AMD Radeon HD 6870 exposed

Several Chinese websites published today leaked reference sheets and a photo to what looks like a genuine Radeon HD 6870 graphics card.

The photo and the info on the reference sheets seem to give a very complete description of the stuff you'd usually catch on a sales document, the product webpage or even on the backside of the retail box.

The photo of the finished card, as published by it.com.cn earlier today.

It.com.cn has since taken down the photos, but a quick Google about will reveal the publishing sites. The reference sheets have been since translated into English. so, assuming this info is correct, what does the 6800-series bring to the table?

We'll run the highlights (both present for the 6850 and 6870).

AMD Eyefinity seems to come as standard, with the cards listing multiple video outputs (the 6870 has 2x DVI, 2x Mini-DisplayPort and 1x HDMI 1.4a, required for 3D video support).

PCI Express 2.1 is also new here, but is mostly about resource management and laying ground for the PCIe 3.0 spec.

AMD Eyespeed Visual Acceleration Technology. Now here's something we hadn't seen before. We'll give our thoughts later.

AMD HD3D - Hi-Definition 3D, seems to be AMD's answer to Nvidia's 3D Vision support Blu-ray 3D, stereoscopic gaming, 3D displays and the works (UVD 3.0 plays its part here, too).

Crossfire X seems to be limited somehow to dual-GPU configurations, unless the "Dual GPU Scaling", actually means something different, than that.

AMD PowerPlay includes a new ultra-low power state for multi-GPU configs. This would make more sense if we were talking TriFire or QuadFire, so it only raises questions about the original document. If true, this is one of the power management features that AMD did confirm would be present in the Northern Islands series.

Much of what is listed was already known - and quite frankly nothing unexpected - except what AMD has listed as 'Eyespeed visual acceleration technology' and 'HD3D' which has left us positively stumped.

This could be just about anything, but considering AMD's expertise in power management - and it being one of the few things that AMD actually pointed out as being improved on the Northern Islands series - it sounds like a turbo boost. Safe, system-regulated, overclocks that boost graphics clockspeed/performance, according to the demand the system puts on it.

This wouldn't be a surprise, at all, as both AMD and Intel are using it in their CPU+GPU designs. On the other hand it could be a simple renaming of AMD's Catalyst AI. We'll find out soon enough.

The PowerPlay new power states would help with dual-, tri- and quad-GPU configurations, if they actually are there. Switching off all but one GPU just to keep Windows 7 happy seems to be the right thing to do, anyway.

As it stands, either the document is a massive fake or AMD has (by no fault of its own) been very successful in keeping its new silicon under wraps and the entire online community has spun its own sticky web of facts. If true, the strangest implication is that either AMD is not introducing a second gen DX 11 architecture for the 6700 series, or Barts is, after all, the 6800-series.

At least one German site had previously mentioned that there was in fact no Northern Islands for the 6700-series, and that these would in fact be tweaked Junipers.