We loved the HD 5870 in single form and we love it even more now. CrossFire manages to scale extremely well and if this is an idea of what we can be expecting from the HD 5870 X2, then NVIDIA had better be worried! Once companies like Sapphire start attacking the model with new cooling and overclocks, it's only going to get better for the model.
We really made the HD 5870 CrossFire setup work as well. Since we compared it to the most recent GTX 295 we had on hand, the massively pre-overclocked offering from Galaxy, it was going to be an uphill battle for the stock clocked HD 5870s. But they rarely struggled with some good numbers being seen across the board.
Really, the only time we saw the HD 5870 CrossFire setup fall behind the GTX 295 was at the lower resolutions. At 2560 x 1600 the HD 5870 CF setup managed to win almost every contest. To be completely honest, this is the kind of resolution you would be running when it comes to spending this much money on a setup like this, so it's really the most important resolution to look at when we're testing cards like this.
Really, all we want now is a third HD 5870 so we can see what happens when CrossFire X is added into the mix. The other thing we want to start seeing is pre-overclocked offerings which are no doubt going to carry with it even more improvements.
At launch it looks like the HD 5870 CF setup is going to cost $250 - $300 US more than a GTX 295. The first thing you're going to be getting is more performance, which for the most part is the most important. The other main feature you're going to be getting over the GTX 295 is Direct X 11 support and while it might not be ready to use yet, there's no doubt that towards the end of this year and the start of next we will see the technology being implemented.
With the price of the setup at the moment, we would probably wait a few weeks for price to settle down as we've been told that quantity is quite limited at the moment and could be the main reason for the slightly higher price tag, but we don't doubt that with the Catalyst driver team on the job the model is going to become even more and more powerful over the coming months.