Unlike the way that rival nVidia sometimes pulls off a launch, AMD is leading with the current Radeon 6000 series top-of-the-line cards, the HD6850 and HD6870, which are the second series to have Microsoft DX 11 capabilities.

Though the DX 11 performance may be of interest to many, I am one of those that is currently looking for the very best Eyefinity setup for the mid-range dollars that I can currently allocate, so the number of ports on the card is quit important, and is varying buy wide margins on every manufacturer’s offerings, though they all tend to support at least 3 monitors, with many doing 5. Five monitors seems like a very odd number (no pun intended), but I suppose the companies have done the proper research on this.

From TechConnect comes a more thorough description of what AMD is showing this morning –

Right on cue to make our Friday full and fulfilling, AMD has introduced the Radeon HD 6850 and HD 6870 graphics cards which are powered by its second-generation DirectX 11-supporting 40nm GPU codenamed Barts.

These two mainstream products take advantage of a tweaked architecture that enables better tessellation performance, have new image quality features like morphological anti-aliasing, and include the Eyefinity multi-monitor technology, this time, enhanced with support for DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4a.

Starting at $179, the Radeon HD 6850 takes up two slots, requires extra power via one 6-pin PCIe connector, and has 960 Stream Processor, 48 texture units, a 256-bit memory interface, 1GB of GDDR5 VRAM, GPU and memory clocks of 775 and 4000 MHz, dual-DVI, one HDMI 1.4a and two mini DisplayPort 1.2 outputs (for up to six monitors via Eyefinity), the UVD 3 dedicated video playback accelerator, CrossFire support, and the HD3D technology for 3D gaming.

The Radeon HD 6870 bears a recommended price tag of $239 and has similar features to its little brother but packs two 6-pin PCIe connectors, 1120 Stream Processors, 56 texture units, and GPU/memory clocks of 900/4200 MHz.

Radeon HD 6800 series cards are being offered by Asus, Club 3D, Diamond Multimedia, Force3D, Gigabyte, HIS, MSI, PowerColor, Sapphire, VisionTek and XFX.

A first batch of reviews is listed below so enjoy the read and maybe update your Christmas wish list.

@ TechGage

@ AnandTech

@ Guru3D ( single cards and CrossFire )

@ HotHardware

@ InsideHW

@ Legit Reviews

@ [H]ard OCP

@ Hexus

@ PC Perspective

Many thanks to TechConnect for the links and other information. They had the largest gathering of information, as they frequently do.

The prices vary wildly, in some places, but as usual, the best prices will be found online, and I suggest Newegg for the best, most reputable service, with prices lower than anyone has a right to expect – but it is certainly nice anyway.

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