AMD launched a new high-end series of graphics cards today, the Radeon HD 6900 Series. They are aimed at what AMD considers the "Sweet Spot" within the GPU market: $150-250. These cards will be able to run the latest DirectX 11 games at high resolutions, and support up to two displays in CrossFireX mode. The 6900 series will also be able to handle AMD's upcoming HD3D technology for 3D content.
The new cards use AMD's Cayman graphics processor, which was born from the ashes of TSMC's canceled 32nm process. This is the first major revamp of AMD's GPU microarchitecture since the original Radeon HD 2900 series was released back in 2007.
The top card in this series, the 6990, has 1536 shader cores enabled. The lower-end cards have 1408 shader cores, 88 texture units and 32 ROPs. These chips also support UVD3 video processing and AMD's Enhanced Quality Anti-Aliasing (effectively Nvidia's multi-sample AA) modes.
These GPUs support DirectX 11, which is becoming the de facto standard for gaming. Gamers can enjoy a truly realistic visual experience in all of their favorite DirectX 11 titles, and will be able to utilize the massive parallel processing power of these GPUs for physics, AI, stream computing, and other tasks.
These cards feature a number of other niceties, including AMD's PowerTune technology, which will optimize performance within specified power envelopes. The 6970 and 6950 both sport dual DisplayPort and HDMI 1.4a outputs, while the more powerful 6990 will be able to power up to three displays in Eyefinity.