When the NDA was lifted on the Eyefinity6 version of the HD 5870 we had a good look of it here. The problem we ran into, though, was the lack of any active adapter. What this meant was we weren't able to test the model as we normally would. Instead we had a look at it at 5760 x 1200 to see just how it performed.
As we received a retail version of the model from Sapphire, we also received an active adapter which would give us a chance to benchmark the card as we normally would. So today that's exactly what we've done.
Before we get stuck into the performance of the model, though, let's see what bundle Sapphire have put together while also taking a closer look at the card and its specifications. Once we've done that we'll fire up the testbed and see how the model performs, including 2560 x 1600 testing which will hopefully make use of that extra memory that's available.
The PackageThe Package
The model lacks any games which is something we haven't seen for a while. What is different is a heap of adapters that are included in the bundle. Looking at the last picture, we've got three mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort connectors and two mini DisplayPort to DVI connectors. The fact these aren't active adapters means that they're only capable of out putting up to 1920 x 1200. To go higher you'll need an active adapter.
The Card and SpecificationsThe Card
Apart from the sticker there's nothing new here that we didn't see from the reference card. The big deal about this model is of course the six mini DisplayPorts that are present on the card.
On the specifications front we don't see any surprises. The core comes in at the default 850MHz clock while the memory comes in at 4800MHz QDR. The biggest feature in the specifications department is the fact that the model carries with it twice the amount of memory at 2GB.
Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage
We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASRock, Kingston, Western Digital, Noctua and Thermaltake.
What we'll mainly be looking at today is seeing how the HD 5870 Eyefinity6 Edition with 2GB of memory compares against the standard HD 5870 which carries with it only 1GB. With both models carrying the same core and memory speed, we'll see just how much the extra memory helps us when it comes to gaming.
We've also included in the graphs the two new GTX 400 series models along with the HD 5970 2GB.
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.
We can see here that both HD 5870 models perform very similar. In our performance preset you can see it's actually a bit slower.
Unigine Heaven BenchmarkUnigine Heaven Benchmark
Version and / or Patch Used: 1 and 2
Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com
Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//
New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.
Note: If a card doesn't support DirectX 11 the benchmark will be left out, if it does it will be included along with the DirectX10 results.
Under Heaven we can see that V1 performance shows the Eyefinity6 model a little slower. In the more recent V2 we can see both sit very similar with numbers being almost identical.
Benchmarks - CINEBENCHCINEBENCH
Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10 and Release 11.5
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).
CINEBENCH performance between both of the HD 5870s is almost identical.
Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5Resident Evil 5
Version and / or Patch Used: Demo Benchmark
Developer Homepage: www.residentevil.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.residentevil.com/
Resident Evil 5 is a survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the seventh installment in the Resident Evil survival horror series, and was released on September 18. Resident Evil 5 revolves around Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar as they investigate a terrorist threat in Kijuju, a fictional town in Africa.
Performance between both models again is almost identical. At 2560 x 1600 we've got a couple extra FPS on the 2GB Eyefinity6 model, but nothing to get too excited about.
Benchmarks - BattleForgeBattleForge
Version and / or Patch Used: Auto Patched at Load
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.battleforge.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.battleforge.com/
The Gods have disappeared and the old sun has died, letting a vile twilight engulf the world of Nyn. In exchange for all treasures the mortals possessed, the evil giants agreed to forge a new sun and hurl it into the sky.
But the deal was betrayed, the treasure stolen and now the mortals flee the wrath of the giants. Under the light of a new sun the mortals stumble into a world changed and twisted by an age of twilight. The long journey home has become a conquest of survival.
Note: Supporting DirectX 11 we have seperated the graphs for NVIDIA and ATI cards. While the numbers between the two brands can be compared you have to make note that ATI based HD 5000 series cards are running DirectX 11.
Under BattleForge we can see that both cards perform identical to each other with the extra memory doing nothing for extra performance.
Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.
Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/UK/default.aspx
Product Homepage: http://www.hawxgame.com/
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X is an arcade-style flight simulator video game developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and iPhone OS.
