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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.