AMD's ATI Radeon HD 5870 Video Card Review @ [H]

Joined
Oct 10, 2002
Messages
3,441
NIce review, nice card, thanks. However I'm gonna wait until December to see what Nvidia brings to the table. After all Santa Claus will be coming....
 

Brent_Justice

Moderator
Joined
Apr 17, 2000
Messages
17,755
^ and if it won't be out in December how long will you wait?

I ask because this is an important question, many people like to wait and see what the competition has in store, and I completely understand why, but with computer hardware there is always something better around the corner, and sometimes, at least in my opinion, just go ahead and drop the ball and experience fast performance now, then upgrade later if wanted/needed, if you keep waiting there is no telling how long the wait will be and you'll be missing out on all the time you could be spending with better gameplay right now, JMO
 

Jeffredo

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 30, 2008
Messages
1,118
^ and if it won't be out in December how long will you wait?

I ask because this is an important question, many people like to wait and see what the competition has in store, and I completely understand why, but with computer hardware there is always something better around the corner, and sometimes, at least in my opinion, just go ahead and drop the ball and experience fast performance now, then upgrade later if wanted/needed, if you keep waiting there is no telling how long the wait will be and you'll be missing out on all the time you could be spending with better gameplay right now, JMO
Many people already have good GPUs right now. Prices for hardware have been low for some time so most enthusiasts have enough power to tide them over until Nvidia's offerings are on the table. Its not that far off and to be too hasty (when you don't have to be) would be kind of foolish.
 

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
50,273
NIce review, nice card, thanks. However I'm gonna wait until December to see what Nvidia brings to the table. After all Santa Claus will be coming....
You go with that, but I will leave you with this. Shit in one hand and hope in the other and see which fills up first.
 

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
50,273
Well, my point was you might be waiting a little bit longer than Santa is prepared to man the delivery vehicle.
 

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
50,273
Really ? : /

Any word on a custom cooling oc version ?

Asus said they were releasing a voltage tweaked highly oc'ed version (i think it was 1ghz core and 5.2ghz memory)
If you read what is responded to, it is referring to what NVIDIA is bringing to the table, or rather when it might show.
 

Xorphious

n00b
Joined
Aug 21, 2009
Messages
17
I've made a small comparison between HD5870 and other popular cards of today at both 1920x1080 4xAA and 2560x1200 4xAA resolutions in latest games.
The results are as follows:

HD5870 VS

GTX295 +7%
GTX285 -30%
GTX280 -41%
GTX275 -35%
GTX260 -61% (192SP's)
GTX260 -56% (216SP's)
GTS250 -86%
9800GTX -96%
8800GT -113%
9600GT -130%
8600GTS -236%
Are you talking -41% in general performance?

If so, maybe you could reply with some more input in a thread I just started regarding the GTX 280 vs the 5870 and the "odd" results I've gotten between the two.

Going on my results vs [H]'s, there's not much of a difference between what I'm getting with a GTX 280 (stock) and what they're reporting with the 5870.

Has me totally confused, and since I was almost looking forward to moving back to ATi and a beefier card with better AA/AF (ATi has always won there, IMO) I've been sort of disappointed by the fact that I'm personally getting results that would not equal a massive performance difference. Certainly not a 41% difference.
 

Mr. K6

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Messages
5,077
Great review guys :). Very thorough presentation of all aspects of the card and its features. I can't wait to install mine tomorrow :D.
 

Brownstone

Gawd
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
873
Sorry for my ignorance, but is the card pre oc'ed ? or is it just options on the default card for oc ?
 

Brownstone

Gawd
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
873
Ok thx ! I guess i ll wait for a Toxic 5870 or something

Im kinda chicken shit when it comes to ocing video cards xD
 

Atech

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 14, 2007
Messages
3,946
Exactly and thats what makes the Batman PhysX demo so pathetic. Instead of using scripted effects vs. PhysX GPU effects, they just show it with effects on vs. effects off.

Its like we have never seen destructable objects before :rolleyes:
Moving capes :rolleyes:
Flying papers :rolleyes:
Smoke that comes out of crates :rolleyes:
Or debree that moves in the air :rolleyes:
No game before have been capable of having sparks coming out of broken equipment :rolleyes:

No, you need PHYSX!! :D
Show me...words are easy.
 

