Juniper-based Radeons may outpace the 4800 series

As we wrote in our Radeon HD 5870 review, AMD plans to release mid-range DirectX 11 graphics cards based on a smaller Juniper graphics processor next quarter. Juniper will be derived from the same architecture as the Cypress chip that powers the 5800 series, but it should allow AMD to comfortably reach price points in the $100-200 range.

Anandtech has unearthed a few more details, giving us a rough idea of where the new GPU might sit on the performance scale. Compared to Cypress, the new chip will reportedly have 14 SIMD arrays instead of 20, fewer ROPs, and a narrower memory bus, perhaps 192-bit instead of 256-bit.

14 SIMD arrays should give Juniper cards 1120 stream processors to play with—more than the 800 in the Radeon HD 4870 and 4890. The tighter memory bus could restrict memory bandwidth, but as we pointed out in our 5870 review, the 4870 and 4890 had more bandwidth than they needed, anyway.

Extrapolating from that information, the folks at VR-Zone contend that Juniper cards (likely to be part of a new Radeon HD 5700 series) will outrun the 4800 series. The site says a $199 Radeon HD 5770 will replace the Radeon HD 4890, while a $149 5750 will fill in for the 4870 1GB. Thanks to their smaller 40-nm GPUs, the upcoming cards should be cheaper to produce than both their predecessors and competitors, putting renewed pressure on Nvidia.

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