You can't doubt AMD's commitment to marketing speech: the company is describing their new ATI Radeon HD 5970 as the "fastest graphics card in the world", and from glancing at the specifications it certainly looks potent. The Radeon HD 5970 - which we saw leaked in recent weeks - packs DirectX 11 support, dual Cypress graphics processors for up to 5 TeraFLOPS of power, and the potential for twice that if you hook up twin HD 5970 cards using CrossFireX. A single card can, thanks to Eyefinity, create a 7,680 x 1,600 workspace across three displays.
It's also apparently straightforward to overclock the HD 5970, should its standard power not quite be enough for you. The company includes a copy of ATI OverDrive, though it's worth remembering that if you then burn out your shiny new Radeon there's no warranty recourse.
The AMD ATI Radeon HD 5970 is available today as a standalone card, priced at $599, with board manufacturers including ASK, Asus, Club 3D, Diamond, Gigabyte, High Tech, MSI, Sapphire, Tul/Power Color, Visiontek and XFX. However it will also be available as a component in Alienware Area-51, Area-51 ALX and Aurora desktop PCs.
AMD Introduces ATI Radeon™ HD 5970: Fastest Graphics Card in the World 
Massive overclocking potential enables PC gaming enthusiasts to dominate their gameplay with DirectX® 11  expand the game experience with ATI Eyefinity technology  and accelerate with ATI Stream technology 
AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced the flagship installment in the award-winning line of graphics cards, the ATI Radeon™ HD 5970, the fastest card ever created.1 The new ultra high-end model joins a growing list of the world’s first and only graphics cards to fully support Microsoft DirectX® 11 technology and ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology.
Designed to support the most demanding PC games at ultra-high resolutions and image quality settings, the ATI Radeon™ HD 5970 has unlocked overclocking potential, granting access to every bit of power the card has to offer through ATI Overdrive™ technology.2 Now shipping from retailers and available in the channel, the ATI Radeon™ HD 5970 also launches today in new Alienware Area-51, Area-51 ALX and Aurora desktop PCs.
Record-breaking overclocking capabilities take Dragon Platform technology to the forefront for users that demand the utmost control in performance tuning. The unrivaled overclocking capabilities of the ATI Radeon™ HD 5970 are enabled by the unique design of the card, which features advanced fan and vapor chamber technologies and a fully vented exhaust to keep the card cool and ensure overclocking headroom using ATI Overdrive™ technology.2 The formidable combination of AMD Phenom II processors, AMD 7-Series chipsets, and ATI Radeon HD graphics deliver comprehensive tuning, immersive entertainment, and outstanding value.
Enthusiasts can expand their field of view, ATI Radeon™ HD 5970, driving up to three displays at once, delivering an unmatched maximum resolution of 7680x1600 and creating an unparalleled game play experience.3 For the first time ever, ATI CrossFireX™ technology leverages the power of multiple graphics processors to deliver even more game performance in 20 of today’s popular titles when using ATI Eyefinity technology, with more to come.
The ATI Radeon™ HD 5970 graphics card delivers nearly 5 TeraFLOPS of compute power, ensuring superior performance in the latest DirectX® 11 games, as well as in previous versions of DirectX® and OpenGL titles. With the world’s most powerful graphics core built on 40nm process technology harnessing up to 3,200 stream processors, gamers can enjoy DirectX® 11 games now, such as EA Phenomic’s BattleForge™ and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:Call of Pripyat from GSC Game World, with many more titles on the way, including:
Battlefield Bad Company 2 from EA DICE
DiRT™ 2 from Codemasters, arriving December 1, 2009,
Aliens vs. Predator™ from Rebellion,
Update to The Lord of the Rings Online™ from Turbine,
Update to Dungeons and Dragons Online® Eberron Unlimited™ from Turbine.
New features and functionality of ATI Stream technology allow users to harness the ATI Radeon™ HD 5970 graphics card to enhance their computing experience, helping to improve the performance of enabled media, entertainment and productivity applications.4 ATI Stream technology and the HD 5970 support both Direct Compute 11 and OpenCL industry standards for application acceleration.
Delivering full-fledged performance when needed, the ATI Radeon™ HD 5970 also leads in power efficiency by automatically powering down unused GPU resources when not in use, resulting in idle desktop power consumption as low as 42 watts.5
The ATI Radeon™ HD 5970 is supported by a wide range of add-in-board companies, including ASK, Asus, Club 3D, Diamond, Gigabyte, High Tech, MSI, Sapphire, Tul/Power Color, Visiontek and XFX.
To celebrate the launch of the ATI Radeon™ HD 5970 and to conclude a series of contests created to celebrate AMD’s 40th anniversary year, AMD is announcing the third and final contest designed to give back to AMD fans and supporters. Starting today, fans of AMD on Facebook will be able to enter to win one of 10 Microsoft Xbox 360s or one of 10 Wiis from Nintendo. One gaming system will be given away every weekday for four weeks. Full contest rules and details available online: www.amd.com/40years
“With the arrival of the ATI Radeon HD 5970, the fastest graphics card in the world, we’ve cemented AMD as the unquestioned graphics leader,” said Matt Skynner, vice president and general manager, AMD Graphics Group. “With the holiday shopping season right around the corner, the new card, coupled with the awesome power of ATI Eyefinity technology, is the ultimate setup for serious gamers.”
“The extraordinary performance of the ATI Radeon HD 5970 is a perfect match for the Alienware Area-51, Area-51 ALX and Aurora desktops,” said Frank Azor, senior product planning manager, Dell Gaming. “By offering this level of graphics capability as well as the visual and performance enhancements made possible by DirectX 11 hardware, gamers will benefit from enhanced image quality enabling an incredibly intense gaming experience.”