Atech

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 14, 2007
Messages
3,946
Kyle, I realize you guys here are sold on the 5870. There's a good reason for that, it's a dam fine card. That said, if there are people like me who aren't hurting for peformance, and are in a current gen card from either camp(especially a multi GPU setup) you would still push them into spending on ATI now instead of waiting to see what NV brings to the table? Seriously? Come on man I know your all hyped up on the latest offerings(5870, eyefinity etc) from AMD but get serious dude. Like I mentioned in an earlier post if your hurting for performance then great go for it. But if you have great performance now and room to spare in most games I don't think it's a bad move to wait. Yes, I know your dropping hints to elude to the fact that Nvidia isn't gonna make a GT300 release by year's end, but even still I stand by what I said. I don't think thats bad advice. Hell if people wanna drop the cash and buy a new ati card, by all means have at it, but I don't think people waiting to see what the other camp has in store is a bad move if you can.

It's a win win by waiting. If NV doesn't bring anything better to the table then their prices will drop on both camps cards. In which case you pick up your card(cards) of choice from either company and probably cheaper than the price for the 5870 now.On the other hand if NV has a better performer then you can anti up for that one and say well it made sense to wait. I don't see how this is a bad thing to do. Sorry.
Actually I find it funny.
Why?
Becuase Kyle (and [H]ard) has been accused of being in NVIDIA's "camp" by AMD-fans.
That postualte can now roll over and die ;)
.oO(Until somethings changes and they forget all about this and the circle starts all over again)

Same thing will happen if the GT300 tears the GPU market a new one.
Kyle's vote (and voice) is where the performance is.
That is why [H]ard is my primary revirew-site...no BS say it like it is talk.

Even if I am in the same boat as you (GTX285 GPU in main rig(1600x1200 gaming)) and will await NVIDIA's offerings before picking one.
 

SixtyWattMan

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
4,466
Kyle, I realize you guys here are sold on the 5870. There's a good reason for that, it's a dam fine card. That said, if there are people like me who aren't hurting for peformance, and are in a current gen card from either camp(especially a multi GPU setup) you would still push them into spending on ATI now instead of waiting to see what NV brings to the table? Seriously? Come on man I know your all hyped up on the latest offerings(5870, eyefinity etc) from AMD but get serious dude. Like I mentioned in an earlier post if your hurting for performance then great go for it. But if you have great performance now and room to spare in most games I don't think it's a bad move to wait. Yes, I know your dropping hints to elude to the fact that Nvidia isn't gonna make a GT300 release by year's end, but even still I stand by what I said. I don't think thats bad advice. Hell if people wanna drop the cash and buy a new ati card, by all means have at it, but I don't think people waiting to see what the other camp has in store is a bad move if you can.

It's a win win by waiting. If NV doesn't bring anything better to the table then their prices will drop on both camps cards. In which case you pick up your card(cards) of choice from either company and probably cheaper than the price for the 5870 now.On the other hand if NV has a better performer then you can anti up for that one and say well it made sense to wait. I don't see how this is a bad thing to do. Sorry.
If you are happy with the performance of your current card and you feel like waiting for nvidia go for it. But the fact stands that if someone wants to upgrade now the 5870 is the card to upgrade to. I don't think anyone suggested that everyone should sell off their GTX285s immediately for 5870s. There's always something better around the corner, if people just speculate and waited for the next best thing all the time they would never buy anything.
 

Savoy

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 1, 2005
Messages
2,486
Actually I find it funny.
Why?
Becuase Kyle (and [H]ard) has been accused of being in NVIDIA's "camp" by AMD-fans.
That postualte can now roll over and die ;)
.oO(Until somethings changes and they forget all about this and the circle starts all over again)

Same thing will happen if the GT300 tears the GPU market a new one.
Kyle's vote (and voice) is where the performance is.
That is why [H]ard is my primary revirew-site...no BS say it like it is talk.

