With our second HD 5770 arriving which carries with it the same stock setup as the previous one we tested, we had one idea on our mind; to CrossFire the two cards and see what kind of performance we could achieve out of the new mid-range card from ATI that has done well to impress us in solo form.
What makes CrossFiring these cards so great is the low expense of buying one now and a second one later. If you can afford the price of two initially, you're normally better off buying the next model up; something like the HD 5850. If you want a new card now and some extra performance in the future, this could be a great option.
How great, though? There's only one way to find out. But before we get into the benchmarking we'll have a closer look at the package HIS has put together before having a closer look at the card and its specifications.
It's great to see that HIS has taken the time to include the Dirt 2 voucher in the bundle for this mid-range model. Looking at the cables, there isn't really any surprises. Let's take the time to have a closer look at the card itself.
The HIS version of the card doesn't really show us anything we haven't seen from the model before. With that said, this is a really nice cooler which carries with it the same overall design as the higher end models, albeit just shorter.
HIS has of course added their own flair to the model, which includes a HIS sticker on the fan. The left of the card is taken up by another sticker which shows us a picture of the sword and tells us the model, while giving us the HIS logo again and the ATI one.
The HD 5770 carries with it a single 6-Pin PCI-E connector and much like the HD 5850 it sits in one of the rear vents. How it differs is that it sits more recessed, which can make it a bit of a pain to plug and unplug. Really, though, once you've plugged the connector in you shouldn't be touching it again anytime soon.
Across the top of the card we have our two CrossFire connectors; the good news is we're going to be making use of these. Hopefully we see some good performance from the setup when we team it up with our other HD 5770.
In the I/O department we can see that there's a fair bit going on. We've got two Dual-Link DVI Connectors, HDMI and DisplayPort. All these connectors mean we've got Eyefinity support which gives us the ability to run up to three monitors off the one card.
Like the rest of the card, there isn't really anything outside the norm when it comes to the clocks. This means the core comes in at 850MHz and the 1GB of GDDR5 carries with it a very healthy 4800MHz QDR clock.
Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage
Test System Setup
Processor(s): Intel Core i7 920 @ 3.8GHz (190MHz x 20)
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P (Supplied by Noctua)
Motherboard(s): GIGABYTE EX58-UD5 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Memory: 3 X 2GB OCZ Technology PC-12800 DDR-3 8-8-8-24 (OCZ3G1600LV6GK)
Hard Disk(s): Western Digital 300GB Velicorapter (Supplied by Western Digital)
Operating System: Windows Vista SP1 64-bit
Drivers: ATI Catalyst 9.8, ATI Catalyst HD 5770 Driver, ATI Catalyst Cypress Driver
Today we'll be seeing how the HD 5770 in CrossFire compares against the card in its single form, while also having a look at how it performs against the HD 5850 along with that card also in CrossFire.
Let's get started!
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here
3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.
3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.
In our first test we can see that the CrossFire setup manages to see a good boost in performance when compared to the single card. Compared to the HD 5850 we see that it manages to come out a nice chunk faster, especially at the higher X preset.
Benchmarks - PT Boats: Knights of the Sea
PT Boats: Knights of the Sea
Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Developer Homepage: http://en.akella.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.pt-boats.net/
PT Boats: Knights of the Sea is a naval action simulator that places gamers in charge of a mosquito fleet of the Allied Forces, Russia or Germany during the height of World War II.
Using the latest Direct X 10 technology PT Boards - Knights of the Sea manages to apply a lot of stress to the components of today which in turn gives us quite an intensive benchmark.
PT Boats sees some very good numbers. We see a good gain again over the single card, but also good numbers when compared to the single HD 5850. Even compared to the CF setup of the higher end models, the numbers aren't too bad at all with it only really falling behind in the averages.
Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10
Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net
CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.
MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).
Good numbers as always from the ATI cards, but when adding the second card this does nothing for performance.
Benchmarks - World in Conflict
World in Conflict
Version and / or Patch Used: 22.214.171.124
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com
World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10).
The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.
In our first real world test we see some excellent numbers again. The most important is the fact that we're above that 30 FPS minimum at the higher resolution.
