WTF happens in a few years when they get back to the 8 and 9 series?

I already had a Radeon 9700 before ( Like 8 years ago).... and even tho it was an amazing card for the time, I dont want another one! :p
 

steal

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I do.

WTF happens in a few years when they get back to the 8 and 9 series?

I already had a Radeon 9700 before ( Like 8 years ago).... and even tho it was an amazing card for the time, I dont want another one! :p

The old 9 series will be long forgotten by then. I like the current naming scheme and wouldn't mind if they kept with the current trend, and only bumped up the first number. It would make things a lot easier on consumers.
 

USMCGrunt

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They just need to start naming them like they do cars. Come get the 2011 Radeon.....and I know what your thinking...."but Grunt, they are going to release it in 2010," well guess what...they do the same thing with cars baby....I think this would make the most sense. 2010 base model, 2010 sport, 2010 luxury.....BAM...I need to work in the marketing divison lol.
 

USMC2Hard4U

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They just need to start naming them like they do cars. Come get the 2011 Radeon.....and I know what your thinking...."but Grunt, they are going to release it in 2010," well guess what...they do the same thing with cars baby....I think this would make the most sense. 2010 base model, 2010 sport, 2010 luxury.....BAM...I need to work in the marketing divison lol.

Perhaps you are smarter than the average 03.

Anyway, I think you are right. It would be alot easier that way anyway.
 

sirmonkey1985

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I do.

WTF happens in a few years when they get back to the 8 and 9 series?

I already had a Radeon 9700 before ( Like 8 years ago).... and even tho it was an amazing card for the time, I dont want another one! :p



that whole thing disappeared and long forgotten by the non-enthusiast consumers after nvidia reused a lot of the old ati naming.. 8500, 9600, 9800 are the big ones that come to mind since i owned the ATI versions of those namings years ago.. plus your talking about a naming scheme that wont be used for almost 5 more years..
 

firas

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I don&#8217;t know but maybe using complicated names and changing the naming scheme has to do with marketing science in some psychological way
 
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http://www.semiaccurate.com/2010/09/06/what-amds-northern-islands/

Charlie, who has good sources no matter what you think of his red vs. green politics, posts more about 6xxx series:

Takeaway points:

1) TSMC abruptly canceled 32nm process and AMD's plans got rearranged, hence the SI vs. NI naming confusion. The 6xxx series will be called Northern Islands.

2) Charlie confirms the 4+1 -> 4 redo of the stream processors (shaders), as highlighted by the Anandtech forum post. The new arrangement can do almost as much work as the old arrangement, and it's smaller, so you can jam more of them onto the same die space.

3) The non-shader portion of the chip is more efficient too. (Charlie didn't say this specifically, but I heard that AMD had some unused die space in Cypress that they were able to reclaim for Northern Islands.)

4) Northern Islands will be a larger chip, 380-400mm2.

5) Currently there is scheduled an event for October 12 that has something to do with Northern Islands, but it isn't a launch.

6) AMD will launch the Juniper analog first, then the Cypress analog, then the Hemlock analog, all before the end of 2010. (If we use last year's terminology, it will be as if AMD launched 5770/5750 first, then 5870/5850, then 5970.) Lower-end parts will be released early next year.

I will update the OP to reflect this info.
 

Syphon Filter

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6) AMD will launch the Juniper analog first, then the Cypress analog, then the Hemlock analog, all before the end of 2010. (If we use last year's terminology, it will be as if AMD launched 5770/5750 first, then 5870/5850, then 5970.) Lower-end parts will be released early next year.

Are you suggesting that all the high(est) end parts will be out in time for Christmas?
 

Kaldskryke

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Uh, what's with the picture of the Cayman XT card having an ATI sticker on its fan? Is it just leftover from before the brand was killed?
 
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Are you suggesting that all the high(est) end parts will be out in time for Christmas?

As of right now, according to Charlie, the entire high end line will launch prior to 2011. That doesn't mean schedules can't slip, but right now, that's the best info we've got. And if you read AT's article on Cypress, you know that the "new" ATI/AMD/whatever it's called, has more of a focus on shipping stuff out to meet critical periods such as the Christmas shopping season or the launch of DX11 (with Windows 7).

Uh, what's with the picture of the Cayman XT card having an ATI sticker on its fan? Is it just leftover from before the brand was killed?

It's an engineering sample. The launched product will be AMD branded in all likelihood.
 
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heflys20

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Wow, this is very, very, very exciting......I cannot wait to see these cards in action.
 
