Published in Reviews

XFX Evergreen series locked and loaded in our lab

by on13 October 2009



So, AMD's Evergreen family of products lists GPUs codenamed Cedar, Redwood, Juniper, Cypress and Hemlock (the last GPU being the fastest). Furthermore, while the current crop of launched DX11 cards is single-GPU, rest assured that dual-GPU Hemlock cards aren't far away.

Of course, while developing Evergreen series AMD didn’t only focus its efforts towards improving performance, but paid attention to power consumption as well using ATI PowerPlay. As a matter of fact, AMD seems to have done a good job as the new 40nm architecture doesn't consume much more than the previous generation, while delivering superior performance.

Apart from ATI Eyefinity technology, all the chips come with ATI Stream support, which will when combined with compatible programs take some strain off of the CPU and put the GPU to good use.

It's worth repeating that the cards come with native Windows 7 support and that all the Evergreen cards are DirectX 11 ready. DirectX 11 brings quite a couple of important features, such as tesselation, which subdivides relatively low-polygon meshes into finer surfaces needed for more detailed objects such as faces or different terrains. The rest of the important features include Shader Model 5.0, Multi threading, HDR texture compression and DirectCompute.

AMD's cards come with OpenCL support and seem to offer only OpenGL 3.1. Yesterday, AMD launched the fourth beta of ATI Stream SDK v2.0 for the OpenCL 1.0 development platform. ATI Stream SDK passed the Khronos group's testing and runs stable with OpenCL 1.0. Applications created with OpenCL framework can be executed on heterogeneous platforms including the CPU, GPU and other processors.

As for the bandwidth, the 128-bit memory interface does introduce some limitations, but the GDDR5 partially compensated for this, whereas the HD5800 generation comes with a 256-bit interface. Of course, 1GB of memory is almost a prerequisite for any comfortable gaming at higher resolutions.

Those who're more interested in video out capabilities should know that the cards come with HDMI 1.3 support with Deep Color, 7.1 High Bitrate Audio as well as on-chip HDCP support.

Last modified on 14 October 2009
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