ATI has introduced its long-awaited Radeon HD 5800 GPU series. The 5800 - which is AMD's first DirectX 11 GPU - supports Eyefinity Technology, OpenCL and DirectCompute 11.
"With the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series of graphics cards driven by the most powerful processor on the planet, AMD is changing the game, both in terms of performance and the experience," said AMD's Rick Bergman.
"As the first to market with full DirectX 11 support, an unmatched experience made possible with ATI Eyefinity technology, and ATI Stream technology harnessing open standards designed to help make Windows 7 that much better, I can say with confidence that AMD is the undisputed leader in graphics once more."
According to Bergman, ATI will initially release two cards: the Radeon HD 5870 and the 5850, each with 1GB GDDR5 memory. The $400 Radeon 5870 is capable of delivering up to 2.72 TeraFLOPS of compute power, while the $300 Radeon 5850 is capable of achieving 2.09 TeraFLOPS. Both are primed for the newest DirectX 11 titles, including DiRT 2, Aliens vs. Predator and an updated version of Lord of the Rings Online.
Bergman explained that the 5800 series features sixth generation tessellation technology, second generation 40nm process technology and third generation GDDR5 support. In addition, Bergman noted that the DirectX 11 API was developed on AMD graphics hardware - which represents the "cornerstone" of DirectX 11 gaming.
"With more than 20 DirectX 11 games currently in development, this innate optimization for ATI Radeon graphics cards, in combination with monthly ATI Catalyst driver releases, help ensure a stable, reliable and high-performance experience for the latest games," added Bergman.
The Radeon HD 5800 GPU has already received positive reviews from a number of game companies, including EA Phenomic, GSC Gameworld and Trinigy. Indeed, Phenomic VP Dirk Ringe described the 5800 gaming experience as "breathtaking."
"Frame rates are so silky-smooth at ultra high-resolutions, even with all effects turned to max, that the new hardware makes previous hardware look like a quaint antique," said Ringe. "The quality of the rendering in BattleForge is something that I used to dream about only a year ago – and the flexibility and power of DirectCompute 11 opens our eyes to a multitude of new possibilities."