ATI Radeon 5870 Eyefinity6 Review - Analysis

Submitted by skipclarke on 5 April, 2010 - 15:09

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This section of the review compiles all of the data and puts together several pieces of analysis.

Aspect Scaling

If you look at some of our early benchmarking, where I tested every step from 1024x768 to 5040x1050, you can see a number of instances where aspect ratio made an impact on performance. In one particular article I looked at how 1280x720 compared to 1920x480. The first is an "HDTV" widescreen that was (and still is) popular on laptops. The second was the lowest possible Surround resolution from the TripleHead2Go - 3x640x480. The interesting thing is that both resolutions have 921,600 pixels - exactly. We did find that moving from widescreen to Surround made a noticeable impact on performance.

Those were the days of DX9 when the biggest impact to performance seemed to be resolution and (based on our finding) aspect ratio. Now we are in a DX10/11 world where SSAO and Tessellation bring their own impacts. Do these impacts overshadow any issues with aspect ratio? Are today's graphics cards so power that aspect ratio is no longer an issue?

I used 3x1920x1200 (16:10 Landscape Eyefinity) as a baseline, and then tested two variations. They are 3x1200x1920 (16:10 Portrait Eyefinity) and 3x1920x1080 (16:9 Landscape Eyefinity).

CrossFireX Scaling

Forum Moderator Paradigm Shifter asked if I could do some scaling charts for the Eyefinity6 vs. E6 CFX performance. I've set them up into three groups. They are scaling with widescreen, 3x1-L Eyefinity and 3x2 Eyefinity. Hopefully these will be a couple more pieces of analysis to help you make buying decisions. I looked at CFX scaling in three different configurations:

  • Widescreen
  • Eyefinity, 3x1-Landscape
  • Eyefinity, 3x2

Hitting 60fps

While our testing is designed to stress the card as much as possible, we all realize that games have quality settings for a reason. So, beyond seeing where the breaking point is for any individual card, I wanted to provide some insight into what image quality you can expect and get 60fps at 5760x1080 (3x1920x1080) Eyefinity.

Note, it is simply not possible to hit 60fps in some games at this resolution. In those instances we shot for 30fps.