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Sapphire Radeon HD 5870 1GB Graphics Card

By: Shawn Baker | AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Sep 23, 2009 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: SapphireTech

Final Thoughts


So that's our first HD 5870 and to be honest the card is a whole lot better than I expected it to be. The HD 5870 really had to do one thing; that was beat the GTX 285. The thing about that, though, is it had to do that one thing well. The good news? It does; it manages to do it very well.


We see across the board in all games the HD 5870 put's out some fantastic numbers, be it in the synthetic 3DMark Vantage or the ultra intensive and ultra popular Far Cry 2. I expected the HD 5870 to perform well, mainly because it needed to, but I didn't expect it to perform this well.


What these numbers we see here today do is light a fire in the belly wondering what the HD 5870 X2 will offer along with what HD 5870 CrossFire and CrossFire X performance will be like. If scaling is good and we see big numbers at 2560 x 1600 this could be a very impressive setup. Knowing ATI as well, we should see some fairly good pricing. Gone are the days of $600 U.S. launch price tags.


Looking a bit more specific toward the Sapphire offering, this is absolutely awesome. At launch you can't expect too much from companies. There are of course the necessary cables; you also need a driver CD and most importantly the card itself. Sapphire have already built on that and include BattleStations Pacific. And just as you get sick of that, December rolls around and you can download Dirt 2 which is going to take advantage of the Direct X 11 features the card has to offer.


It would have been nice to use the Direct X 11 functionality at launch, but with Windows 7 still not out it's not the end of the world. The other great thing about the card is it's not one of those. It's good at DX 10 but when DX 11 comes out that's when you will really get to make use of it. It's great at DX 10; the numbers we see here today prove that. We don't doubt it's also going to be great at DX 11. Why you might ask? The answer is simple; it needs to be great at DX 11 so ATI can continue to have the one up on NVIDIA.


We're sure that NVIDIA have something special up their sleeves and we don't doubt they're benchmarking the HD 5870 in single, CrossFire and CrossFire X form so they have a better idea of what they're dealing with. NVIDIA do have a habit of having some fancy new drivers ready when ATI come out with a new card and we're sure there's something not far away.


Talking to a few people about the HD 5870, they're excited to see what it is offering already. We don't have to wait for the driver team to work a little harder on it for it to be a card we want to buy. We want to buy it now because the drivers are great. Sapphire has also put a great little spin on it. If you love those ATI cards, moving from a HD 4890 is going to be a great upgrade and moving from anything older is going to be simply fantastic.


Now it's just a matter of playing the waiting game for the other HD 5800 models to arrive and while CrossFire HD 5870s will give us a good idea on what the HD 5870 X2 will offer, we're very interested to find out what the HD 5850 is going to bring us which is going to be a one of the more important cards from the red team due to its aggressive pricing on offer.




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