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CF vs single 5850 FurMark, Crysis, RE5, STALKER: CoP, Dirt 2, AvP

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a c 125 U Graphics card
June 2, 2010 6:31:17 AM

Hi guys. I finally got around to finding, downloading, and running some gaming benchmarks to compare 5850s in single and crossfire modes. These things are amazing!

The benchmarks I ran are FurMark, Resident Evil 5, Dirt 2, STALKER: Call of Pripyat, and Crysis.

Ok, first of all let's start with my CPU, GPU, and RAM settings. You'll notice my 5850s are OCed - I bios flashed them for 875/1200 at stock volts. Keep this in mind and note that this thread is not to compare OC vs stock 5850s. All games had pretty much the maximum detail settings selected at 1920x1080 resolution. The specifics are in the graph titles.

PC Settings:


First up is the FurMark results.

Here we're seeing an increase of up to 1.9 times average FPS! Wow!

EDIT: New benchmark! This benchmark app was a bit disappointing. I only gives the average FPS as well as total frames rendered and average frame time. I saved a log of the individual frames and their fps then copied it to Excel but the results were rather skewed and not accurate, in particular for crossfire. It showed a 10.3 min and 210 max lol, and the average was about 120 so not even close to the average the program spits out at the end. Similar results on the single 5850 side... anyway, so here's the actual average FPS that it gives you at the end.
(sorry for mislabelling which is which, I'll have it fixed tonight)


Next we have Resident Evil 5. Note that they only give you average FPS at the end. There is however a small graph which I failed to screenshot but I can tell you that the crossfire graph was very smooth while the single 5850 was rather up and down. Still, not much difference in averages (1.27).
EDIT: I ran this one again with my CPU at 4ghz, and the FPS went up a fair bit (135 or so), so that explains the poor scaling - CPU bottleneck!


EDIT: Found out that VSync was enabled in my first Dirt 2 bench. Big mistake there, although it's very interesting how drastic it hurts the min FPS. Logic tells me that it should have just run at a smooth 60hz given how high the fps are without vsync. Anyway, here's the new results without vsync:

Average FPS is boosted 1.71 times.

This next one has a lot of info. The STALKER: CoP benchmark runs 4 times in different settings. Very nice increase here, the minimum crossfire FPS are almost the same as the average single GPU.


And finally, the big one. Can it run Crysis? Hell yes.

Note that in game, I play it at 2xAA Very High instead of 4xAA and it becomes silky smooth - and the difference in detail is completely unnoticeable by myself.

Alright so already lots of great results. RE5 is disappointing, I wish it would give a better summary. Just remember that the CF 5850s had pretty much zero dip in FPS while the single did - but I'm guessing this game was getting CPU bottle-necked since they're both quite similar - or maybe the game does it. I do not know.

I have one final graph to show the increase in performance seen. I did not include RE5 or Dirt 2 on it as they both do not have all info (min, max, avg). The style of graph here adds up the increases, so basically you can see that min is affected the least, but both max and average frames are greatly boosted. For specific increments you'll have to look at the number inside each block (ie, 1.84 = 84% better)


As an interesting aside, here is the results of using Vsync in Dirt 2. I find it fascinating how badly it affects FPS.


*Added 12/17/2010*
For reference, here's my Vantage score with CF 5850s and a high OC, just to showcase the power of two 5850s
a c 125 U Graphics card
June 2, 2010 7:47:14 AM

Something wrong with your Dirt 2 numbers as my 5850 with the same settings gets 68FPS Min and 94.5FPS Avg. Thats with my card at 1000/1200

Amazing Crysis, Stalker and Furmark results. :) 
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a c 169 U Graphics card
June 2, 2010 8:20:55 AM

wow,thanks for taking your time and posting it,great effort :) 
I have an i7 860 @ stock + HD 5970 @ stock and Cat 10.5 and in Dirt2,on 1920x1200 highest quality and 8xAA,i get 84 FPS on average and 73FPS on minimum,so i think you should get higher results
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June 2, 2010 1:18:34 PM

+1 to this entire thread. I know I have a similar build to yours, so it's nice to know how the 5850 will perform in crossfire. Do you have any plans to expand this review with overclocked results? It would be nice to see how the cards (and your system) do with some extra juice.
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June 2, 2010 1:33:17 PM

Ty for postin the results! Looks great and I can't wait to own mine :D 
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a c 125 U Graphics card
June 2, 2010 2:22:37 PM

Hmm interesting about Dirt 2. I wonder what the issue is there... I'll check it out when I get time.

Slayer: These settings are about as overclocked as I care to go. Already the cards are at 875/1200 compared to their stock 700/1000. I could push them to higher core speeds with more voltage but I'm not going to do that anytime soon. And pretty much same with the system, it's already OCed where I want it. I might do a stock comparison tho.

Thanks for the feedback everyone :D 

EDIT: I just remembered from the last thread, omgitzfatal mentioned the AVP benchmark is also available. That will probably be the next update, as running the whole suite of benchmarks again at stock settings is rather time consuming. Maybe I'll run stock CF but not stock single... we'll see. I'll try to get AVP done maybe today tho.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
June 2, 2010 4:18:46 PM

I don't think AA is working for me :/  I get very similar results with no AA compared to 8xAA, the same happens in Crysis aswell
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a c 125 U Graphics card
June 2, 2010 4:22:41 PM

Rustyy117 said:
I don't think AA is working for me :/  I get very similar results with no AA compared to 8xAA, the same happens in Crysis aswell


Check your CCC settings. Under 3D tab, you can force a specific setting all the time, or let the application decide. So maybe you have it set to a specific level.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
June 2, 2010 4:33:01 PM

Forget my last post, HD5850 1000/1200

Dirt 2 maxed 1920 x 1080 8xAA

Avg: 85.5
Min: 62

Dirt 2 maxed 1920 x 1080 no.AA

Avg: 95.5
Min: 80.1

There;s alot of variation in that benchmark, once I got 68FPS min and this time I got 62FPS min :/ 

I would suggest you run it a few times and average out the results. There is something wrong there though as my single card is beating your CF, What drivers are you using?
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a c 125 U Graphics card
June 2, 2010 4:34:44 PM

wolfram23 said:
Check your CCC settings. Under 3D tab, you can force a specific setting all the time, or let the application decide. So maybe you have it set to a specific level.


