Radeon HD 6870 pictured, based on Barts XT core?

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AMD hasnít officially announced its next-generation Radeon HD 6000-series yet, but thereís been no shortage of leaks and rumors to get the hype going in the meantime. The latest comes courtesy of Chinese website it.com.cn, which has posted screenshots of a purportedly leaked PDF document that shows the upcoming Radeon HD 6800 featuring the new AMD Radeon branding rather than an ATI sticker. Interestingly, the document also claims that the Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850 will be based on the Barts XT and Pro cores, respectively, which appear to be beefed-up versions of the chip found in the HD 5700 series, and not on the Cayman core as previous reports have suggested.

Weíre not sure what to make of it, especially given a recent leak showing the Radeon HD 6770 and HD 6750 as Barts XT and Pro cards. The aforementioned spec sheet touted the 6700 series as offering double the horsepower as its predecessor, but if Barts is powering the 6800 range, does this mean it will end up only marginally faster than the 5800 cards it is replacing? And where does that leave the enthusiast Antilles HD 6900 cards made up of dual Cayman cores?

There is certainly a lot of smoke still up in the air, and the latest leak doesnít bring much in the way of technical specifications or performance details to help clear it up. But what seems to be catching everyone's attention is a reference to an as-yet unannounced technology dubbed 'Eyespeed', and the fact that the reference card seems to have five outputs: two DVI, one HDMI and two Mini DisplayPort. Needless to say you should take all this with a healthy dose of skepticism until AMD makes an official announcement Ė hopefully, it won't be too long before that happens.

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