Remember when AMD was widely criticized for acquiring ATI for a reported $5.4 billion back in 2006? It turned out to be a wise investment in an area (GPUs) where AMD has been able to vie for the performance crown. Right now it's Nvidia's GeForce GTX 780 that sits in the spotlight, but coming soon is AMD's Radeon HD 9970 graphics card with a brand new architecture and some impressive specs that have been leaked to the web.
As always, you have to take these with a grain of salt. Assuming they're accurate, however, the Radeon HD 9970 will wield a 20nm Volcanic Islands GPU codenamed Hawaii. It will feature a 1GHz clockspeed, 4GB of memory clocked at 5GHz (effective) on a 512-bit bus, 64 GPixels, 307GB/s memory bandwidth, 4,096 shader units, 256 texture mapping units, and 64 render output processores.
Compared to the Titan and even the GTX 780, the 9970 looks promising, if not downright impressive. Now the waiting game begins to see if the final product comes close to what's been leaked online. How long might that be? Several weeks ago, it was reported that Radeon HD 9970 samples had already started shipping out to manufacturers. That card, along with other parts in the Radeon HD 9000 Series, are all expected to launch around October 2013.