Yeah I checked I have it on "Use application settings" I think its just Crysis, BFBC2 and Dirt 2 both see a decrease in performance
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a c 125 U Graphics card
June 2, 2010 4:38:28 PM

I have the newest 10.5 drivers. I might do a fresh reinstall tho as I'm having a slight issue with the 400/900 idle on my 2nd card sometimes. Which do you have?

And yea, I'll try running the Dirt 2 bench a couple more times. Did you set the refresh to 60hz?
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a b U Graphics card
June 2, 2010 5:20:08 PM

Can you run two monitors with 5850s Crossfired without the screen flashing issue/downclock issue?

When I try to run two monitors on a single 5850, it disables all overclocks and runs at moderate load of 400/1000 during idle. Would running 1 monitor on each card (is this possible?) allow regular idle speeds and allow overclocking?
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a c 125 U Graphics card
June 2, 2010 6:00:18 PM

My refresh rate is set to 30Hz (Crap...I know) and I'm using the 10.4's as the 10.5's messed up my idle clocks and didn't give me any performance improvements.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
June 2, 2010 7:17:12 PM

Hey guys looks like I did screw up, and Vsync was in fact on. I updated the results. Leaving the Vsync enabled table up for now, as I find it very interesting how much it hurts the min FPS. IMO it should have run at constant 60fps no drops since the min on no-vsync was over 60. Wierd!

I also downloaded the AVP benchmark so tonight I think I'll have enough time to run it. Expect another update soon.

omgitzfatal: Ah I see. Are your idle speeds 400/900? I just fully uninstalled and reinstalled 10.5 but it still has the funny idle on the 2nd card although it's not always like that. But since it still works just fine, I'm going to leave it.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
June 2, 2010 7:31:24 PM

Glad you found the problem, much better results now :)  84.9FPS MIN Omg! :D 

10.5's made my idle speed 400/1200 :/  No good.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
June 2, 2010 8:01:32 PM

Bluescreendeath said:
Can you run two monitors with 5850s Crossfired without the screen flashing issue/downclock issue?

When I try to run two monitors on a single 5850, it disables all overclocks and runs at moderate load of 400/1000 during idle. Would running 1 monitor on each card (is this possible?) allow regular idle speeds and allow overclocking?


I can't say how dual monitors affects the downclocking as I only run 1 at the moment. I do know that with crossfire the second card's outputs get disabled, and I've read that for dual or more screens it has to idle a bit higher. As to why dual monitors is disabling your overclocks I really can't say but that sounds odd. Are you sure they don't go back up to your overclock speeds when under load?
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a c 125 U Graphics card
June 3, 2010 12:51:06 AM

Hey guys I just added the AvP results. Pretty decent but the benchmark doesn't give enough info.
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June 3, 2010 1:19:13 AM

wolfram23 said:
Leaving the Vsync enabled table up for now


I'm guessing you changed your mind on this one?
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a c 125 U Graphics card
June 3, 2010 1:22:01 AM

Slayer697 said:
I'm guessing you changed your mind on this one?

Well, sort of. I accidentally deleted it on photobucket. But I still have the results I could redo it.

EDIT ok redid it and added it at the end :) 
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a c 169 U Graphics card
June 3, 2010 9:27:56 AM

Great boost on Dirt2 :D 
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June 3, 2010 12:49:57 PM

Interesting to see V-Sync completely mess up the benchmark.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
June 3, 2010 8:08:49 PM

Because I enjoy this kind of stuff, I'm curious what you guys would care to see (if any) as far as more benchmarks go... I've never ran, for example, 3DMark (I'll do it if it's free ;) ) or maybe there's other game benchmarks available. Otherwise I could compare card OCs (875/1200) with, say, 725/1000 just so we get an idea how these cards handle overclocks. I have a free night tonight so I'd run some tests if there's interest, otherwise I'll just play some STALKER :D 
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a c 169 U Graphics card
June 3, 2010 9:38:59 PM

3DMark is good,but i prefer games instead because IMO its wiser to judge the performance with games
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June 4, 2010 1:37:32 AM

wolfram23 said:
Because I enjoy this kind of stuff, I'm curious what you guys would care to see (if any) as far as more benchmarks go... I've never ran, for example, 3DMark (I'll do it if it's free ;) ) or maybe there's other game benchmarks available. Otherwise I could compare card OCs (875/1200) with, say, 725/1000 just so we get an idea how these cards handle overclocks. I have a free night tonight so I'd run some tests if there's interest, otherwise I'll just play some STALKER :D 


I finally got my card today and initial overclocks look good if a little lower than I expected. I've started a thread discussing my overclocking experience here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/289963-33-overclockin...

I think it would be cool if you compared stock to overclocked 5850. It would be nice to have a frame of reference for my own system's performance, especially since your build is very similar to my own.
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June 20, 2010 2:48:08 AM

My average in Crysis, with the same settings as you, on 10.4 was 55fps, now with 10.6 it is 42fps...meh
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