AMD ATI Radeon HD 5870: Unquestionably Number One - HotHardware

AMD ATI Radeon HD 5870: Unquestionably Number One

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One of the more exciting new features of the Radeon HD 5800 series, ATI Eyefinity, is something we were able to tell you about a couple of weeks ago, but we'll go over it again here. ATI Eyefinity technology, in essence, allows for multiple monitors to be used as a singlem large display. As it stands today, for the most part, when multiple monitors are connected to a single PC, those monitors are recognized as independent displays and can be configured for desktop spanning or mirroring, etc. With ATI Eyefinity, however, the displays are arranged in a single group (or in multiple groups) and they are treated as a single display by the OS. The technology was made possible in part by DisplayPort which does not require individual clock signals for each connected display and by a new Output Crossbar implemented within the GPU that allows for data to be sent from the display pipeline out to the necessary display, regardless of where it is connected on the card.

   
AMD Eyefinity Multi-Display Technology In Action

Eyefinity is enabled through a combination of hardware and software being developed by AMD. On the hardware front, AMD's upcoming Radeons will sport between 3 and 6 display outputs of various types, DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, etc. And those outputs will be managed by software currently dubbed SLS, or Single Large Surface. Using the SLS tool, users are able to configure a group of monitors to work with Eyefinity and essentially act as a single, large display.


11,520 x 4,800 - 55.3 megapixels, From Four Cards

During our experiences with Eyefinity, we have been impressed. The technology allows for some exciting possibilities. For example, six, 30" Dell 3008WFP panels can be grouped as a single display, in a 3 x 2 arrangement, with a resolution of 7680 x 3200--that's about 24.6 megapixels if you do the math.  And a single Radoen HD 5800 series card is all that is necessary to power the displays. In such a configuration, the Windows desktop functioned as one monolithic surface, with all of that expansive resolution available to the user. What was more impressive than that though, was gaming on the six screens. We played an upcoming DX11 racing game, Dirt 2, at a resolution 7680 x 3200 with perfectly acceptable frame rates--a hint at the power of the Radeon HD 5800 series. We also spent some time gaming across three 30" displays in a 3 x 1 configuration with Left 4 Dead and have to say it absolutely changes the experience for the better.


Upcoming Samsung Thin-Bezel Displays

Currently, Eyefinity will support single-GPU configurations for gaming, but we're told CrossFire support will be coming at some point in the future as well.  Please note, the technology will require that at least one of the displays be equipped with a DisplayPort connection.

We've also been informed that AMD has partnered with some display makers, like Samsung for example, that will be introducing new displays with ultra-thin bezels, designed with Eyefinity in mind. Samsung's thin-bezel displays are pictured above.

 

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Now this is what I'm talking about. That Spanish review on Tom's Hardware was a little difficult to understand, lol.

One of the things that struck right off the bat was the idle power usage, much lower than any of the other cards tested. The 5870 delivers the best bang per watt and is the best performing single GPU solution on the market. And the price point of $379 is brilliant move by ATI (some sub-$300 should be had this holiday season).

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If I can get one of these mommas for under $300, I'll do it, even though I don't have a system to put it in.

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Are you sure this is a GPU? I don't see any pictures of Batman characters on it.

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That thing is a hoss of a card. And not bad on the numbers even slightly behind the gtx 295 and that is a dual gpu card set.

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One unexpected thing that really stuck me as impressive was the power consumption.  Right around 4890 or 285 level... nice.

Of course the performance is the main thing.  Freaking incredible for single GPU and it spanks the crap out of the GTX 285 despite only costing around $30-$55 more.  And why pay $80+ more for the GTX 295 when it's barely faster (or in many cases not faster)?  ATi is back on top and without price gouging like some other companies have been known to do ($650 video card in June 2008, anyone?).

With the system requirements of most PC games only very gradually improving, one of these would be all someone needs for quite a bit - though people demanding Crysis perfection will want to pick up 2.

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The GTX was in many cases faster than the ATI 5870. But at the same time it had much higher power requirments and costs more. Remember, we'll be seeing 5870 X2's soon as well. Nate's review over at legit reviews shows the 5870's potention in crossfire config. It looked pretty damned impressive.

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The GTX 296 doesn't support DX11 either.

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I think that the ATI Radeon HD 5870 Is a better deal than the tested Nvidia Card, especially when you take into consideration the amount of performance for the price.

NVIDIA will probably lower prices to counter this situation, but then ATI will follow suit.

I know that every time that I've bought a graphics card within the past two years, ATI offered the best bang for the buck at that time.

I appreciate that,...Big Smile

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The reviewers at AnanTech were disappointed that the 5870 didn't outperform the GTX 295. And even moreso that doubling the hardware power from the 4870 didn't translate into the double the performance.

ATI made such a large leap from the 3870 to the 4870, and I think we didn't witness the same with the 5870. However, it's still the best single GPU card on the market, and barring two GTX 295x in SLI (though there are problems associated with quad GPU configs and the enormous power requirements), two 5870's in Crossfire will give gamers the most stable, powerful video gaming power available.

A 5870 x2 poses problems for ATI, especially in terms of power. Right now we're seeing a lot of great news on the 5870, but Nvidia can really beat ATI into the ground with something that's revolutionary rather than evolutionary.

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That's a very good looking card, however regardless of the performance, I'm still loyal 100% to nvidia.  I always have driver issues with ati.  Driver issues outweigh the performance in my opinion.

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