It seems like we have spent an extra-long time looking at HD 4870's and HD 4850's, and GTX 260's and GTX 280's. You might be wondering when the next new round of fresh-gen video cards might be sprouting up.
Well it looks like, for this next round, ATI might have the jump on NVIDIA. For a few months the rumors have pointed towards a late September, early October video card release of the new DirectX 11 capable RV870. According to sources cited by Fudzilla, it looks like this lat September touch down is still likely.
So, what does ATI have in store for us with the HD 5870? Not very much has been confirmed. Rumors have been floating around for a while, but it seems ATI is really keeping this one under wraps. The figure of 1200 stream processors does seem to be a recurring idea though -- and you can expect GDDR5 to be in full effect, with perhaps somewhere around a 200MHz clock speed gain over the current HD 4890. Certainly it will be a 40nm design.
One of the more odder rumors is that the RV870 will be some sort of variety of 'dual-core' chip -- the first dual-core GPU. This rumor doesn't make tons of sense, but it has popped up often, making it at least worth repeating. Perhaps the HD 5870 X2 will actually not have two separate GPU's, but two GPUs fused together instead? That could work. It's not as though AMD doesn't have the engineering wherewithal to figure that one out. If this was the case, does that mean we might see CrossFireX being capable of running 8 GPU's simultaneously, instead 'only' 4?
Here are some rumored specs for ATI's next gen. They probably aren't 100% correct, but at the same time, they probably will not be that far off either. This image was found on the forums of TechPowerUp! but it was not stated where they were pulled from -- besides the obvious fact that it was someplace frequented by Germans.