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We can expect the 5770/5750 replacement to launch in October. I'm betting late October, not early October, but we'll see.

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20100906PD214.html

"Nvidia is prepared to launch its latest GeForce 400-series GPU, the GeForce GT 430 codenamed GF108, around the middle of October and the GPU will feature a performance in between its GeForce GT 240 and GT 220; meanwhile, AMD is also set to launch its Radeon HD 6000-series around the same time, according to sources from graphics card makers.

AMD will launch Radeon HD 6700-series GPUs for its HD 6000 family initially, targeting the mainstream market. There are two GPUs codenamed Barts XT and Barts Pro currently known under the 6700-series which will take over the position of the existing Radeon 5770 and 5750, the sources noted." (Emphasis added.)

Digitimes is usually more or less accurate and has tons of sources in Taiwan/China. There is only so much you can hide from TSMC and others in the tech industry in Asia, where they physically make GPUs, PCBs, etc.
 

vjcsmoke

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The reason that AMD is releasing the 6700 first is that they want to take back the midrange market from Nvidia who is currently enjoying positive reviews and sales with its GTX 460 series. NV still doesn't have anything to compete in the 100 and under DX11 market yet. By the time they do so, AMD will have already rolled out its 6000 series and NV will have the negative perception of having older tech.

Would you rather buy a 2nd gen DX11 card or settle for a 1st gen one that isn't as fast? Things that make you go hmm. Let the price wars begin! The consumer will benefit and I bet you'll be able to buy a 460 for $150 or less once the 6770 enters the market.
 

sparks

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yea and if AMD follows their pricing from last year. IF you can find one they will be $600+
NO Fing WAY

How about updating the CCC bloatware.
I have 2 so I am not an N fan posting BS.


ps can't wait for them to come out...Nvidia ad....WHY WE HAVE THE NEW card that will blow it away.
Here is a cardboard mock up of it and you can believe us.
(we just hope its not drawing 1500W and 2000 deg temps.)
 
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covertash

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I just re-ran the Crysis benchmark just for shits and giggles on my HD5970 with the exact same settings as in the screenshot in the Anand link and to my surprise, that single GPU matches the performance of my dual GPU card! :eek:

Impressive to say the least! Can't wait to see how well the final silicon will perform!!! :D

http://i643.photobucket.com/albums/uu156/covertash/covertash-crysisrun.png

covertash-crysisrun.png
 

kllrnohj

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yea and if AMD follows their pricing from last year. IF you can find one they will be $600+
NO Fing WAY

Bought my 5870 launch week for $380 :p

Only had to pay a lot if you bought one during the shortage that followed launch. Since TSMC has been doing 40nm for a while now, hopefully that won't be a problem.
 

bear jesus

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I do.

WTF happens in a few years when they get back to the 8 and 9 series?

I already had a Radeon 9700 before ( Like 8 years ago).... and even tho it was an amazing card for the time, I dont want another one! :p

I liked when they had an x at the start of the name instead of HD as it could be taken as a roman numeral as in the x1950 would be 10,1950 upto 10,6970 in the near future as that was/would have been accurate

I really cant wait to see what happens in the gpu market with he 6xxx cards release, im hoping for some nice price drops or a nice 6xxx card that makes it worth it to skip the 5xxx or 4xx cards
 

samurai1999

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Charlie, who has good sources no matter what you think of his red vs. green politics, posts more about 6xxx series.

Just how wrong does someone have to be before they stop getting quoted??
:rolleyes:

For months Charlie has been proclaiming that the next rev from ATI/AMD will be SI, and will not refresh the core
- and that NI is on 28nm, and coming next year.

As it turns out, NI is on 40nm, coming this year, and seems to be the architecture that would have been on 32nm (including the enhanced core) but scaled back onto 40nm....

He's a bit like a fair-ground palm-reader - praised when he lucks out & guesses something obvious right, but forgiven when his guesses prove to be 100% incorrect!
:eek:

Looks like an awesome step forward for DAMMIT though!
 

Kaldskryke

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Just how wrong does someone have to be before they stop getting quoted??
:rolleyes:

For months Charlie has been proclaiming that the next rev from ATI/AMD will be SI, and will not refresh the core
- and that NI is on 28nm, and coming next year.

As it turns out, NI is on 40nm, coming this year, and seems to be the architecture that would have been on 32nm (including the enhanced core) but scaled back onto 40nm....

