Radeon HD 5870 CrossfireX test review

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VGA performance: Far Cry 2 (DX10)


Setup your monitor first

Before playing games, setting up your monitor's contrast & brightness levels is a very important thing to do. I realized recently that a lot of you guys have set up your monitor improperly. How do we know this? Because we receive a couple of emails every now and then telling us that a reader can't distinguish between the benchmark charts (colors) in our reviews. We realized, if that happens, your monitor is not properly set up.


This simple test pattern is evenly spaced from 0 to 255 brightness levels, with no profile embedded. If your monitor is correctly set up, you should be able to distinguish each step, and each step should be visually distinct from its neighbors by the same amount. Also, the dark-end step differences should be about the same as the light-end step differences. Finally, the first step should be completely black.

Far Cry 2

Throw your memory back to the year 2004 and the release of the innovative Far Cry on PC. Developer Crytek managed to fashion one of the most convincing and striking locales in all of gaming, and satisfied gamers with the freedom to pass through the landscape and tackle enemies in almost any way they saw fit. You surely remember Jack Carver and that things were about to get seriously messed up for you? Well, tough luck. You are no longer at that deserted tropical island but hop into a jeep and arrive at the sandy savannah surroundings of Africa. And that's a change... as much as you'll no longer run into any mutants, aliens, or any superpowers or psychic powers. Also - you are no longer Jack Carver, you assume the role of one of nine different mercenaries who are embedded in the midst of a brutal civil war which rages in an imaginary African nation.
Everything that goes down is involved in a dirty little bush war in central Africa and you'll have to use a rusty AK-47 and whatever bits of scavenged land mine you can duct-tape together. Two factions struggle for supremacy: the United Front for Liberation and Labour and the Alliance for Popular Resistance, and both are known for blood and control.

Far Cry 2 I like very much. Not so much for the gameplay anymore, yet the rendered environment and how the game can react to it. We are in high-quality DX10 mode with 8x AA (anti-aliasing) and 16x AF (anisotropic filtering).

In the upper chart you can see in red Radeon 5870 CrossfireX, then the single GPU based Radeon HD 5870 and then for good ol' times sake the Radeon HD 4890.

Yeah, the Radeon HD 4890 almost is looking like a cheapo budget card now eh? The CrossfireX performance is grand.

Recently added in our charts are comparison models based on a GPU bound resolution. Full comparison of the tested game at 19x12 or 19x10. You can look at these charts as a performance VGA chart, per game session / benchmark. Ranking and product positioning will become more clear this way.

As you can see, GPU scaling in-between the single GPU based 5870 and the CrossfireX 5870 setup is pretty darn good (if the software title allows for it).

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