AMD Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition: One Card, Six Screens

Power Consumption

With news that Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 480 and 470 slurp down power, we expect modest consumption to be a real win for AMD. Sure enough, the 2GB Radeon HD 5870 is only moderately more needy than the 1GB card at idle. And while we measure about 28W higher power consumption under load, the Eyefinity 6 card still ducks under Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 470.

But those numbers only apply when a single monitor is attached. With six 22” displays connected to the Radeon HD 5870 2GB, idle system power jumps to 160W (in excess of a GeForce GTX 480 with a single display attached) and load power increases to 359W.

Adding a second Eyefinity 6 card in CrossFire and attaching a sextet of displays has a minor impact on idle power, bumping it up to 180W. But the shot to load power is more severe, peaking at 581W.

In all fairness (and in response to reader feedback from my GeForce GTX 480/470 story), I went back to test the power draw of the 480 with a second display attached, and it indeed jumps from 146W to 210W at idle. That’s the same roughly 30W difference between GeForce GTX 480 and Radeon HD 5870 that we saw with a single monitor attached.

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • phantomtrooper
    I would hate playing with that much black area between screens. I will stick with my 1080p monitor thank you.
  • megamanx00
    :O They got two of those cards!! Lucky punks.
  • megamanx00
    Glad they compared the 1GB and 2GB cards in a 3x1 setup. Glad I got my 5870 instead of waiting for a 2GB card :D. Even so, I want some thin bezel monitors before I hook up three of them. The bezel on my HP LCD is just to think so I'm not keen on buying another two.
  • duk3
    Immediate availability? Yes.
    Even in stock! (When linked :P )
  • magicbullet
    wow......i feel so poor.
  • Should have just made the 5970 the eyefinity edition
  • ltcommander_data
    So I guess Apple's miniDP connector is quite useful after-all and is now seeing adoption outside of Macs.

    It's too bad you didn't test GTA IV like you used to do. I believe GTA IV at max settings exceeds 1GB of VRAM usage so perhaps 2GB graphics cards may be of some use assuming the game isn't still CPU limited despite 12 threads with the Core i7 980X. At the very least, I'm guessing Liberty City at 6048x2276 would be amazing.
  • mtyermom
    This begs the question: how long until we have zero-bezel displays?
  • oldscotch
    Obviously, the best solution is a 3x3 grid of displays to make sure your centre focus is not interfered with.

    Lesse, that'd be 5760 x 3240.
    No sweat ;)
  • So, I guess if you already have a 1GB 5870 and 3x1 Eyefinity setup, the only advantage of the 2GB version is being able to pile on the AA/AF effects and still have a playable frame rate.