Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity6 might launch March 11

Radeon HD 5830 expected next week

AMD APPEARS TO BE getting ready to unveil a couple of additions to its range of ATI Radeon HD 5000-series cards over the next few weeks. Although the Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity6 has already been demoed, the Radeon HD 5830 is likely to end up very high on a lot of people’s wish list if the price is right.

Now we don’t know how accurate the launch dates are as they’re off Turkish website Donanimhaber, although they’ve had something of a knack when it comes to getting these things right. March 11th is said to be the date for the Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity6 launch and although it is an interesting card in itself, we doubt that it’ll become a huge seller, not because it’s going to be outrageously expensive card in itself, but rather because the cost of six suitable displays is going to add up to a small fortune.

As for vertical markets AMD might have some potential with this card, at least when it comes to special applications that require six screens and decent 3D performance. Otherwise, good old Matrox has been something of the market leader in the beyond four displays market, but the company can’t compete when it comes to 3D performance and this should open up some interesting opportunities for AMD. Still, Matrox has a card that can output to eight screens at once, but that’s not really the market AMD is aiming for here.

The Radeon HD 5830 should be here a little bit sooner, next week Thursday to be more exact. Although little is known about the exact details of this card, it’s a card that many consumers have been waiting for as it’s expected to fill the gap between the 5770 and the 5850, not only in terms of performance, but also in price. Considering that at the time of writing, there’s a price difference of about $145 between the cheapest 5850 and the 5770, we’d say AMD has a gap to fill.

It will be interesting to see where AMD places this card, although we’d guess it’ll end up near the $250 mark, as the more expensive 5770 cards are close to $200 and AMD wouldn’t want the new card to be too close to them on day one. Still, we’d expect that the 5830 will settle at around $200-230 as long as AMD can get enough chips to its partners and this should make it a very appealing consumer offering.

The timing of a launch next week also makes some sense, as this week is Chinese New Year, so AMD’s partners will be able to announce something new as soon as they’re back to work after a week’s holiday. Still, CeBIT is kicking off in two weeks time, so it seems like it’s a bit early, but hey, we’d take early over late anytime. Now we’re just waiting for Fermi, but if Charlie is right, that might just be a little bit later than expected.S|A

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