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Performance in Synthetic and Semi-Synthetic Benchmarks

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

We minimize the CPU’s influence by using the Extreme profile (1920x1200, 4x FSAA and anisotropic filtering). We also publish the results of the individual tests across all resolutions.

The overclocked MSI R6870 Hawk scores over 10,000 points, improving on the result of the ASUS HD 6870 DirectCU. That’s an excellent performance for a Barts-based solution which is thus placed higher than the GeForce GTX 560 Ti but somewhat below the Radeon HD 6950.

Like with the ASUS HD 6870 DirectCU, the performance benefits from overclocking the MSI R6870 Hawk amount to 9 to 17% depending on the particular test and resolution. The overclocked PowerColor HD6870 PCS+ is 7 to 10% ahead of the reference AMD Radeon HD 6870.

Futuremark 3DMark11

We use the Extreme profile here. As opposed to 3DMark Vantage, this profile uses a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels.

The MSI R6870 Hawk can’t notch 1500 points here, leaving that to the Radeon HD 6950. The performance increase of the overclocked cards from MSI and PowerColor over the reference Radeon HD 6870 is 12% and 10%, respectively.

Final Fantasy XIV Official Benchmark

This benchmark can only run at 1280x720 and 1920x1080.

The Radeon HD 6950 is hopelessly behind the Radeon HD 6870 at 1280x720 despite the latter card’s older architecture. This must be due to the Radeon HD 6950’s VLIW4 design of stream processors which do not have a dedicated ALU for complex instructions and have to perform such instructions by using four simpler ALUs. Things are better for the newer card at 1920x1080 yet the overclocked Radeon HD 6870 beats it anyway.

Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. 2 Preview Benchmark

This benchmark makes wide use of tessellation to render the surface of the earth. The number of polygons per one frame can be as high as 1.5 million!

Ironically, the MSI Hawk doesn’t soar very high on its Barts engine in its namesake game. The newer fighters, AMD Cayman and Nvidia Fermi, are superior in this test, but the Radeon HD 6870 can deliver high performance even at 2560x1600.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

We use Normal tessellation in this test.

The overall picture is similar to what we’ve seen in H.A.W.X. 2 but the frame rates are much lower. AMD’s second-generation tessellation unit can’t cope with this test. It is only through overclocking that we can increase the bottom speed of the MSI R6870 Hawk to the level of the GeForce GTX 560 Ti at the lowest resolution.

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