As we explained in our introduction to AMD’s brand-new Radeon HD 6000-series, which you can read here, the Radeon HD 6870 is the second in a series of new GPUs optimized for DirectX 11 games.
Despite the naming scheme, however, the 6870 is not AMD’s new top-shelf GPU: The 6870 is more comparable to the older 5850, but it’s much cheaper and consumes considerably less power. The real targets AMD is gunning for here are Nvidia’s mid-priced 768MB and 1GB GeForce 460 GPUs.
As we explained in our introduction to AMD’s brand-new Radeon HD series, which you can read here, the Radeon HD 6850 is based on an entirely new GPU architecture optimized for DirectX 11 games. But don’t be confused by AMD’s branding: The Radeon HD 6850 will replace the Radeon HD 5830, not the Radeon HD 5850 and certainly not the company’s top-shelf GPU, the Radeon HD 5870.