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GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Card in CrossFire X

By: Shawn Baker | AMD CrossFire Articles in Video Cards | Posted: Sep 30, 2009 4:11 am
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Final Thoughts


Let's get the GIGABYTE part of this article out the way. While we didn't test it in single GPU form, we know how it's going to perform with it following the same clock speeds as the other three HD 5870s. What it really comes down to is the bundle; GIGABYTE is actually on the lighter side of things with no real extras. The good news is that the Dirt 2 coupon, while not pictured, is included in the bundle.


Now, with that said, over here in Australia we're finding that the GIGABYTE model actually comes in at the cheapest price which is something we're impressed about. When the pricing calms down a bit in the U.S. we should find something similar. Now, if you're not interested in the extra game that Sapphire offer or the 7-in-1 tool that HIS are giving NewEgg buyers at the moment, then the money saved will no doubt be appreciated.


So with that said, we'll place our final score for the card just below. With that out of the way we'll then get into discussing CrossFire X and let you know our thoughts on it.




CrossFire X with the HD 5870 is like CrossFire X with the HD 4890; for the most part, pretty disappointing. One of the biggest cons to the setup when compared to a dual card setup is that you simply don't get the performance boost consistently on our games.


Now, we can handle when there's a drop in performance at 1680 x 1050 and 1920 x 1200 when two cards are installed, because really if you've got three you should be using 2560 x 1600. If there's a consistent boost in performance at that resolution then we're happy and while we did see a gain in performance, it wasn't ever enough that could justify the extra money that would have to be spent with the addition of a third card.


The other big con about the setup is that in a two card situation we have 16x on both lanes, but moving to a three card setup means we continue to have 16x on the first lane but on our second and third card they are only running at 8x, which means the cards aren't going to get the same amount of performance. What you hope, though, is that adding a third card combats that and still manages to give us a boost that justifies the price of three cards, but unfortunately it doesn't.


CrossFire is a fantastic technology. Unfortunately CrossFire X isn't in the same category. Hopefully one day that will change, however. For now if you want to add a second HD 5870 we would highly recommend it. The performance boost is great and justifying the extra cost associated with a second card is easy. For now, though, we wouldn't recommend looking at a third card; hopefully CrossFire X looks a bit more attractive with the HD 5870 X2, with both cards being able to run at 16x on the PCI-E lanes.


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