Ah, the winds of change are once again upon us. A new DirectX iteration is about to enter the fray with Windows 7, and new, fully compliant hardware is there to bring its glory to screens everywhere. One such piece of hardware is ATI's new Cypress GPU.

We'll get into the details shortly, but it's a fully DX11-compliant beast that is the result of countless man hours and has made more than one engineer gain a few extra grey hairs. It comes from a lineage descendant from the troubled R600 of old, but which  has since atoned for all past transgressions, and especially with RV770 which was a truly excellent chip. Cypress isn't a major departure, but rather a natural evolution of past designs, and evolution made possible by the fact that DX11 itself is also more evolutionary than revolutionary. Make no mistake though, there's much to talk much in fact that we'll have aspects to discuss for a long time after the launch.

Our first date with the chip happened in Munich, on a nicely sunny day, getting the skinny from people like Richard Huddy and Joe Macri, attending pretty long presentations and wondering who would actually get 6 monitors just to play Hawx...whoops, that's something for later. After that, we had less than 10 days to put the chip through its paces and try to understand its inner workings. So, armed with an ample supply of coffee, tools fit for the task and hopefully some common sense, we made good use of those 10 days. Keeping in mind that this is the first step in what will be an elaborate dance, just like Cypress is just the first salvo in what is likely to be a very intense cannonade, it's time to finally meet the world's first DX11 GPU in the silicon, plastic and metal.