There are no scores of 10,000+ points in the Extreme preset as we used to see in 3DMark Vantage. The dual-chip Radeon HD 5970 once again demonstrates that when it comes to raw computing power, it is still a formidable opponent, scoring almost 2400 points. Second place goes to the latest flagship from Nvidia: the GeForce GTX 580 gets a respectable score of 1947 points.
With only 1500 points to boast, the Radeon HD 5870 just misses the podium, being slightly inferior to the GeForce GTX 480 and outperforming the GeForce GTX 470 card.
The latest benchmark from Futuremark destroys the confidence in the hearts of hardware enthusiasts worldwide. Even though we lowered the resolution to 1600x900, we can see that the current generation of premium-class graphics cards have a really hard time. The 20fps barrier is unreachable even for the monstrous Radeon HD 5970 while the others can only yield some 10 frames per second.
The Radeon HD 5970 leads the way with 19 fps in the second test, but the tessellation algorithms implemented here help the GeForce series gain some ground. The Radeon HD 5870 struggles at the back at first but manages to outperform both the GeForce GTX 480 and the GeForce GTX 470 at higher resolutions. Well, this is hardly an achievement considering that the frame rates are as low as 4 fps.
Yet another test brings us unattractively low numbers. The GeForce GTX 580 is indeed the fastest single-chip graphics cards on the planet, but even it has problems catching up with the Radeon HD 5970. The more affordable solutions from AMD and Nvidia are chasing each other, but the frame rates are very low.
If you thought the previous tests were hard, think again. We’ve got only 7.9 fps from the Radeon HD 5970! Alas, the others can’t perform any better. The Radeon HD 5870 is only as good as the GeForce GTX 470, but the conclusion is still that 3DMark11’s Extreme preset is a frightening combination of settings for contemporary graphics cards.
There is one last point of interest for us to discuss. The Combined test provides an estimate of how good your system would be at handling high CPU and GPU loads simultaneously. The result is provided in 3DMark points and is clearly correlated to the overall scores displayed in the beginning of the benchmarking part of our review.
The numbers produced by this test confirm the trends we’ve already discovered. The Radeon HD 5970 is indeed an undisputed leader with 2500 points. Nvidia’s updated Fermi architecture feels quite at home with heavy loads simulated by 3DMark11 as the GeForce GTX 580 leaves behind every single-GPU graphics card on the market. The 1-year-old design represented by the Radeon HD 5870 has nothing to be ashamed of as it manages to squeeze in between the GeForce GTX 470 and the GeForce GTX 480 in the race.