iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






ATI Radeon HD 5850/5870/5970 Graphics Cards

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Performance tests


  • Intel Core I7 CPU 920 (2667 MHz) CPU
  • ASUS P6T Deluxe motherboard with the Intel X58 chipset
  • 3GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM from Corsair
  • WD Caviar SE WD1600JD 160GB SATA HDD
  • Tagan TG900-BZ 900W PSU
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit, DirectX 11
  • Dell 3007WFP 30-inch monitor
  • ATI CATALYST 9.12; NVIDIA ForceWare 195.81 drivers
  • VSync disabled


  • Far Cry 2 (Ubisoft) -- DirectX 10.0, shaders 4.0 (HDR), built-in benchmarking utility (the Middle level), maximum settings.
  • CRYSIS 1.2 (Crytek/EA) -- Rescue, DirectX 10.0, shaders 4.0, Very High settings, batch file, timedemo available by e-mail request.
  • CRYSIS Warhead (Crytek/EA) -- Cargo, DirectX 10.0, shaders 4.0, Very High settings, batch file, timedemo available by e-mail request.
  • Colin McRae: DiRT 2 (Codemasters) -- DirectX 10.0/11.0, Ultra High settings, run the benchmark as follows: "dirt2.exe -benchmark example_benchmark.xml".
  • Warhammer 40.000: Dawn Of War II (Relic Entertainment/THQ) -- DirectX 10.0, Super High settings, run the benchmark from the in-game menu.
  • Tropics Benchmark (Unigine) -- DirectX 10.0, High settings.
  • Heaven Benchmark (Unigine) -- DirectX 10.0, High settings.
  • Heaven Benchmark (Unigine) -- DirectX 11.0, High settings.
  • 3DMark Vantage 1.01 (FutureMark) -- DirectX 10.0, shaders 4.0, multitexturing, Extreme settings.
  • RightMark3D (iXBT.com) -- DirectX, a synthetic benchmark, Shaders 2.0/2.0b/3.0.

We'd like to thank Unigine for helping us set up their benchmarks.

Note that we provide diagrams for the reference Radeon HD 5850, HD 5870, and HD 5970 graphics cards, because performance provided by products from Sapphire and XFX differs by just 3-5%.

Far Cry 2

Crysis, Rescue

Crysis Warhead, Cargo

Colin McRae: DiRT 2

Warhammer 40.000: Dawn Of War II

Unigine Tropics Benchmark

Unigine Heaven Benchmark DirectX 10.0

Unigine Heaven Benchmark DirectX 11.0

3DMark Vantage Graphics Marks


Once again we demonstrated that the Radeon HD 5870 series offers the fastest single-GPU graphics cards today (at the moment of publication, of course). Radeon HD 5970, well, it's the all-round champion. The prices, however, are quite prohibitive, because of the deficit.

The same can be said about HD 5850. This solution offers great performance for its recommended price. But actual prices are much higher thanks to the deficit. AMD claims these cards sell like lemonade on a hot day. Well, prices are stiff anyway.

AFOX Radeon HD 5850 1024MB is standard reference card with OEM bundle and no special bonuses. Buying it or not is a matter of price.

AFOX Radeon HD 5870 1024MB is just the same.

Manli Radeon HD 5870 1024MB is also a standard reference card with no special bonuses. The stylish box is probably not much of an advantage for most of us. The popularity of this one still depends on its price.

Sapphire Radeon HD 5870 Vapor-X Overclock 1024MB is a reference card, but it has a very efficient cooler and comes with bonuses. I hope the cooler won't make it much more expensive (Newegg). Also note that this card is 270mm long, shorter than a reference HD 5870.

XFX Radeon HD 5850 Black Edition 1024MB is yet another standard reference card. It's slightly overclocked, but that only adds 4-5% pf performance. So, price remains the key (Newegg, Amazon).

XFX Radeon HD 5970 2x1024MB is also a standard reference card, so pay attention to prices (Newegg).

As you can see, the word "price" is probably the most widely in this case. Of six cards we reviewed today, only one had something special. The rest were purchased from AMD and sold in different boxes.

We express gratitude to AFOX, Sapphire, XFX, Manli, AMD for the provided graphics cards. The PSU is provided by TAGAN, the monitor is provided by NVIDIA.

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Page 1: Introduction, design

Page 2: Cooling

Page 3: Bundles, boxes

Page 4: Performance tests

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