AMD's "Sweet Spot" GPU strategy over the last few years has been fairly predictable. Instead of producing the biggest, most powerful GPU possible--yields be damned--the company sets out to produce a relatively high-end GPU, using a cutting edge fabrication process, that hits a proverbial sweet spot between cost and performance. Then derivatives, and even multiples, of that GPU are used to flesh out a top-to-bottom line-up of graphics cards, that hit a broad range of price points.
It began with the RV670, which powered the single-GPU based Radeon HD 3870 and dual-GPU Radeon HD 3870 X2--hence the X2. Then came the RV770, which powered the Radeon HD 4870 and eventually the Radeon HD 4870 X2. The strategy has obviously paid off, as AMD is once again a price/performance leader in the GPU space, after some not-so-great performances like the R600, better known as the Radeon HD 2900 XT. Knowing their strategy, it should almost come as no surprise that the graphics card we'll be showing you today, the Radeon HD 5970, has come to fruition. Although it doesn't follow the same naming convention as AMD's previous dual-GPU powered cards, the Radeon HD 5970 is nonetheless powered by a pair of ATI "Cypress" Radeon HD 5800 series GPUs, linked together on a single PCB by a PCI Express bridge, very much like previous X2 iterations. Come on by and check it out...