Left 4 Dead 2
The second part of the popular zombie shooter is based on the Source engine, too. And it has appropriate benchmarking options which are more accurate than Fraps but cannot report the bottom speed information.
The Source engine has rather modest system requirements by today’s standards while delivering a high-quality and detailed picture. Therefore, the hardware resources of the Radeon HD 5970 are overkill for Left 4 Dead 2. Yes, the new card can easily yield 150fps at 2560x1600, but no gamer can feel any practical benefit from that. The Radeon HD 5870 makes the game perfectly playable at 100fps but is much quieter at work.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
We use the highest settings in the new S.T.A.L.K.E.R. but without antialiasing because we want to achieve playable frame rates. We turn on the DirectX 10.1 and DirectX 11 modes for the fourth- and fifth-generation Radeon HD cards, respectively.
The Call of Pripyat engine shows excellent scalability. The Radeon HD 5970 is 33-66% ahead of its single-processor cousin depending on the resolution. At 2560x1600 the gap grows up to an incredible 132%, i.e. more than twofold! Yes, the bottom speed of the new card was not particularly high, but the game – one of the most demanding games of today – seemed to be quite playable subjectively. Bravo to AMD!
The game was tested in OpenGL-based multiplayer mode. Unfortunately, the integrated benchmark cannot report the bottom frame rate.
The new game from id Software is far from resource-hungry. The Radeon HD 4890 is the only card that is not exactly brilliant at 2560x1600 whereas the other cards all provide a comfortable frame rate. The Radeon HD 5970 is first at that resolution but inferior to the GeForce GTX 295 at 1920x1200 and even to the GeForce GTX 285 at 1680x1050. Games from id Software have always been predisposed to Nvidia’s GPUs, though.