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ATI Radeon HD 5970 Summary

Our suppositions proved totally correct: Radeon HD 5970 did prove to be the fastest gaming graphics cards. And could there have been any other outcome if Radeon HD 5870 with only one RV870 core was in most cases not any slower but sometimes even faster than previous generation dual-processor solutions. Radeon HD 5970, however, has two cores like that onboard. True, since AMD graphics division had to lower the GPU and memory frequencies of the newcomer, its scalability turned out far from the theoretical maximum, but even in this case Radeon HD 5970 didn’t leave Nvidia a single chance. And this situation is going to continue at least until gaming Nvidia solutions on Fermi come out, but even then it is not yet clear, which side will eventually win. The single-processor model of this solution will be a priori inferior to Radeon HD 5970 in terms of technical specifications and computational capacity and the dual-processor modification of this new card will definitely turn out extremely complex and unrealistically expensive. In fact, it may be so complex and expensive that it may never see the light of day. So, we have to admit that AMD one more time managed to secure their ultimate leadership in the 3D gaming graphics market and they have every intention to maintain it for a long time.

Among the drawbacks of the new Radeon HD 5970 we should point out only large size and relatively high level of generated noise created by its cooling system in 3D mode. But no one has expected a solution designed to demonstrate uncompromising performance advantage in contemporary games to be compact and quiet. Yes, you do have to pay for having two RV870 GPUs onboard, but in our opinion the sacrifices are pretty reasonable. Among other drawbacks we could also mention high price of the new Radeon HD 5970 card, $599, but solutions of this class have never been cheap. Besides, the history of gaming 3D has known even higher prices: remember Nvidia GeForce 880 Ultra that was selling at more than $800. Any enthusiast with $600 budget who wishes to achieve unprecedented gaming speed will be happy to invest in Radeon HD 5970.

Highs:

  • Undefeated performance in contemporary games;
  • Wide range of supported FSAA modes;
  • Best Edge-detect CFAA in the industry;
  • Best anisotropic filtering in the industry;
  • Supports up to three monitors;
  • 3200 ALU, 1600 texture processors and 64 raster processors;
  • DirectX 11, Shader Model 5.0 and DirectCompute 11 support;
  • Fully-fledged hardware HD video decoding;
  • High-quality HD video post-processing with scalability;
  • Integrated sound core with HD support;
  • Sound over HDMI;
  • Relatively low power consumption;
  • Cooling system with enhanced efficiency.

 Lows:

  • Large size;
  • Heavy weight;
  • High level of noise in 3D mode;
  • Dependence on software multi-GPU support.
 
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