ATI Radeon HD5670
Published: 14th January 2010 | Source: ATI | Price: $99 / £60 rrp |
To reiterate what we said earlier, unlike reviews of high-end cards, today we'll be adjusting settings to attempt to obtain the highest detail but still at a playable 30fps or higher at 1920x1200. All of our games were tested at this resolution and the only items changed are detail settings.
Crysis Warhead is an updated version of the Crysis engine that supposedly brought enormous performance benefits, although few benchmarks bore this out. If there is any game that can make any card struggle it's this one, but the amazing thing is that the graphics aren't so mind-blowing as to make the performance justifiable. Anyway, naturally with little graphics processing overhead to enable anti-aliasing we changed the settings between 'gamer' and 'mainstream'. Even mainstream only got to 28fps average and that's with over a grands worth of motherboard and processor pushing it.
But, for a graphics card of this price, 28fps in Crysis is something that could only have been dreamt of 18 months ago.
Dirt 2 is a game that received a lot of press. Due out about three months ago Codemasters took the brave decision to delay the game to enable implementation of DirectX 11 functionality. Naturally two things are immediately apparent. Firstly that this is eye-candy and performance neatly bundled up in a very addictive game. Secondly, oh my word water has never been so lovely. Even in DirectX 10 mode it's very very nice, but in DirectX 11 it's something else entirely.
Then upon testing we got a very strange result as you can see from the graph below. Just given the settings without knowing the results, twice the anti-aliasing and high not medium settings in DirectX 11 mode, we'd all assume that the lower settings would annihilate the higher. This just isn't the case. Both provided 32 average frames per second, so you might as well have the eye candy.0
Ah the old girl is getting a bit long in the tooth now, but we still love her just the same. It's always been a very ATI friendly game. For todays run we undertook the always enjoyable Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. Here, unlike in NFS Shift, in its current guise with the modified Bus Stop. An attempt to run with 8xMSAA proved a bit too much, but 2xMSAA not only was perfectly playable but also looked very good too. It's amazing how little AA you need to make a real difference and whilst 8xMSAA looked very nice indeed, under gaming conditions 2xMSAA was pleasant enough.
Modern Warfare 2
A new year and time to sweep away some of the older games we've been testing with for a while. Naturally with frame rates reaching into the double hundreds, Modern Warfare has ceased to be a useful indicator of performance. Luckily Infinity Ward have given us Modern Warfare 2. Although it's not really modern unless we're battling in space now, and it's not really warfare but more a collection of insurgencies. However, it is fun and graphically good. Like its predecessor there isn't much you can change in terms of graphical quality but, just like Modern Warfare 1, you don't really need to.
For such a small loss, only 7fps average, we'd definitely run with anti-aliasing rather than without. Sometimes a games console roots can benefit the PC gamer by allowing even modest setups to provide playable frame rates. Such is the case with Modern Warfare 2.
Time for a conclusion. And it's not quite what you might expect.