Asus Matrix 5870 2GB Video Card Review

Test System and Unigine Heaven 2.0

HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEM: In order to provide comparable results, the graphics cards featured here were installed on the same, high end X58 based test system. The components used consisted of the Asus Rampage III Extreme motherboard, Core i7 980X Extreme Edition processor, and 6GB of OCZ Blade memory.

Within the BIOS, we configured the processor to an overclocked speed of 4.27GHz and memory to 1869MHz. We feel these settings will minimize the occurrences of non-GPU related performance bottlenecks during benchmark runs and allow the graphics cards to show their true potential. Furthermore, our Crucial M225 solid state drive entered the testing process with a clean copy of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit installed. Once installation was complete, we fully updated the OS and installed the latest drivers and applications relevant to the review article.

HotHardware's Test System
Core i7 Powered

Hardware Used:
Intel Core i7 980X Extreme Edition
Overclocked 4.27GHz

Asus Rampage III Extreme Motherboard
X58 Express Chipset

Asus ROG Matrix 5870 2GB
Zotac Amp Edition GTX 480 1.5GB
XFX HD 5970 Black Edition 2GB
Gigabyte Super OC HD 5870 1GB
Gigabyte Super OC GTX 470 1.28GB

6GB OCZ Blade DDR3-1869
(3 X 2GB) 7-8-7-20 1T

Crucial M225 128GB SSD
Firmware 1916

Dell 3008WFP LCD Monitor
2560 x 1600 Resolution

Relevant Software:
Windows 7 Professional 64bit
NVIDIA GeForce Driver Release 258.96
ATI Catalyst Display Driver 10.8

Benchmarks Used:

Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Dirt 2
Aliens vs Predator
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat
Just Cause 2
Batman: Arkham Asylum

In order to find out where the Matrix 5870 fits in the high end graphics market, we put it up against some of the fastest video cards you can buy. The comparison group consists of four other top end models. In place of a reference design HD 5870, we used Gigabyte's Super Overclock HD 5870 1GB and dialed it down to stock speeds. Of course, we expect the Matrix to show similar performance due to identical GPU and memory frequencies, but it will be interesting to find out if the extra video memory helps out. Equally important is the comparison between the Matrix 5870 and the GTX 480 Amp Edition from Zotac, since both cards can be found at the $500 price point. 

Unigine Heaven v2.0 Benchmark
Synthetic DirectX 11 Gaming

Unigine Heaven

The Unigine Heaven Benchmark v2.0 is built around the Unigine game engine. Unigine is a cross-platform real-time 3D engine, with support for DirectX 9, DirectX 10, DirectX 11 and OpenGL. The Heaven benchmark, when run in DX11 mode, also makes comprehensive use of tessellation technology and advanced SSAO (screen-space ambient occlusion), and features volumetric cumulonimbus clouds generated by a physically accurate algorithm and a dynamic sky with light scattering.

As the graph shows, the Matrix 5870 lags behind every card in the comparison group. The only exception was the stock clocked 5870 1GB card, which it matched up with in both average and minimum frame rates.  

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