The first time I laid eyes on this card I was visiting AMD's headquarters in Sunnyvale before the Radeon HD 5800 series launch event.  I could take photos of the 6 displays it was driving, but not the card itself.  So we'll start off with a picture of the things that set the Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition card apart from its 3-display counterpart.

The most obvious changes are the display outputs.  While your standard 5870 has two DL-DVI, one DisplayPort and one HDMI output, the Eyefinity 6 Edition has six mini Display Port connectors.  

You can further convert two of those DP outputs into any combination of DVI, HDMI (only one can be HDMI) and VGA.  The remaining four connectors must remain Display Port due to the limited number of timing sources on the 5870.  The card will come with two mini DP to DP adapters, 2 passive mini DP to SL-DVI dongles and one passive mini DP to HDMI dongle.

Clock speeds have not changed.  The GPU still runs at 850MHz core and the memory runs at a 1.2GHz clock speed (4.8GHz data rate).  Memory size did change however, the Eyefinity 6 Edition card ships with 2GB of GDDR5 to accommodate the resolutions this thing will be driving. As 256MB GDDR5 is still not available for mass production (and won't be until later this year), AMD is using 16 x 128MB GDDR5 chips in 16-bit mode.

  AMD Radeon HD 5970 AMD Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 AMD Radeon HD 5870 AMD Radeon HD 5850
Stream Processors 2x1600 1600 1600 1440
Texture Units 2x80 80 80 72
ROPs 2x32 32 32 32
Core Clock 725MHz 850MHz 850MHz 725MHz
Memory Clock 1GHz (4GHz data rate) GDDR5 1.2GHz (4.8GHz data rate) GDDR5 1.2GHz (4.8GHz data rate) GDDR5 1GHz (4GHz data rate) GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 2x256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
Frame Buffer 2x1GB 2GB 1GB 1GB
Transistor Count 2x2.15B 2.15B 2.15B 2.15B
TDP 294W 228W 188W 151W
Manufacturing Process TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm
Price Point $699 $479 $390-420 $300

As a result of the added memory, power consumption has also gone up slightly.  The Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition now requires both a 6-pin and an 8-pin PCIe power connector instead of the two 6-pin connectors of the stock 5870:

The extra memory and five adapters that you get in the box do come at a price.  The Radeon HD 5870 E6 Edition is expected to retail for $479.  That's $100 more than the MSRP of the 5870 but only $59 more than its actual street price.  It remains to be seen what the street price of the 5870 E6 will end up being given that TSMC 40nm production is still limited with improved but not yet perfect yields. These cards should be available immediately.

Update 4/1/2010: Launch prices appear to have missed their target. We're seeing the 5870E6 sold out at $499, and in-stock elsewhere at $549. This puts it at an $80 premium over the reference 1GB 5870.

Setting up Six Displays
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  • XiZeL - Thursday, April 01, 2010 - link

    nice review, the real shame is the bezel, hope display vendors will start making some extremely thin bezel models for this kind of use.
    as for battlefield is saw you use a chase bench and waterfall bench... are these sequences done buy you or in game benchmarks you just have to run?

    thanks for the answer.
    Reply
  • GullLars - Thursday, April 01, 2010 - link

    One thing i've been thinking about since the bezel problem, why don't anyone make a setup of 3x2 22" monitors in a single frame? I've seen DIY people take the frame off monitors for embedding them in walls, custom frames, or computer chassies. It should be doable to take out the panels, and mount them in a new frame with tape or glue or something on the backside. I would easily consider buying such a setup. You would end up with a monitor rougly around 50" (maybe 55"?) with 5040x2100 or 5760x2160.

    For a 3-panel setup, 3 22" screens in portrait mode in a single frame would also be nice. 3150x1680 or 3240x1920.
    Reply
  • Zorro3740 - Thursday, April 01, 2010 - link

    How can anybody who is serious about image quality fall for this obvious sham. How can the black bars that separate the monitors be anything less than unacceptable? You have to be crazy to waste your money on this tech. 3D is way more appealing than this pseudo high res garbage. If you want real high resolution you simply get a quad XGA monitor like the HP LP3065 I'm using right now and call it a day. If you want something actually interesting then you get anything that might be 3D capable. It seems to be the next cool gadget feature in video.

    The cost of projectors and a screen and the features necessary like lens shift would be so damn expensive and not to mention the heat generated by 3 or 6 LCD projectors would be so ridiculous to not have the "black bar" effect. I really don't understand where AMD/ATI is going with this tech.

    Hell, I can't even get multiple displays to work properly with some of my 4850 crossfire setups and they come up with the idea to make a video card capable of up to six displays. How about fixing the Gray Screen of Death with multiple displays on the 4800 series? Eyefinity, yeah whatever.........

    Ludicrous Speed!!!! Go!!!!!!
    Reply
  • phantazy - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    I have a 4850x2 driving 4 22" screens in a 4200x1680 config (all 4 in portrait mode). Running my 4 (or even getting another 2 screens) from 1 gpu is much more interesting now... Have you tried running the new card in Crossfire just to see what the AA performance in games is?? And I mean Crossfire with 58xx cards and the Crossfire with 48xx cards just to see the support/scalability and so on?? If you're showing the performance of the new 480 in SLi, why not show the 5870 w/ 6 outputs in Crossfire with 1 5970 or even 2 5970... some people actually have the money and interest for this... not to mention you can buy the cards in 6-9 months and get them at half the price compared to today.. And btw, regarding the monitor stands, AMD looks to be choosing a "budget" alternative when showing them up, my Ergotron LX Dual Side-by-Side Arm stands got me up and running in about 30 mins from opening their boxes and clearing my desk, and I got my screens 99.9% prefectly aligned. Reply
  • Hargak - Monday, April 05, 2010 - link

    For someone wanting to simply setup an extreme resolution display the ideal route (setting cost aside) is using 6 1080p projectors. they don't project a bezel. otherwise, go buy a 55" LED LCD, or wait until they have double res (denser pixel) displays for larger scale monitors. The 30" is a good balance of size, immersion, price, setup, resolution at much higher than standard High def, this is bledding edge, which means many will bleed money to get it right for the rest of us. This is simply not something you will see often. Hope the rambling came together as a thought. Reply
  • Necrosaro420 - Saturday, April 10, 2010 - link

    I consider myself a pretty hardcore gamer. But I dont see why on earth someone would need 6 displays Reply
  • Etern205 - Sunday, May 02, 2010 - link

    Anyone saw this yet?

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/30/powercolor-hd59...
    Reply
  • eduardoandradeiturribarria - Monday, May 03, 2010 - link

    Can I split a TV signal through eyefinity? Say it is football season, I already have for 42" hdtv sets. Could I use eyefinity to project a split single tv feed on my tv sets?
    Regards
    Reply

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