Even if I am in the same boat as you (GTX285 GPU in main rig(1600x1200 gaming)) and will await NVIDIA's offerings before picking one.
I wasn't saying Kyle was pro AMD at all bro. I wasn't even remotely implying it. Seriously if i wanted to call him on it I would have and not minced words however that was not my intent. I was simply saying he seemed to be steering some people in this thread toward the 5870 and implying that waiting for nvidia really made no sense. That's the part I disagree with, that's all. I have also said mnay times already that the 5870 is 1 dam fine card but not 1 I would drop cash on if you own a current gen card from either camp. That is all.
 

BlueStorm

Gawd
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
738
Why don't game companies just grab a full core on my quad core and use that for physics? Or maybe two full cores? Oh yeah cause Nvidia is paying them moneys... /slap
Games are getting better and better at this, I agree that there is a lot of room left in Quad-Core CPUs for Physics, and they are very underutilized. One thing DX11 has is multithreading,so driver, dx runtime and the application can run in separate threads, this should naturally make DX11 games more multithreaded.
I hate to have to do this, but I have to correct you guys on some of the misinformation I see repeated on this forum again and again. You need to look at the math behind the physics effects and see why people choose what they do.

Different effects need different algorithms. Different algorithms are better suited to different architectures. Things like rigid body collisions are largely branchy type of math, which are often better suited to CPUs. That's why your infamous Ghostbuster videos show tons of cube boxes, or tons of non-deformable objects which just need to collide with others. There is no fluid, particles, or cloth in that engine as far as I know.. and that's no mistake.. it can't be done efficiently at reasonable scales with CPUs today.

Look at PhysX, and assume that it loads up 1 core in the CPU path. If you get 5FPS trying to run cloth or fluid on the CPU path and you throw 3 *whole* more cores at it, best case you'd get 20fps.. and thats assuming the game is doing *nothing* else which is never the case. Also, you're not going to get linear scaling... you introduce sync points into the math and the cores have to sync at some point, meaning you won't scale linearly.. they don't operate completely independently. So you'd need to throw a *ton* of CPUs at it to get the perf up to reasonable levels, which just doesn't exist today. You could claim "larrabee" but you're talking about more *lesser* powered cores, so there's no guarantee physics will run amazingly well there as the synchronization problem becomes multipled.

I'm not poo poo'ing on anything, I'm just saying please do homework on the algorithms at play before you make claims that PhysX is artificially neutering something, or that using 3 other cores will make some significant difference for anything other than more rigid bodies.

It's absolutely no mistake that many games don't take advantage of all cores with physics work.. and it's not because developers are "lazy" as many assume... it's not a simple problem to solve as it's not easy to split up some types of physics workloads across multiple independent CPU threads, which begs the question of "who's going to solve it then?" Some large engine licensee? Some de facto standard middleware provider? GPUs?
 

Atech

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 14, 2007
Messages
3,946
I wasn't saying Kyle was pro AMD at all bro. I wasn't even remotely implying it. Seriously if i wanted to call him on it I would have and not minced words however that was not my intent. I was simply saying he seemed to be steering some people in this thread toward the 5870 and implying that waiting for nvidia really made no sense. That's the part I disagree with, that's all. I have also said mnay times already that the 5870 is 1 dam fine card but not 1 I would drop cash on if you own a current gen card from either camp. That is all.
It wasn't directed at you, so don't worry ;)
 

TotalLamer

Gawd
Joined
Feb 21, 2009
Messages
761
Personally, I'm hoping to see an Arctic Cooling solution for this card soon. I was a big fan of the Accelero XTREME coolers I had for my 4870x2's.
 

Atech

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 14, 2007
Messages
3,946
I hate to have to do this, but I have to correct you guys on some of the misinformation I see repeated on this forum again and again. You need to look at the math behind the physics effects and see why people choose what they do.

Different effects need different algorithms. Different algorithms are better suited to different architectures. Things like rigid body collisions are largely branchy type of math, which are often better suited to CPUs. That's why your infamous Ghostbuster videos show tons of cube boxes, or tons of non-deformable objects which just need to collide with others. There is no fluid, particles, or cloth in that engine as far as I know.. and that's no mistake.. it can't be done efficiently at reasonable scales with CPUs today.

