AMD Unveils Radeon HD 6800 GPUs

AMD is rolling out the first two Radeon HD 6800 graphics cards aimed at the gamer community. The GPUs offer 30 percent better gaming performance than other products, AMD says.

Advanced Micro Devices is rolling out the first two graphics cards from its new Radeon HD 6000 series aimed at gamers.

The Radeon HD 6870 and 6850, released Oct. 22, offer 30 percent better game performance as well as better energy efficiency than competing products, according to AMD officials. It also includes the company's second-generation DirectX 11-capable architecture and features that include AMD's Eyefinity, which offers multidisplay capabilities.

"Through our sweet spot strategy and our open, industry standards approach, we've worked to deliver the best possible experience for gamers," Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD's GPU Division, said in a statement.

The release of the graphics cards, which had been codenamed Barts, comes as chip makers are looking to deliver better graphics capabilities to gamers and businesses. Nvidia over the summer released its GTX 460 GPUs in 768MB and 1GB versions.

The new AMD graphics cards sell for $179 for the 6850 and $239 for the 6870.

The new GPUs come with a host of improvements, including enhanced tessellation, for sharper image rendering, and a new anisotropic filtering algorithm, which helps with image quality of the textures on the screen.

In addition, other features include UVD (Unified Video Decoder) 3, a video playback accelerator for improved performance of Blu-ray 3D movies, other HD video formats and online video. The graphics cards also support both DirectCompute and OpenCL, which results in broader application support, according to AMD.