Benchmarks - Crysis Warhead
Version and / or Patch Used: Unpatched
Timedemo or Level Used: Airfield
Developer Homepage: http://www.crytek.com
Product Homepage: http://crysiswarhead.ea.com/
Buy It Here
Crysis Warhead updates and refines the gameplay of the original game through a sidestory plot involving Psycho, one of previous protagonist Nomad's allies. The game is a parallel story that follows Sergeant Michael "Psycho" Sykes, a character from the original Crysis, as he faces his own trials and challenges on the other side of the island during the time period of the first game.
It also showcases a new, enhanced and optimized version of CryEngine 2 using full DX10 extensions and is the first game developed by Crytek's Budapest studio.
We can see here that the HD 5850 CF setup is putting out some good numbers. The HD 5770 CF one also does a good job, but it does fall a little under that 30 FPS minimum at 1920 x 1200. However, the gains are extremely impressive when compared to the single card solution.
Benchmarks - Far Cry 2
Far Cry 2
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here
The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.
The HD 5770 by itself manages to do a good job of getting over 30 FPS. The CrossFire setup manages to give us a massive amount of breathing room which means we're able to look at increasing the settings even higher.
Benchmarks - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.5.07
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.gsc-game.com/
Product Homepage: http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/
Buy It Here
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the stand-alone prequel for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter computer game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World. The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.
Looking at the minimum it's great to see that we get above that 30 FPS minimum at both resolutions, something the single card setup wasn't able to achieve. We again see at the higher resolution the setup also performs better than a single HD 5850.
Benchmarks - Left 4 Dead
Left 4 Dead
Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.valvesoftware.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.l4d.com/
Buy It Here
Left 4 Dead uses the latest version of Valve's Source engine, with improvements such as multi-core processor support and physics-based animation to more realistically portray hair and clothing, and to improve physics interaction with enemies when shot or shoved in different body parts. Animation was also improved to allow characters to lean realistically when moving in curved paths.
Rendering and artificial intelligence were scaled up to allow for greater number of enemies who can navigate the world in better ways, such as climbing, jumping or breaking obstacles. Lighting has been enhanced with new self-shadowing normal mapping and advanced shadow rendering that is important to convey information about the environment and player actions.
The single HD 5770 is already giving us some pretty good numbers and the CrossFire setup only improves them. Again we can see the setup is able to outperform the HD 5850.
Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF
High Quality AA and AF
Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.
Far Cry 2
Great gains seen here with the CrossFire setup, but it's unfortunately not enough to make the game playable.
World In Conflict
An excellent boost in performance that helps us break that 30 FPS minimum we need, making the game playable at these settings.
Left 4 Dead
With no minimum we want our average to be around the 60 FPS+ mark and we can see that the CF setup here with the HIS performs above that which the single card wasn't able to do.
Temperature and Sound Tests
With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).
There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.
Like our other HD 5000 series CrossFire testing, adding the second card seems to do very little to overall temperature.
Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.
After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).
Adding the second card makes the setup a little louder, but nothing that is worth worrying about.
Power Consumption Tests
Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).
There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.
The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.
So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.
It doesn't come as any surprise that this setup needs more power than a single card. As for the actual numbers, though, it sits exactly as you would expect given the performance with it coming in between the single HD 5850 and the CrossFire setup of the same model.
We've already been impressed by the performance of the HD 5770; we didn't need to test the HIS one we have here in its single form today due to the simple fact that it would perform like the other HD 5770 we tested which carried with it the same cooling and clocks.
While we will be basing our score on the performance of the single card, the main piece of information we need to talk about here is the CrossFire performance which is nothing short of great. We see a good boost in performance in just about everything we test with it sometimes being the difference between a game being playable and not playable at higher resolutions with higher settings.
It's also great to see that HIS have included the Dirt 2 voucher in the bundle and considering the performance of the model we're sure that the model will be able to handle the Direct X 11 game that is due out before Christmas.
The HIS HD 5770 doesn't carry with it anything different from the stock model and this would be a problem if the stock model wasn't great, but it is. With that said, we're looking forward to the company putting its own spin on the model with future IceQ and Turbo models. But at $159.99 over at Newegg right now, this model is still very attractive and gives you solid performance for the price, especially if you double up and go the two card route.
If you're looking for a HD 5770, the HIS version is one worth looking at. More importantly, don't let anyone tell you that using CrossFire on these mid-range cards is a waste of money, because the bottom line is the 'buy one now' and 'another in the future' idea helps lessen the blow on your account while still offering great performance. In this case it's performance that is better than a single HD 5850.
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