He's a bit like a fair-ground palm-reader - praised when he lucks out & guesses something obvious right, but forgiven when his guesses prove to be 100% incorrect!
:eek:

Looks like an awesome step forward for DAMMIT though!
The crux of Charlie's inaccuracies lately have been due to the mass confusion regarding the names Northern Islands and Southern Islands.

For example, under the (wrong) assumption that Southern Islands would be coming out first, one would assume that Northern Islands would come out later, probably on 28nm. Then if one of his sources says "Northern Islands will have a lot of architectural differences" then its pretty easy to apply that rumor to the 28nm chip and be left thinking that the upcoming 40nm chip is therefore relatively unchanged (because nobody is going to do two major architectural revisions consecutively). Does this reflect poorly on the quality of Charlie's sources? Not necessarily.

I'm not saying Charlie wasn't wrong. But Charlie has connections and when he gets a rumor there is a pretty good chance that there is a nugget of truth in it, even if Charlie misinterprets it. It's called Semi-Accurate for a reason.
 

samurai1999

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The crux of Charlie's inaccuracies lately have been due to the mass confusion regarding the names Northern Islands and Southern Islands.

For example, under the (wrong) assumption that Southern Islands would be coming out first, one would assume that Northern Islands would come out later, probably on 28nm. Then if one of his sources says "Northern Islands will have a lot of architectural differences" then its pretty easy to apply that rumor to the 28nm chip and be left thinking that the upcoming 40nm chip is therefore relatively unchanged (because nobody is going to do two major architectural revisions consecutively). Does this reflect poorly on the quality of Charlie's sources? Not necessarily.

I'm not saying Charlie wasn't wrong. But Charlie has connections and when he gets a rumor there is a pretty good chance that there is a nugget of truth in it, even if Charlie misinterprets it. It's called Semi-Accurate for a reason.

The cult of Charlie lives on!
:rolleyes:

It's quite interesting how his disciples spring to his defense using bizarre convoluted logic
- i'm sure someone could write a psychology thesis on it...
:p
 
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The cult of Charlie lives on!
:rolleyes:

It's quite interesting how his disciples spring to his defense using bizarre convoluted logic
- i'm sure someone could write a psychology thesis on it...
:p

Charlie's track record of estimating the timing of launches isn't that bad, even if he got SI/NI mixed up.

Even if you don't like Charlie's timeline, it looks like DigiTimes is estimating a timeline consistent with what Charlie is hinting at:

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20100906PD214.html

Summary of link: Digitimes says that the new 6xxx starts launching in October, around the same time that NVidia launches its next Fermi chips in mid-October. I'm guessing mid-Oct for NV and mid-or-late-Oct for AMD.
 

kllrnohj

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Charlie's track record of estimating the timing of launches isn't that bad, even if he got SI/NI mixed up.

Even if you don't like Charlie's timeline, it looks like DigiTimes is estimating a timeline consistent with what Charlie is hinting at:

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20100906PD214.html

Summary of link: Digitimes says that the new 6xxx starts launching in October, around the same time that NVidia launches its next Fermi chips in mid-October. I'm guessing mid-Oct for NV and mid-or-late-Oct for AMD.

Nvidia is launching its low end budget crap that none of us care about, though, whereas ATI is releasing an entirely new generation. This could easily be another solo round for ATI.
 
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However, some are saying that the new naming scheme will be:

6990 <--the analog to this would be the HD5970 (dual Cypress)
6970 <--the analog to this would be the HD5870 (single Cypress; Cypress is the flagship chip of the HD58xx series)
6870 <--the analog to this would be the HD5770 (single Juniper)
etc.

I hope they don't change the naming scheme, it is already confusing enough as it is.

I hope that is not true, that will be very confusing. I rather see the dual card be named as the 6970. And keep the 68xx as the single high end cards.
 

Kaldskryke

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Just subtract 100.

It seems like a rather useless change - it doesn't help clarify the product in any way - so why would they make the change? It will confuse anyone who unfortunately assumes the product names would follow the same rules as the 5000 series and it will not benefit anyone in the slightest.
Sure it's not hard to "just subtract 100" but the consumer needs to know to subtract 100 for the model number to make sense and that requires paying attention to technology news and there are many people who don't. And it would be even easier for AMD to abstain from such a stupid idea.
 

Mr. K6

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Are some of you suggesting that "higher number = higher performance" is too difficult a concept? :confused:
 

Corvette

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We haven't seen the product range yet, so it might make room for a range of products between the 5770 and the 5830 type cards.
 
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I wonder what the price points will be?

