AMD unveils ATI Radeon HD 5970; GPUs cower in shame

ATI bills its newest graphics board as the world's fastest GPU

Dubbed by AMD as the "world's fastest," the ATI Radeon HD 5970 joins the ranks of DirectX 11 capable graphics cards, and includes ATI's Eyefinity multi-display technology.

Announced today, The HD 5970 boasts quite a few nifty features, including an integrated HD Audio controller, efficiency tools to lighten the card's power consumption, and nearly 5 teraflops of power. To illustrate how rapidly graphics cards are advancing, Nvidia's GTX 295, which was released early this year, offers up a comparatively measly 1.79 teraflops.

With Eyefinity, a single card can support up to six monitors at a maximum resolution of 7680 x 1600: perfect for those who appreciate egregious amounts of screen space. You'll need a monitor equipped with a DisplayPort connector to take full advantage, however.

Power-users will appreciate ATI Overdrive, a software tool that lets you overclock your graphics card without any performance caps. The card's warranty doesn't cover damage caused by overclocking, so overclock at your own risk.

Windows 7 and Windows Vista support DirectX 11, and a growing list of games -- including upcoming titles like Codemasters' Dirt 2, and EA's Battlefield Bad Company 2 -- promise to take advantage of the latest advances in graphical wizardry.

Naturally, all of this performance doesn't come cheap. Early adopters can expect to pay about US$600. Alienware will be among the first to include the cards in new PCs; it'll ship in the latest Area-51, Area-51 ALX, and Aurora lines of desktops. You can expect all of the major OEM distributors to start unveiling their own products soon.

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