The first two cards of the 6000 series, which tops AMD's previous 5000 series, are the Radeon HD 6870 and 6850. Both cards represent AMD's latest technology for taking advantage Microsoft's DirectX 11 graphics technology in Windows 7.
The 6870 and 6850, available through online retailers starting Thursday, have a suggested retail price of $239 and $179, respectively. The cards compete with Nividia's GTX 460, which also goes after games with performance at a reasonable price. The GeForce GTX 460 sells for a starting price of $170 on Amazon.com.
AMD and Nvidia each claim to render game graphics in with DirectX 11 better than the competition. AMD started supporting DirectX 11 in its gaming cards in 2009.
AMD and Nvidia have many of the same capabilities in their cards. But the technologies AMD promotes as standing out in the 6000 series is support for both DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4a for connecting to monitors. Other standouts, according to the vendor, are its multi-screen support and HD3D technology that's supported y more than 400 titles.
AMD says the new cards also include the company's Accelerated Parallel Processing for better performance on software supporting the technology. The products also have enhanced processing of Blu-ray 3D movies through AMD's Unified Video Decoder 3, a dedicated video playback accelerator.
The HD 6870 requires a PC with a 500-watt or greater power supply with two 75W 6-pin PCI Express power connectors. The HD 6850 requires only one power connector and the same size power supply.