If 6770=5850 (GTX 460 OC 1GB) performance,
6850=GTX 480 performance,
6870=5970 performance.

If they want more market share, I'll take a wild guess at $200 for the 6770, $300 for the 6850 and $450 for the 6870.
 
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tybert7

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Any idea how long it will be before the mobile version of the 6000 series cards are released?
 

Xzyrus

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However, some are saying that the new naming scheme will be:

6990 <--the analog to this would be the HD5970 (dual Cypress)
6970 <--the analog to this would be the HD5870 (single Cypress; Cypress is the flagship chip of the HD58xx series)
6870 <--the analog to this would be the HD5770 (single Juniper)
etc.

I hope they don't change the naming scheme, it is already confusing enough as it is.

http://www.nordichardware.com/news/...ts-launches-in-october-as-radeon-hd-6800.html

Another source for that naming scheme. I personally hate it but it makes me wonder if AMD will use it as an excuse to keep prices for the same level of performance between 5000 and 6000 series similar and just price Caymen at a much higher premium.

I hadn't been following video cards for too long but I do know 5770 prices now is close to 4870 EOL pricing so at that same price level, consumers didn't get any addition performance, just greater feature set that is more efficient (cooler & consume less power).
 

fattypants

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it makes me wonder if AMD will use it as an excuse to keep prices for the same level of performance between 5000 and 6000 series similar and just price Caymen at a much higher premium.
Very possible it will be higher, but I feel it will not too terribly much.. Both Nvidia and AMD have experienced a decided lack of consumer interest over $430, which has driven GTX 480 prices down to $440 (or less with rebates), and the 5870 to $360.

I will make a foolhardy prediction and place the 6000 series top-end single GPUs being priced in the $430-$460 range, and the few remaining 5970s still in circulation being slashed or rebated until they can be had for under $480.
 
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Kaldskryke

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I wonder what the price points will be?
I expect prices to be fairly high.

If the performance for NI is as high as the leaked benchmarks imply, it shouldn't be difficult to command a fairly high price point. And if AMD is still supply constrained from not having allotted enough 40nm wafers at TSMC, there won't be much reason for AMD to lower prices. Even if AMD is not supply constrained, its not like we'll be seeing a huge price war between AMD and NV since the margins on GF104 and GF100 products are already fairly slim and NV would rather lose market share than sell products at a loss.

I'd love to be wrong, of course.
 

RamonGTP

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I'm pretty sure the 40nm supply issue is long since passed, but I still don't expect the cards to be cheap.
 
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I expect prices to be fairly high.

If the performance for NI is as high as the leaked benchmarks imply, it shouldn't be difficult to command a fairly high price point. And if AMD is still supply constrained from not having allotted enough 40nm wafers at TSMC, there won't be much reason for AMD to lower prices. Even if AMD is not supply constrained, its not like we'll be seeing a huge price war between AMD and NV since the margins on GF104 and GF100 products are already fairly slim and NV would rather lose market share than sell products at a loss.

I'd love to be wrong, of course.

FWIW, Charlie says: http://www.semiaccurate.com/forums/showpost.php?p=66673&postcount=89 and http://www.semiaccurate.com/forums/showpost.php?p=66674&postcount=90

"I think the 67xx cards will be pin compatible replacements for the 57xx line, so same memory bus, but likely faster memory. Basically, the 6000 series will be a decent bump in speed from the 5000 line, and every chip will slot in at the same point that the older ones did. The 6850 should be about the same price as a 5850 was on introduction, or possibly after the price bump.

-Charlie "

"I would be VERY surprised if the 6000 line didn't end up at the same price point as the cards they replace. Maybe a SMALL increase, but if you price it on price/performance, you:
1) Don't drive NV down
2) Don't give people a reason to buy the new cards
3) Create ill will among the target market.

As is the case for the last 5 generations or so, prices will be stable for all but the top top end.

-Charlie"

Even prior to Charlie saying that, I expected cards to be priced similar to how they were priced last generation but slightly higher to account for higher VRAM costs (they are using some top-of-the-line GDDR5 if rumors are true.. 6GHz+ equivalent). I wouldn't be surprised by MSRPs of:

$600 - 5970 analog (equivalent in NV land: none)
$400 - 5870 analog (equivalent in NV land: SLI GTX 460; 15-20% faster than GTX 480)
$290 - 5850 analog (equivalent in NV land: GTX 480)
$180 - 5770 analog (equivalent in NV land: GTX 460)

If there's a shortage again then prices may be higher.
 
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