Look at PhysX, and assume that it loads up 1 core in the CPU path. If you get 5FPS trying to run cloth or fluid on the CPU path and you throw 3 *whole* more cores at it, best case you'd get 20fps.. and thats assuming the game is doing *nothing* else which is never the case. Also, you're not going to get linear scaling... you introduce sync points into the math and the cores have to sync at some point, meaning you won't scale linearly.. they don't operate completely independently. So you'd need to throw a *ton* of CPUs at it to get the perf up to reasonable levels, which just doesn't exist today. You could claim "larrabee" but you're talking about more *lesser* powered cores, so there's no guarantee physics will run amazingly well there as the synchronization problem becomes multipled.

I'm not poo poo'ing on anything, I'm just saying please do homework on the algorithms at play before you make claims that PhysX is artificially neutering something, or that using 3 other cores will make some significant difference for anything other than more rigid bodies.

It's absolutely no mistake that many games don't take advantage of all cores with physics work.. and it's not because developers are "lazy" as many assume... it's not a simple problem to solve as it's not easy to split up some types of physics workloads across multiple independent CPU threads, which begs the question of "who's going to solve it then?" Some large engine licensee? Some de facto standard middleware provider? GPUs?
Good luck educating the masses...they still think rigid bodies are the same as interactive smoke...
 

PGHammer

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 8, 2002
Messages
3,315
I have to admit that this is one of those exciting days. A fresh new promising videocard/GPU and a great first review from [H]. :D Thanks!

The 27W idle is incredibly impressive compared to the stupidifying 90W idle of the 4870 and a strong selling point for me. Frame rates are great too, I cant see how you could expect more. Now we need more great games from the devs and fast! Praying that Edios Montreal are among the teams which was fed one of these cards in June.

You ask our thoughts on the filters and AA ie. I happen to agree with your conclusions very much. The trilinear filtering blows all other versions away no doubt, the 16XAF is just jaw dropping! The new implementation looks great. Should prove interesting to see if the green team can deliver even better quality?

The 8XAA of the 4890 on the first GBs screen looks better than the rest. Note the blur on the lower part of the clock in the 5870 screen. Is it some edge detection stretching out too far perhaps?

The supersampling at just kills way too much texture detail for my liking. Local contrast, bumps ie. so much good work lost in a blur, its too bad.

Cant wait for the next article on this card. Keep up the great work!
The savings on the electric bill vs. any HD48xx (except the HD4830) make the HD5850 the midrange champ, despite pricing higher than current HD4850/70/90, let alone any of those at the upcoming discounts that will happen to chase them out of inventories. Throw in that performancewise it mostly waxes the GTX285 (let alone GTX260 or GTS250) while being a decided energy sipper (even compared to the GTS250, which is unheard-of for a 1 GB GDDR5 card), and we have why I'm waiting for HD5850 to become decently available before pulling the trigger (and why I won't be ordering an HD4850 or even HD4870 at all, even after the upcoming discounting that both will undergo).

27 watts at idle? What was the last AMD GPU that required a 6-pin power connector that sipped that little at idle? (I know for a fact that both the X1650 Pro and AIW 9700 Pro, both AGP cards, use more than that at idle.) My HD3540 barely sips less than that, and it doesn't use a 6-pin connector, and has a quarter the RAM loadout (256 MB DDR2).
 

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
50,273
Take your PhysX debate to another thread. Thank you.
 

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
50,273
That said, if there are people like me who aren't hurting for peformance, and are in a current gen card from either camp(especially a multi GPU setup) you would still push them into spending on ATI now instead of waiting to see what NV brings to the table? Seriously? Come on man I know your all hyped up on the latest offerings(5870, eyefinity etc) from AMD but get serious dude.
We have never suggested that anyone need to purchase a video card at the moment for any launch. I know that our readers know when they want to upgrade, and we have never pushed them to do so. It is a personal decision and we never suggest to them when they need to make a purchase, ever. Our reviews are written and formatted to to objectively and subjectively measure performance of what is available to our readers for purchase on the same day or very soon. That way, should our readers know they want to spend their hard earned money, we can hopefully point them in the right direction and help them be satisfied with the money spent. That is truly all we do here at HardOCP.

