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AMD Releases The Radeon HD 5970 2GB

AMD

Published on 18 November 2009 09:24 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD
21 Comments

Today AMD finally lifted the lid on Hemlock, their new ultra high-end dual-GPU graphics card that is being marketed as the Radeon HD 5970 (similar to the Radeon HD 4870 X2 but now for the Evergreen GPU family). The Radeon HD 5970 has 3200 stream processors (1600 per Cypress GPU), a combined 2GB of GDDR5 video memory, and AMD Eyefinity support for driving three displays simultaneously. The ATI/AMD Radeon HD 5970 is also quite a large graphics card measuring in at just under 33 cm!

Initial reviews of the Radeon HD 5970 (some of the reviews can be found at Cekora.com) show this dual-GPU product performing exceptionally well. Unfortunately, we do not have our hands on any Radeon HD 5970 graphics card so Linux users are left completely in the dark as to how this enthusiast product performs or even works with Linux. What we anticipate is that the Radeon HD 5970 will work Catalyst 9.11 for Linux, which was released yesterday, but may yield a "unsupported hardware" watermark that would then be addressed in Catalyst 9.12. The Catalyst Linux driver though does not yet support Eyefinity technology for driving more than two displays at a time.

When it comes to the open-source support, there is still no mode-setting support at all for any Radeon HD 5000 series graphics cards let alone any 2D, X-Video, or 3D support. We may see mode-setting support come to the open-source driver stack before year's end, but the pace of supporting the Evergreen GPUs isn't going too fast (at least from the public eye) at the moment. Though we have just learned from our forums that AMD's John Bridgman has confirmed internally that their open-source code is working with Evergreen GPUs for VGA mode-setting, but digital outputs are not yet working.

The price for this dual GPU beauty? Well, it's going for $600 USD and can be found at Amazon.com.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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