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

Benchmark Results: H.A.W.X.

This was one of ATI’s banner DirectX 10.1 titles, and we’ve thus tested our ATI contenders with DirectX 10.1 enabled. But a single Radeon HD 5870 doesn’t quite exhibit the same exuberance we’ve seen in games like Far Cry 2 here. Instead, a single card barely outperforms Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 285 and is, in fact, beaten pretty badly by the Radeon HD 4870 X2 and GeForce GTX 295.

Although SLI does great things for the performance of two GeForce GTX 285s, CrossFire helps the 5870s even more, nearly doubling frame rates at each tested resolution. At the end of the day, a single Radeon HD 5870 doesn’t look very impressive here, but a pair of the cards serves up uncontested performance all the way through 2560x1600.

Improvements to anti-aliasing shine through with 8x turned on, and although a single Radeon HD 5870 doesn’t impress at 1680x1050 or 1920x1200, the jump to 2560x1600 sees every other card fall to below-playable levels, while the 5870 maintains more than 40 frames per second—not entirely bad in a flight simulator like this one.

Of course, the real magic happens when you add a second 5870 and see frame rates jump to 75.

Note the GeForce GTX 295’s missing score at 2560x1600—another instance where 896MB of GDDR3 memory per on-board GPU just isn’t enough to play such a demanding setting. It takes a graphics card with at least 1GB to make such a high resolution and anti-aliasing setting available, which is something the GeForce GTX 295 just can’t muster.

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.