With the unveiling of AMD's Radeon HD 6000-series GPUs now just around the corner, web-based leaks are coming thick and fast.
The latest, published by Chinese website xfastest.com
, could be the most significant to date as it includes benchmarks for two upcoming products; the Radeon HD 6870
and HD 6850
Both GPUs have been caught on camera in recent weeks, but whilst card specifications are merely conjecture at this point, the early benchmarks suggest that the new Radeon HD 6800-series won't be a direct successor to current 5800-series parts.
According to the supposed pre-release 3DMark Vantage and 3DMark06 numbers, the new products are outperformed by previous-generation equivalents.
It's worth noting that the numbers have to be taken with a pinch of salt; the benchmarks themselves can't be verified, and if they are indeed real, they were most likely recorded using sub-optimal drivers and pre-release hardware.
If however the numbers are accurate - and remember, that's a big if - it could suggest that AMD will indeed be mixing up its GPU nomenclature. Will the 6800-series be designed as a replacement to 5700 cards? Will the 6900-series brand be reserved solely for high-end parts? It certainly looks that way.