The fundamental gameplay mechanics are similar to those of other console-based flight series. Players take on enemies with over 50 aircraft available. Each mission is at real world locations in environments created with commercial satellite data. A cockpit, first person, and third person view are selectable. The third person view gives the player an external view of both their plane and the target.
Set above the skies of a near-future world, increasingly dependent on private military companies with elite mercenaries who have a relaxed view on the law. As these non-governmental organizations gain power, global conflict erupts with one powerful PMC attacking the United States.
H.A.W.X. sees a little +1 FPS / -1 FPS in some areas, but again there's nothing major going on with the extra memory when it comes to adding more performance.
Benchmarks - Darkest of DaysDarkest of Days
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.darkestofdays.com/index.php
Product Homepage: http://www.darkestofdays.com/index.php
Darkest of Days takes the player through time into historic battles in an effort to save key individuals from certain death. The battles range from Custer's Last Stand at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876 to fighting in Pompeii as ash and fire rain down from an erupting Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Other locations include the battles of Antietam and Tannenberg, and a German World War II P.O.W. camp. There are different missions in every time period and the game takes about 4 hours to complete.
The game features over twenty weapons, both from the original time period as well as those brought back from the future. In addition, there are artillery weapons from different time periods to assist in battle.
Note: With the PhysX set to Medium or High Darkest of Days take advantage of the NVIDIA PhysX abilities. For that reason we will test ATI cards at the Low preset, NVIDIA based cards though will be tested at Low and High.
Performance like H.A.W.X. is a bit all over the place; there's really no clear winner when you look at it.
Benchmarks - Far Cry 2Far 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.
We again see there's no difference between the two cards with sometimes the 2GB wielding Eyefinity6 card coming ahead and other times it falling slightly behind. Across the board, though, the averages are identical.
Benchmarks - Batman Arkham AsylumBatman Arkham Asylum
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com/
Batman: Arkham Asylum exposes players to a unique, dark and atmospheric adventure that takes them to the depths of Arkham Asylum - Gotham's psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Gamers will move in the shadows, instigate fear amongst their enemies and confront The Joker and Gotham City's most notorious villains who have taken over the asylum.
Using a wide range of Batman's gadgets and abilities, players will become the invisible predator and attempt to foil The Joker's demented scheme.
Batman: Arkham Asylum features an original story penned exclusively for the game by famous Batman author and five-time Emmy award winner Paul Dini, whose credits include Lost season one and Batman: The Animated Series.
Note: With support for PhysX NVIDIA based cards will be tested with the technology on and off, ATI cards will be tested with the technology off due to it not being supported on their cards.
We again see across the board that performance is almost identical between the two HD 5870 models.
Benchmarks - Dark VoidDark Void
Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.airtightgames.com
Product Homepage: http://www.darkvoidgame.com/
The game's story takes place during World War II and centers around a cargo pilot named William Augustus Grey (voiced by Nolan North) who is teleported to another world while flying through the Bermuda Triangle. In this world, known as the 'Void', Will encounters an alien race as well as other humans, which are known as the Watchers and the Survivors respectively.
Will reluctantly joins the Survivors who are engaged in a feud with the alien race to satisfy his desire to return to Earth. While aiding the Survivors, Will discovers that the Void is a middle ground that connects both the Watchers homeworld and Earth. It also becomes apparent that the Watchers are supplying the Axis powers with various supplies for reasons unknown. With the help of Nikola Tesla, Will utilizes retrofited Watcher technology to combat the Watchers and eventually find a way to escape the Void.
Dark Void performance for the 2GB model is a bit all over the shop with the minimum being lower on the new models at the lower resolutions. Numbers are still huge, though.
Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AFHigh 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
Even when cranking up the detail under Far Cry 2 we see that twice the amount of memory really does nothing for performance.
Resident Evil 5
A FPS faster, but nothing that's going to make a difference to your overall game play.
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.
This is about the biggest gain we've seen from the Eyefinity6 version of the HD 5870.
