Sapphire starts production on 'world's fastest' graphics card

Graphics card lothario Sapphire has just begun sampling its latest effort, the Radeon HD 5970 4G TOXIC Edition, which it claims is the world’s fastest graphics card.

The beefy new card sports 4GB of fifth gen GDDR5 memory, 3200 stream processors, 160 texture units and has a clock speed of 900MHz for core and a massive 1200MHz for memory, 4.8GHz effective. Sapphire says the new HD 5970 builds on the popular HD 5870 series, carrying over features from the 5000 family that made it a success: support for DirectCompute 11 set of DirectX 11, hardware tessellation and multi threaded communication with the system CPU.

The new edition has three low-noise dual ball bearing fans specifically developed and designed to run with the Sapphire card, provided by Arctic Cooling. Arctic Cooling’s design will make it easier for buyers to geek out with performance tuning, says Sapphire.

The card promises a smooth CPU load and quick, reliable decoding of Blu-ray and HD DVD content for VC-1 and H.264 codecs thanks to the on board Unified Video decoder hardware. It says that it has been designed to decode two 1080p HD video streams at once, and to be able to display HD video in high quality with Windows Aero mode turned on. Compared to the 5000 series, the 5970 runs with HDMI 1.3a with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio support.

AMD’s DirectX WHQL driver for Vista and Windows 7 is the one to expect to play with when the card ships.