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AMD Radeon HD 6900 (AMD Cayman) series graphics cards

Specification and architecture review of AMD Radeon HD 6900 (AMD Cayman) series graphics cards

Conclusion

Now, it’s time to summarize our theoretical digression
Let’s see what we have:

  • PowerTune technology — a two-edged sword. The technology brings opportunities that can be evaluated by a group of people, seeking total silence from its PCs. Meaning, alternative ways of cooling not considered, as this is a tool that is integrated into graphic card. On the other hand, I assume that the number of the achievements gained on hwbot.org using these cards will tend to zero. In general, it is believed that PowerTune is yet another obstacle for overclockers. An it is not the only overclocking restriction. Read below for more.
  • Architecture. Basically, AMD has squeezed everything out of 40nm architecture till the very last drop. It was possible to increase die size, but, in terms of cost, the manufacturer decided to leave some room, which also gives opportunities for more freedom on market. The funny thing is, by having quite a big time advantage, still AMD once again found themselves in the role of catch-up — this is the eighth generation of tessellation module, moreover, there are two of them now, but, alas. I am afraid that AMD’s competitors have more pleasant results there. I don’t want to hear anything about non-demand of high tessellation factors — after all, you don’t upgrade graphics card every two weeks. Another hit at AMD Cayman — with everything squeezed out of 40nm architecture and processor core running at almost highest clock possible by default — you can forget about good overclocking results, with the exception of using subzero temperatures for card cooling.
  • New rendering techniques. No doubt, it is pleasant to hear such news, but… For the time I’ve been following AMD affairs, I was under firm impression that you can to draw an analogy between the company and saying “Never know what you can do till you try”. Let me explain — AMD launches the product first and then thinks what to do with it. Here is a simple example — there were five fixes released for Catalyst 10.11 during three weeks and… and MLAA still lives it own life — here you see it, here you don’t. I believe, comment is needless. I really hope, AMD will change its strategy and there market will get filled with already proven solutions. Can’t speak for every body, but I personally don’t like to be a beta tester of the stuff I pay for.

AMD Radeon HD 6900 series graphics cards specification

I will conclude my summary with some words in AMD defense. Maybe it would be a different story and graphics core would probably not be facing the technological wall of 40nm process logic, if only… If only TMSC hadn’t delayed the start of a new advanced production line. If not GeForce GTX 500 series graphics cards — well, AMD did not expect such “baseness” from NVIDIA, every body makes mistakes. However, AMD did get its money’s worth by making the die as compact as possible — Radeon HD 6900 series graphic cards can attract buyers with its price and new beta-features (again, irony)

Another funny thing that can’t be left unnoticed — judging by the density of AMD product lines, the Radeon HD 6950 based on Cayman Pro GPU that is more expensive to produce will have to compete with Radeon HD 6870 graphics card with graphics processor to cost significantly lower. But this is non of our business — shall we leave the issue of interdepartmental competition to AMD company itself.

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