We have never waited on any company to bring anything to the table when writing a review, but if we felt an impending launch would be close enough in time to the current review written we have mentioned that. That is not the case here and to suggest that is simply not an informed argument.

I personally think that NVIDIA's GT300 will not see the light of a retail shelf for 4 to 6 months. Therefore it is my opinion that the GT300 is currently meaningless in this market place. Had the situation been different, I would have said exactly so.

So as to your "come on man," and "seriously," arguments, well, they are weaksauce. You need to bring more facts and informed opinions to the table on this topic.
 

snowden

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
188
Dirt2 & STALKER: Call of Pripyat have both been announced as DirectX 11 games and we don't even have Windows 7 yet....

Also Capcom's newest MT game engine fully supports DirectX 11 and there are plenty of rumors that Lost Planet 2 will be a DX11 game.

http://www.capcom-unity.com/ask_capcom/go/thread/view/7371/18527633/DirectX_11

Capcom has announced they will be releasing all their games on the PC and their game engine now supports DX11.... does it take a genius to figure this out?
 

Brownstone

Gawd
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
873
Is this for real ? I don't know if DX11 optimizations where used for Battle Forge... but man, if this is real, Crytek should release a DX11 optimization path for Crysis/Crysis WH

 
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
880
5850 CrossFire is no joke yo...
Sounds like a good replacement option for my GTX 260s when the time comes, as long as they can handle 2560x1600, though I'd imagine the 5870s would be better suited for that resolution.

It will be an interesting read, that's for sure. Thanks for the reviews guys, and keep 'em coming!
 

ivansoze1

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
244
Go-ood work guys, good discussion too, a bit of passion is good for the soul;););););)
Personally, I'm torn when it comes to buying this, what seems, very nice card. Even though I use SLI, I have never really liked it, even now that it works pretty well. Simply, having 2 cards to do the work of 1 seems such a waste, a waste I have repeated 3 f,n times now!!! As for Xfire/Crossfire, whatever the hell you want to call it, I'm not sure I want a ticket on that rollacoasta either:mad::mad::confused::confused::
Anyway, that's my own personal brain-fk, seems those who have these are quite pleased, WellDone ATI, GL to those who have 1 and thnx Kyle and crew for your hard work...
BTW, Happy Birthday to Kyle and myself, whom recently turned 58(Kyle, you would soon qualify for a pension here in Aussie!!:p:p;);)) and 22(wishing...:eek:) respectively;);););)...looking good for your age buddy, Well done m8!!!!!;););););)


PS: Kyle...just thought I'd sneak this in to see if you notice...and I fibbed a little - Kyle only turned 57, not 58...hehehe:D:D;););)
 

ivansoze1

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
244
I wasn't saying Kyle was pro AMD at all bro. I wasn't even remotely implying it. Seriously if i wanted to call him on it I would have and not minced words however that was not my intent. I was simply saying he seemed to be steering some people in this thread toward the 5870 and implying that waiting for nvidia really made no sense. That's the part I disagree with, that's all. I have also said mnay times already that the 5870 is 1 dam fine card but not 1 I would drop cash on if you own a current gen card from either camp. That is all.

Each see it differently - I see it as these guys are telling it like it is, it seems a great little card - yes, there may(or may not?) be a touch of bias pro-ATI, the front page is littered with ATI advertisements which I don't know(or care) if [H] gets paid for but irrespective, it's not like Kyle and co are telling fibs(like I did about my age - I'm really 23 hehe) and then saying 'quick, buy it, before it's gone!!'
And yes, the boys may be pumping it up a bit but it's because they can!!! I want NV to hurry up also but currently, they have battened down the hatches and telling us nothing - what are we to think and do? Many here want an upgrade, or just an excuse to continue with their hobby - ATI have come to the party with both(faster card with interesting tech), NV, as of this moment have SFA that is new. Not to even mention the triple rebranding of G92 core - absolutely shameful IMHO and dishonest at worst. However I am straying off-topic here...I will add, that I am no Charlie D however and would not rejoice if NV made a big f/up....
So lighten up on the interpretations, your/our money is gonna be spent on these things, whether now or in approx. 8 weeks(hope/hint)...or even in 4-6 months...:eek::eek::eek:
 
Top