ATI Radeon HD 5870: DirectX 11, Eyefinity, And Serious Speed

DirectCompute

Of course, the big-daddy feature of DirectX 11 is DirectCompute, an API that facilitates more general purpose GPU computing across the latest DX11 cards, in addition to DX10 and DX10.1 boards. As you ascend the DirectX hierarchy, you get more and more features enabled through DirectCompute. Applications of DirectCompute include image/post-processing, physics, ray-tracing, AI, order-independent transparency, and shadow rendering—in addition to the video transcoding stuff we’ve already seen from Stream and CUDA.

This is interesting, since most of the examples of GPGPU computing have centered on video transcoding and post-processing through titles like CyberLink MediaShow Espresso and ArcSoft’s SimHD. Now we’re seeing the technology folded into gaming. Indeed, this is a result of game developers getting access to ATI’s Stream technology through a standardized interface, which we’ve long-maintained would be a requisite for widespread adoption.

Take order-independent transparency, for example. In the past, rendering multiple overlapping alpha-blended objects involved heavy sorting, from back to front, of each object. Pre-DX11, this would have involved a lot of host processor computation, and even then you won’t necessarily get a visually-accurate result. In DirectX 11, transparent pixels are sorted using atomic operations and append buffers in just one pass. Check out the screenshots from the demo below.

There’s plenty more that can be done with DirectCompute, from high definition ambient occlusion to contact-hardened shadows and depth of field post-processing. ATI even showed off a demo of drag-and-drop transcoding through Windows 7. But when we asked ATI about tests we could use to put DirectCompute to the test, it responded that there’s nothing available yet. So, we’ll wait for third-party ISVs to utilize DirectCompute before going into more depth on it. On tap: Aliens Vs. Predator, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat, and Colin McRae: Dirt 2—all to be enabled with DirectCompute functionality in the next few months.

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  • Anonymous
    anyone seen these in the uk?
    1
  • jimishtar
    now this is someting. cant wait to see what nvidia will come up with.
    1
  • jimishtar
    does this mean that the prices of existing 48xx cards will go down?
    1
  • siunit
    They are scheduled for release on the 25th in the UK according to major online retailers expected stock date.
    0
  • cyber_jockey
    My god the 4870x2 finally got a rival
    1
  • Anonymous
    Smooth gaming again!?!? YAY
    0
  • plasmastorm
    available for pre order on scan.co.uk now £320
    0
  • ainarssems
    All those connectors are nice but first thing I thought when I first saw pictures was there is not enough vents on the backto cool that card properly. Hopefully some board partners will come up with versions with full PCI slot cooling. Eyfinity looks better, but all I need is two DVI connectors one for monitor and other for projector.

    Now lets see what Nvidia brings out, lets hope something competitive in performance and price. I hope prices drop by Cristhmas to £200-259 for 5870
    0
  • ainarssems
    At guru3d they overclocked to 925 core/ 5400 memory could not go further because of temp problems. I wonder what would they do with better cooling. 1GHZ/6GHz?...Now that would be sweet.Link: http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-5870-review-test/26
    0
  • atomdrift
    ainarssemsAll those connectors are nice but first thing I thought when I first saw pictures was there is not enough vents on the backto cool that card properly. Hopefully some board partners will come up with versions with full PCI slot cooling.


    Anandtech addressed this concern in their review: "As far as the 5870 is concerned, this is solid proof that the half-slot exhaust vent isn’t going to cause any issues with cooling."
    http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3643
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  • atomdrift
    Here's the source link to the above quotation.

    http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3643
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  • ainarssems
    I have seen Anandtech's article, however they did hit 100C and started to throtle in /crossfire on Toms review and Guru3d temps limited overclocking so there is room for improvement in cooling.

    Also I wonder if 2GB version would perform better at high resolutions with AA
    0
  • jcwbnimble
    No Crossfire? Really? What was ATI thinking releasing a top of the line video card that can't support a major feature set? One of the major selling points is that you can run 3 displays off this one card, yet you need to Crossfire two of these to get playable frame rates. Problem, you can't Crossfire these cards (yet?).

    They should have dispensed with the third video connection in favor of extra ventilation, which it sounds like this card needs. If users are so gung ho about running 3 or more dispays, then wait for the Eyefinity card.

    Glad to see ATI releasing a product that puts a boot up Nvidia's arse, but they shouldn't have released it without solving the Crossfire issue.
    -5
  • ainarssems
    Must be mistake. Check benchmarks, they include crossfire results so it is working. They probably had the cards for some while for testing and started writing article and drivers did not support crossfire at the start and does support now. They just forgot to edit part of the article where it says that it does not support crossfire.
    0
  • shrex
    any word on when the 5670 is gonna come out
    0
  • deepblue69uk
    Yes, try www.overclockers.co.uk
    -1
  • chockimon
    £320 ouch, what a rip off and no Physx. I think this time round Nvidia's mid range card, the GTX360 will trounce all over this card from a great height.
    -4
  • wikkus
    chockimon£320 ouch, what a rip off and no Physx. I think this time round Nvidia's mid range card, the GTX360 will trounce all over this card from a great height.


    Wow, 8 minutes before the first fanboi commentard...

    As someone who holds allegiance with neither vendor -- both have a place in our house -- this looks great from a stirring-up the market perspective.

    R.
    0