Having a direct look at the new generation card to its older generation sibling gives us a good idea of just how hard a company has worked to improve the technology they use in today's graphics cards. The HD 5870 is no different; it's easy for people to say "well this is disappointing, it's not that much faster than the GTX 285, or it's similar to only slightly better than the HD 4870 X2".
If you stand back, though, and think about it, it's faster than NVIDIAs fastest single GPU graphics card and it's able to outperform ATIs dual GPU graphics card without having to resort to CrossFire. How is there anything wrong with that? - The card was never going to the fastest single graphics card on the market. The GTX 295 really has too much power behind it. We don't need to tell AMD that, though, as they've got a HD 5870 X2 in the pipeline coming in November which should steal back the performance crown.
If the earlier CrossFire testing was anything to go by, the green team had better look out. The team over at AMD is throwing rocks at that green light trying to put it out. Come November it looks like they would've actually hit too, which is great. We love the competition; it's the reason we get better and faster products on the market. The HD 5870 is also only going to look better again when Windows 7 is released and Direct X 11 games are there to accompany it.
Today we're able to see the amount of work and effort ATI has put into the HD 5870. We can also see that they haven't created just a good card at launch that will become great over time, but a great card at launch that will probably become fantastic over time.
We've always been a fan of the HD 4870; sure it hasn't been the fastest card on the market, but it had aggressive pricing and was a great option for people who wanted to game at resolutions of up to 1920 x 1200 for the most part. The HD 5870, however, is great for 1920 x 1200, but perfect for 2560 x 1600 which is what we really love to see.