Battlefield 3 Performance: 30+ Graphics Cards, Benchmarked

Benchmark Results: AMD Graphics Cards, What Do I Need For Ultra Quality?

I would have liked to spend more time benchmarking AMD’s higher-end Radeon HD 5970 and 6990, but getting those boards stable in any capacity was difficult enough for the preceding tests.

Given the three fastest single-GPU cards AMD sells, it’s clear that Ultra quality requires more than any one of the company’s graphics processors can deliver. Sure, a 6970 might handle 1680x1050. But if you’re rocking a $350 card and gaming on a 17” monitor, it’s time to go shopping!

“What the heck?” you’re probably asking, referencing back to the Nvidia results. AMD managed to beat more expensive GeForce cards at High quality, but now falls behind at Ultra quality. Remember that the Radeon boards take a lot of abuse with MSAA enabled, and the Ultra preset applies this feature automatically. As a result, I’d go so far as to say Ultra quality at enthusiast-oriented resolutions is out of the question for almost all single-GPU setups.

Create a new thread in the US Reviews comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
315 comments
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • Great review, thank you very much!
    20
  • sentinelsparkOkay how is the HD5850 better than the HD6850. The HD6850 has better memory clock speeds. I was able to play the game in 1080p and AAx2 and all but two on ultra high, and i was getting 35fps average. I am calling Bulls**t on this one.


    Believe it, friend. Why do you think we were so tweaked when Barts came out and AMD's naming sounded so deceptive? 5850 is faster than 6850, just like 5870 is faster than 6870!
    16
  • aznshinobiGreat read, lovely to see a wide assortment tested, specially my 5850. Thanks for taking the time Chris, I'm sure it must've taken FOREVER to bench and swap all those cards.


    Very welcome, glad you enjoyed it. Didn't take forever, just four very long days ;-)
    14
  • Other Comments
  • pffft. My HD 6870 handles Ultra maxed just fine!
    -24
  • Great review, thank you very much!
    20
  • great review. but I am curious if a gtx 560ti can run ultra on a playable fps? because I am about to buy one :D
    -1
  • nevermind my comment about 560 Ti, I see it in the benchmarks (high) but it is not on the main page list of cards (missed putting it there?) (yes, I used the search feature in my browser, no 560 to speak of)
    3
  • blah, I guess my first comment didnt come through, nevermind then! ha
    -2
  • Wow does it look good, I played the demo on Xbox did it ever look dumb
    3
  • sirus3020great review. but I am curious if a gtx 560ti can run ultra on a playable fps? because I am about to buy one


    Without any form of AA you can run it on ultra and get over 30fps on every map @ 1920x1080 easily (over 60 when close quarters). Depends on your cpu and if you OC your gpu though. i have mine at 940/2100 and its always above 40fps.
    3
  • AWESOME! thank you very much for this. looks like i wont have to upgrade my CPU then. i have HD4870 and i play this on medium settings but still i want the ultra settings. :)
    1
  • Great read, lovely to see a wide assortment tested, specially my 5850. Thanks for taking the time Chris, I'm sure it must've taken FOREVER to bench and swap all those cards.
    4
  • Frikkin' finally, now I can upgrade safely. :)
    1
  • looks like my e8500 and gtx 460 can pull through this game (hopefully)
    5
  • I run BF3 in 1920x1080 ultra MSAA4x with my X4 955+HD5770 and it works fine. Playable 30fps :D
    -1
  • running x fire 6950's and besting 78FPS avg fps on ultra, i5 2500k W/ Thank God no problems with multi GPU
    1
  • For anyone interested I get
    min - 21 Fps
    Max - 71 Fps
    Avg - 41.2 Fps
    Everything maxed at 1080P
    I7-2600k @ 4.3 + Sapphire 6950 2gb Flashed to 6970 with stock clocks 880 1250
    11
  • For anyone interested I get
    min - 21 Fps
    Max - 71 Fps
    Avg - 41.2 Fps
    Everything maxed at 1080P
    I7-2600k @ 4.3 + Sapphire 6950 2gb Flashed to 6970 with stock clocks 880 1250
    -14
  • Great article and I love that picture with a pile of graphics cards :D Just one obvious thing missing: WHERE ARE SLI 560 Tis??? I was kind of considering picking up a second card for this game... come on, I'm sick of Tom's ignoring that card so often.

    Though I think my 560 Ti still doesn't need a pair if I tone down the settings a tiny bit :) Good to see that. And yet I hear the game looks great... kudos to DICE for optimizing the game nicely!

    Also, 6950 kicked the 560 Ti nicely in this game :D

    P.S. So the FX 8150 now has a Phenom name tag on it? :)
    1
  • amk-aka-phantomGreat article and I love that picture with a pile of graphics cards Just one obvious thing missing: WHERE ARE SLI 560 Tis??? I was kind of considering picking up a second card for this game... come on, I'm sick of Tom's ignoring that card so often.Though I think my 560 Ti still doesn't need a pair if I tone down the settings a tiny bit Good to see that. And yet I hear the game looks great... kudos to DICE for optimizing the game nicely! Also, 6950 kicked the 560 Ti nicely in this game P.S. So the FX 8150 now has a Phenom name tag on it?


    I actually don't even have two 560 Tis to show you, unfortunately.

    Phenom? FX? Where? =)
    8
  • Hey Chris, quick question, did you notice any micro-stuttering with the 6870 cards in crossfire? (kind of like that previous article that was up on toms a while ago). The performance of 6870x2 seems amazing for the price, and am really tempted to pick another one up for my system.
    0
  • aznshinobiGreat read, lovely to see a wide assortment tested, specially my 5850. Thanks for taking the time Chris, I'm sure it must've taken FOREVER to bench and swap all those cards.


    Very welcome, glad you enjoyed it. Didn't take forever, just four very long days ;-)
    14
  • Okay how is the HD5850 better than the HD6850. The HD6850 has better memory clock speeds. I was able to play the game in 1080p and AAx2 and all but two on ultra high, and i was getting 35fps average. I am calling Bulls**t on this one.
    -10