Benchmarks - Elcomsoft Wireless Security AuditorElcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.51
Timedemo or Level Used: Sample File
Developer Homepage: http://www.elcomsoft.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.elcomsoft.com/ewsa.html
ElcomSoft has pioneered many software innovations that have made it easier to recover passwords protecting various types of resources. For the first time in the industry, the company's patent-pending GPU acceleration makes its way into Wi-Fi password recovery, reducing the time required to recover Wi-Fi passwords up to a hundred times.
Supporting up to four NVIDIA boards such as GeForce 8, 9, and 200, as well as ATI video cards such as RADEON HD 4000 Series and up, Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor allows building servers with supercomputer performance at a fraction of the price.
The extra memory adds a bit more performance under WSA; it's not something that's worth spending the extra money on, though.
Temperature and Sound TestsTemperature 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.
Looking at heat, the model runs a little warmer than the standard HD 5870; nothing too serious, though.
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).
Noise levels are a little louder than the standard HD 5870, but like the temperature, it's nothing we would be worrying about.
Power Consumption TestsPower 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.
Power draw is also up compared to the standard HD 5870. Like the last two tests, however, it's nothing that is going to affect you.
Total Performance Rating (TPR)Total Performance Rating
The TPR graph is a combination of all our benchmarks in which NVIDIA and ATI are on an even playing field. This includes benchmarks where PhysX can be forced off like Dark Void and Batman: Arkham Asylum, but not Darkest of Days.
The TPR number is a combination of:
3DMark Vantage, Heaven Benchmark V2, CINEBENCH R11.5, Resident Evil 5, BattleForge, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., Far Cry 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum (PhysX Off), Dark Void (PhysX Off) and our three High Quality tests which include Far Cry 2, Resident Evil 5 and Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.
All of the benchmark results achieved are then combined into a single number. As this graph will grow over time and cards won't be re-tested, next to each model you'll find the driver version that was used when the card was benchmarked.
With performance being identical in some areas and slightly lower in others, we can see that the TPR is actually slightly lower than the standard HD 5870 with only 1GB of memory.
Total Value Rating (TVR)Total Value Rating
The TVR graph is the TPR score divided by the price of the video card. The price of the video card is based on the list price of the model on Newegg.com. In the event the card isn't listed, it will be based on the U.S. $ MSRP given to us by the manufacturer.
In the event we can't source a price from either, the product will not receive a TVR rating. As with our TPR graph, the amount of video cards on the list will grow over time and the price of the model won't change from what it was when first reviewed. For this reason the U.S. $ price that the card is based off will be included next to the name of the model.
In the event you want to find the TVR rating yourself based on the current price, all you have to do is simply divide the TPR number by the list price.
TVR numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number; 100.3 will be 100; 100.8 will be 101 and 100.5 will be rounded down to 100.
Again with performance being almost identical to the standard 1GB HD 5870, but price being a fair bit more, the overall value rating of the model is a good chunk down.
Final ThoughtsFinal Thoughts
At about $500 U.S. and no real performance gains being seen with this model against the standard HD 5870 which comes in roughly $80 cheaper, from a gaming perspective it's not the best purchase. Also throw in the fact that if you don't have a DisplayPort monitor and you want to game at 2560 x 1600, you'll have to buy a separate active adapter worth $100 US.
We combine this fact with what we saw from the reference model at 5760 x 1200 which also shows really no difference when compared to the standard 1GB model. You have to wonder, why bother?
In saying all that, though, there's a clear market for this model. If you want or need six monitors then this'll be the card you need to buy. From a pure gaming perspective you wouldn't buy the HD 5870 Eyefinity6 Edition of the model over a standard HD 5870 if you're going to only game on a single monitor; or even three for that matter.
Performance on a whole is good; it performs just as a HD 5870 would. Where the model dies is when it comes to the overall value. The bigger price tag and the lack of extra performance that comes with the extra memory does very little in helping us justify the cost.
Of course, you have to think; if you want six monitors there's no other options at the moment. From that point of view it's great. In a corporate environment 3D performance isn't important. While not the best option for gamers, it's clearly got a market. If you're one of those people that need or want six monitors, it's the card to buy.
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