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Every year ATI and NVIDIA release new video cards for the high-end, the mainstream and the value segments. It is a constant struggle with new chips being designed and released. Generally AMD has released a new architecture every two years with a refresh of that architecture released the year after, followed by the next architecture on a new process node the year after.
AMD launched their Evergreen series of video cards late last year, becoming the first video card company to release DirectX 11 compliant video cards. They released a top to bottom family of cards before NVIDIA released their DX 11 cards, the GeForce Fermi series at the high end. Today marks AMD’s launch of the refresh of their DX11 cards, the RADEON HD 6 series.
The HD 5970 was the absolute highest end of their lineup with two HD 5870 chips with 1600 Stream Processors each on one card. The HD 5870 was the high-end with a slightly lower performing HD 5850 using the same chip but with SPs disabled for slightly less money. The HD 5770 was their card for the $200-300 price range. AMD also launched the HD 5670 for the $100-200 price range and the HD 5450 for the low end of the spectrum
AMD is launching a top to bottom refresh of their new video cards from top to bottom. Today I’m reviewing the HD 6850 from XFX, which is the replacement for the HD 5750. I also have coverage of the HD 6870, which is the replacement for the HD 5770. You’ll notice that they have moved everything up on their numbering scheme by 100 to make room for their Fusion APU, which is coming early next year. They will also release a replacement for the HD 5870 in the form of another new chip called Cayman but that will launch sometime in the near future. XFX is one of the launch partners for the HD 6 series and today I’m reviewing the HD 6850 card from XFX.