Crysis remains one of the hardest graphics card tests where even dual-processor solutions cannot deliver a really high frame rate. The Radeon HD 5850 easily beats the GeForce GTX 285 at the default frequencies, is a mere 1fps behind the Radeon HD 5870 at the latter’s frequencies, and is somewhat slower than the dual-processor GeForce GTX 295 when overclocked to the maximum. The dual-processor Radeon HD 4870 X2 is weaker than the GeForce GTX 295 here and even slower than the Radeon HD 5870. Comparing this with the results of the Radeon HD 4890 you can see that the new RV870-based solutions have brought about a new level of performance.
Unreal Tournament 3
Unreal Tournament 3 is not a resource-consuming game, so it is the 8x FSAA + 16x AF results that have the biggest practical value. In this mode, notwithstanding the considerable advantage of the Radeon HD 5850, let alone Radeon HD 5870, over the previous-generation Radeon HD 4890, the new Radeons are no better than the GeForce GTX 285. The dual-processor GeForce GTX 295, which was challenged by the overclocked Radeon HD 5850 in the two previous games, is unrivalled in Unreal Tournament 3. The difference between the Radeon HD 5850 and HD 5870 is negligible in every test mode when they work at identical frequencies.
Lost Planet: Colonies
Lost Planet is an Nvidia-optimized game. But despite this fact, the Radeon HD 5850 at its default frequencies is no slower than the GeForce GTX 285 and even beats the latter in the high-quality mode and at 1920x1200. When clocked at the same frequencies, the Radeon HD 5850 equals the HD 5870 but both are inferior to the dual-processor Radeon HD 4870 X2. The Radeon HD 5850 eliminates this gap when overclocked to its highest clock rates, proving again its worth for overclockers. We should note that the first test of the integrated benchmark would occasionally stutter on the Radeon HD 58xx cards. Hopefully, this bug will be corrected in the officially certified version of the driver.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky
As opposed to Lost Planet, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. runs better on ATI’s solutions which enjoy an overwhelming advantage over their Nvidia opponents. The GeForce GTX 295 is the only card to put up a fight, but it too gives up before the onslaught of the Radeon HD 5850 overclocked to 1010/4960MHz. When clocked at the frequencies of the Radeon HD 5870, the HD 5850 is a mere 1-2fps slower than its senior counterpart, making us wonder if it makes sense to pay more for the latter.