Club3D Radeon HD 6870 X2 review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 07/07/2011 01:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
Final words and conclusion
Club3D has to fight of two problems with this product, the first being price. It's way cheaper to get two 6870 graphics cards which get you exactly the same performance for the money. See Radeon HD 6870 cards can purchased for 150 EUR these days, that's 300 EUR for two of them. One Radeon HD 6870 X2 will cost you 375 EUR. So that's definitely something to keep in mind.
Secondly, the noise levels; opting the X2 means you'll be purchasing a rather loud card once the two GPUs start to heat up in a hefty game. This is the same with a R6990, but if you can life with that, well then its all good. The flipside of the coin is that it is an interesting product all together. The performance obviously is really good, if the game is properly supported by the driver that is. Of the entire test suite we had one issue, Call of Duty MWF2 would not kick into Crossfire mode. The rest worked brilliant really, and yeah then there's Crysis 2 with the HQ Texture pack, DX11 un Ultra mode at 4xAA. It almost seems that that X2 is just made for it in 1920x1200. Butter smooth 50+ FPS gameplay versus incredible eye-candy at 19x12.
That said I'm still a little surprised as to how good the Radeon HD 6800 series is in terms of value for money. The product seems to be simply very well positioned in that mid-range segment and the X2 really lifts it upwards into high-end. Up-to a gaming resolution of 1900x1200 all your games will play extremely well, and that's with a very decent set of image quality options and eye candy like 8xAA / 16x AF enabled. I mean, even the very GPU intensive Battlefield: Bad Company 2 at a monitor resolution of 1920x1200 with HQ settings and 8x Anti-Aliasing enabled averages out at a 83 frames per second framerate, that's just really good.
The card comes with a plethora of monitor connections which is fun to see. Plug in two DVI or DisplayPort connectors for some multi-monitor goodness or simply hook the card up to your HD telly and watch movies over that HDMI (with audio) connector.
If you feel adventurous, grab overclocking software like AfterBurner, overclock based on GPU voltage tweaking a little as explained on the previous page and you might pass actually 1 GHz on the GPU, it is a possibility aright. And that gives the product yet another notch of performance. AfterBurner detects the VRM and allows up-to 1.3 volts, take it slow... take the GPU to 1.25V and we steeled at 970'ish MHz (900 MHz default) on both cores with the memory clocked to 4600 MHz (4200 MHz Default).
Along with the 6800 series architecture the improved feature set of course is grand with the extra features, like HD3D and the UVD 3 update of the video processor. While capable, the HD3D implementation we feel is a loss 3D gaming wise. Pretty much what AMD is doing is saying, "here's a hardware capable product... and you guys do the rest." The complexity of finding the right TV/Monitor, glasses and then 3rd party software you need to buy is in our vision too complex for the generic end user without any guarantees that the 3D experience will work properly as it's not backed by AMD whatsoever.
The Club3D Radeon HD 6870 X2 is a very interesting card, you could even add a 3rd GPU in CrossfireX or even go for two X2 (though we do not recommend that driver and game profile wise). Armed with a nice 900MHz clock frequency this product simply makes a lot of sense whilst it brings a lot of value to the table, remember it will allow you to play your games at 1920x1200 tremendously well.
The one tip I'd like to give the designers is that due to the length of the card, the card is a little wobbly, it easily bends. As such it would be very much recommended to get this card a metal protection strip at the top side of the card, much like the MSI products all have.
Noise can be an issue if you are an audiophile, but as stated the biggest quandary for this product will be the price. This model is tagged at roughly 360 EUR and two R6870 cards cost 300 EUR, that's too big of a price difference. Club3D does throw in a free copy of Colin McRae Dirt 3 for you to download through Steam though, so that does add a little extra value.
But regardless of my remarks the 6870 X2 is unique and offers a serious lot of gaming power for the money. Where Crossfire worked we had no stability issues or anything like that and most games will work and scale fine in Crossfire mode.
Going Crossfire also means continued driver and profile updates, keep that in mind. A game needs to be supported by ATI, otherwise only one GPU will kick in. But when it does, the performance game experince is d-e-licous. Definitely a recommended product, with our remarks in mind.
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