ATI Radeon HD 5870: DirectX 11, Eyefinity, And Serious Speed

System Setup And Benchmarks

We tested on an LGA 1366-based machine sporting Intel's fastest Core i7 processor, the 975 Extreme, overclocked to 4 GHz. The idea here is that we wanted to eliminate CPU bottlenecks wherever possible, though you'll noticed these graphics cards are so fast that CPU-bound situations are unavoidable at times.

Also, the GeForce GTX 285s had to be run at 100% fan duty cycle in SLI mode, else they'd crash.

Finally, it's worth noting that the Radeon HD 5870 intermittently exhibited corruption in the first 3DMark Vantage test.

Test Hardware
Processor
Intel Core i7-975 Extreme (Bloomfield) 3.33 GHz, 6.4 GT/s, 8 MB L3 Cache, power-saving settings disabled
Overclocked to 4 GHz (25 * 160 MHz)
Motherboard
Asus Rampage II Extreme (LGA 1366) X58/ICH10, BIOS 1504
Memory
Corsair Dominator 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24 @ 1,600 MHz
Hard Drive
Intel SSDSA2MH160G2C1 160 GB SATA 3 Gb/s
Networking
Realtek RTC8111C, 1 Gbps
Graphics CardsATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB

ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB

ATI Radeon HD 4890 1GB

ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB

Nvidia GeForce GTX 295 1.8GB

Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 1GB
Power Supply
Cooler Master UCP 1100 W
CPU Cooler
Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme
System Software And Drivers
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 x64
DirectX
DirectX 11
Platform Driver
Intel INF Chipset Update Utility 9.1.1.1019
Graphics Driver
AMD Catalyst 8.66 RC6

AMD Catalyst 9.9

Nvidia GeForce 190.62

BenchmarkConfiguration
World in Conflict Very High Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050/1920x1200, 2560x1600, Patch 1009, DirectX 10

Very High Quality Settings, 4x AA / 16x AF, vsync off, 1680x1050/1920x1200, 2560x1600, Patch 1009, DirectX 10
Far Cry 2 Ultra High Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050/1920x1200, 2560x1600, Steam Version

Ultra High Quality Settings, 8x AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050/1920x1200, 2560x1600, Steam Version
CrysisVery High Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050/1900x1200, 2560x1600, Patch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit Executable

Very High Quality Settings, 8x AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050/1900x1200, 2560x1600 Patch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit Executable
Left 4 Dead
Highest Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050/1920x1200, 2560x1600, Steam Version

Highest Quality Settings, 8x AA / 16x AF, vsync off, 1680x1050/1920x1200, 2560x1600, Steam Version
Grand Theft Auto IV
Highest Quality Settings, No AA / "High" AF, vsync off, 1680x1050/1920x1200, 2560x1600, Patch #3
Stalker: Clear Sky
Extreme Quality Setting, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, 2560x1600, DirectX 10 lighting

Extreme Quality Setting, 4x MSAA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, 2560x1600, DirectX 10 lighting
H.A.W.X.
Highest Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, 2560x1600, AO enabled, DirectX 10/10.1

Highest Quality Settings, 8x AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, 2560x1600, AO enabled, DirectX 10/10.1
Resident Evil 5
High Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, 2560x1600, DirectX 10, Fixed Benchmark

High Quality Settings, 8x AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, 2560x1600, DirectX 10, Fixed Benchmark
3DMark Vantage Performance Default, High Quality, Extreme Quality
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214 comments
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    Top Comments
  • hispeed120
    I'm. So. Excited.
    26
  • cangelini
    viper666why didn't they thest it against a GTX 295 rather than 280??? its far superior...


    Ran it against a GTX 295 and a 285 and 285s in SLI :)
    23
  • megamanx00
    O M F G!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just wish the darn thing wasn't so big, but man, what a card! Now I'm thinking about a bigger case :D
    22
  • Other Comments
  • hispeed120
    I'm. So. Excited.
    26
  • Anonymous
    Can't wait
    9
  • crosko42
    So it looks like 1 is enough for me.. Dont plan on getting a 30 inch monitor any time soon.
    21
  • jezza333
    Looks like the NDA lifted at 11:00PM, as there's a load of reviews now just out. Once again it shows that AMD can produce a seriously killer card...

    Crysis 2 on an x2 of this is exactly what I'm waiting for.
    20
  • woostar88
    This is incredible at the price point.
    8
  • LORD_ORION
    Err... I thought I was going to see more for the price. Regardless, I think ATI missed the mark here. I am interested in playing games on my HDTV since me and my monitor don't care about these higher resolutions. Fail cakes... Nivida is undoubtedly going to rape ATI in performance with the 300 series. This is good news for mainstream prices however.... you can ptobably upgrade to a current DX10 board soon for a very good price, and then buy a 5850 for $100 in a year from now. Result? Don't but a 5000 series card yet until the price comes down? Heh, I bet the cards will be $100 less in December if the 300 series launches.

    This is not to say I am an Nvidia fan, just undoubtedly you would do well for yourself to hold off for a bit if you want to buy a 5000 series... as the price will come down for a good price/performance ratio soon enough.
    -41
  • tipmen
    wait, wait, before I look can it play cry... HOLY SHIT?!
    20
  • viper666
    why didn't they thest it against a GTX 295 rather than 280??? its far superior...
    -35
  • cangelini
    viper666why didn't they thest it against a GTX 295 rather than 280??? its far superior...


    Ran it against a GTX 295 and a 285 and 285s in SLI :)
    23
  • Annisman
    I refuse to buy until the 2GB versions come out, not to mention newegg letting you buy more than 1 at a time, paper launch ftl.
    2
  • jasperjones
    Thanks for the timely review. I have to say though, some of the technical details are beyond me. It'd be useful if you explained terms such as "VLIW architecture" or "tessellation engine"
    15
  • viper666
    oh my bad... didn't see the rest of the pages :)
    -14
  • megamanx00
    O M F G!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just wish the darn thing wasn't so big, but man, what a card! Now I'm thinking about a bigger case :D
    22
  • Annisman
    Oops, who am I kidding ? I just ordered 2 5870's. One Sapphire, and one HIS, seeing as how they limit you to one per customer.
    17
  • falchard
    I think most of this review has to do with how many games are optimized for nVidia. The Crytek Engine 2.0 and Source Engine are well known for heavily favoring nVidia architecture yet compose the bulk of the benchmarks. I think the fact ATI can do best in these engines when they have a detect ATI instant nerf its performance speaks measures for the actual card.
    18
  • charlesxuma
    I WANT MY MOOOMMYYYYYY !!!!!!!
    -10
  • tipmen
    Another thing is that the 5800x2 isn't out yet, now think of two of those bad boys in Crossfire.
    14
  • blackbyron
    Not bad for Crysis benchmark. I really want 5870 for my christmas present, but damn I also need to buy a new PSU.
    6
  • blackbyron
    In addition, I am impressed that the 5870 has a better power consumption and better gaming performance compare to DX10 cards. If the card is affordable I'd definite buy one.
    12
  • cangelini
    jasperjonesThanks for the timely review. I have to say though, some of the technical details are beyond me. It'd be useful if you explained terms such as "VLIW architecture" or "tessellation engine"


    Jasper,
    TBH, the architectural details are secondary to how the card performs. However, if you'd like a better idea of what tessellation can do for you, check out the picture of the Alien on page six!
    3