Gigabyte Radeon HD 5870 1GB Crossfire


Our testbed has been configured with the intention of avoiding any potential CPU bottlenecking, which may have otherwise stunted a graphics cards capabilities. This in turn may give us an artificial result that implies that CrossfireX offers minimal performance gains when infact it might be quite the opposite. With an Intel Core i7, cycling at a rather frisky 3400MHz we are not particularly worried about a potential bottleneck. All games are operating at a resolution of 1920x1080 for a number of reasons. First of all, the idea is to focus on the graphics cards and providing our GPUs with a juicy slab of pixel area is exactly what achieves that. Finally, the vast majority that intend on spending £600+ on graphics cards alone are unlikely to be using that beige 1024x768 CRT sat in the corner gathering dust, but rather a newer LCD which have steadily been operating at higher native resolutions and at increasingly affordable prices. With all due respect, anyone that plans on doing the former really need to set their priorities straight...
Intel Core i7 920 @ 3.40GHz
Gigabyte EX58 UD3R LGA1366 Motherboard
6GB Corsair PC3-12800 DDR3 RAM
2x Gigabyte HD Radeon HD 5870 1GB GDDR5
2x Asus HD Radeon HD 4890 1GB GDDR5
Antec Nine Hundred Two Gaming Case
Corsair HX750W ATX2.0 Power Supply Unit
500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 SATA II HDD
LG 22x DVD+/-RW
Windows Vista Home Premium
The testing methods are relatively simple but effective. The plan is to run a synthetic benchmark tool as well as a number of games in order to find out how much faster two Radeon HD 5870's are, compared to a single card configuration and whether the performance gains are worth the financial outlay. Along the way, we also hope to comment on the usability of ATi's CrossfireX and also practicalities such as noise levels. Further, to make thing's more interesting, we thought we'd add another pair of graphics cards into the mix...they're the previous generation...they were know it...Two ATi Radeon HD 4890 1GB Graphics Cards. The intention is to find out what £290 worth of last year has on £300 of this year. Can two Radeon HD 4890's beat out a single HD 5870? Is a HD 5870 CrossfireX setup THE solution to have for today's hits and beyond? 
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Most Recent Comments

24-10-2009, 08:36:29

Some really good figures going on there. The scaling does indeed look pretty impressive.

Good review.

Does xfire suffer the same casualty as sli in so much as if there's "a profile" for a game, the performance is that much better ?

lmao @ MSFX, one probable exception where a 16 core dual zeon setup with 16g will do u better than a smart gfxcard.

It's perhaps tiring review-wize to have to pre-qualify each game with "old..", "a bit older..". With a bunch of games coming (if schedules hold up) in Q1'10 that support Dx11, it might be worth thinking of consolidating the range of games used by OC3D as benchmarkers. Worth holding onto 1/2 Dx9 ? Maybe. Hold onto 1/2 Dx10 ? Probably. And I would imagine the earlier Dx11 releases would be asked to have bench markers built into them.

Great stuff.Quote

24-10-2009, 08:44:55

When the DX11 games come through you can expect to see a new batch of reviews Rast and the games we use for benches change also. I for one am very interested in what Dirt2 for example plays like in DX10 vs DX11 mode. We shall see.Quote

24-10-2009, 08:54:31

Originally Posted by name='tinytomlogan'
When the DX11 games come through you can expect to see a new batch of reviews Rast and the games we use for benches change also. I for one am very interested in what Dirt2 for example plays like in DX10 vs DX11 mode. We shall see.
yes tom! dirt2 was on my mind also as soon as you mentioned dx11! Quote

24-10-2009, 15:26:56

Epic review dude.

Am loving that design on the card.

600fps in CoD4?

Who needs that much?Quote

24-10-2009, 17:36:28

5870 CF? *puts on Clarkson voice* ... POWAAAAAAHHHHHHH.

Yipes that is just stupendously powerful.

I definitely think that you need to find games that are harder on the graphics. Or perhaps even the whole system. COD4 hitting 600 makes that bench utterly worthless now. Might as well bench Quake 2

Dirt (original) is heavy on systems, so I imagine Dirt2 will be too. Maybe swap Grid for Dirt2, or even NFS Shift.

Crysis and Far Cry 2 still get it done in FPS terms. Can't think of much in the immediate future that's close. Apart from Crysis2 obviously.

CoH is still heavy for RTS' although Dawn of War II can potentially push a system harder.

Mirrors Edge can be hefty with decent settings, even if it is old.

I've not tried Flashpoint 2 or the new update for Stalker, but I imagine they'll be pretty hefty too.

I certainly think the time to retire Grid, Quake and COD4 has come.Quote

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