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

Benchmark Results: Resident Evil 5

We’ve spent plenty of time with the Nvidia GeForce 3D Vision benchmark demo of Resident Evil 5, as recently as our Core i5/Core i7 launch and a dedicated look at how mainstream cards perform in the brand new title. Nvidia clearly had a lot of influence on the console port’s development and it showed early on. We guessed that ATI needed to do a little driver work to get the game running well though, and sure enough, we have the retail version and ATI’s boards are doing significantly better in the DirectX 10 build.

Again we see the Radeon HD 4870 X2 and GeForce GTX 295 best ATI’s new Radeon HD 5870. However, we’re still getting frame rates that are plenty-playable all the way up to 2560x1600 across the board. It’s good to see that the DirectX 10-based performance issues plaguing ATI cards in the demo are no longer a problem in the retail game with the company’s Catalyst 9.9 driver.

Turning on 8xAA does hit performance, but even the Radeon HD 4870 is able to keep its head above 40 frames per second. The Radeon HD 5870 catches up to the 4870 X2, but is still bested by the dual-GPU card. It actually passes Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 295 at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600, though. Not surprisingly, when you team a pair of 5870s together, the two cards are virtually unstoppable, posting more than 110 frames per second at 2560x1600 with 8xAA enabled. In fact, CrossFire’d 5870s are fast enough to peg the speedo on our 4 GHz Core i7 at 1680x1050 and 1920x1200—with the highest details and 8xAA. Not long ago, such a claim would have been inconceivable.

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.