Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 CrossfireX

Games Testing

Crysis Warhead
Crysis Warhead is without a doubt one hard nut to crack, especially at higher resolutions and a dash of Anti Aliasing and Anisotrophic Filtering. Typically, this game is heavy on both CPU and GPU however the limitation at high resolutions skews the dependancy towards the latter. Depending on how well the drivers are optimised, Multi GPU scaling could vary greatly. But anyway, given the game's "tough" characteristics, we were eager to find out the end result.
In single card mode, the Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 has a 4 frame per second deficit over the previously tested HD 5870. This may not seem like a lot but every little bit matters in the sub 25fps range as we steadily approach game play which could be described as choppy.
FarCry 2
Far Cry 2, a slightly older hit but based on a fairly demanding engine also has a fair level of GPU dependancy at least particularly so at higher resolutions. This particular game features a fabulous benchmarking tool, which loops an intensive Far Cry 2 scene and gatherers minimum, maximum and average framerates accordingly. This allows for a more accurate comparison from one test item to another. As mentioned, we have set all Quality Settings to the highest possible within the tool.
Unlike Crysis Warhead, all of our graphics card configurations played Far Cry 2 without so much as a stutter. This shouldn't detract from the fact that the scaling on both graphics cards in Multi GPU mode was excellent. The Radeon HD 5870 maintains a fair lead over the HD 5850 once again.
Microsoft Flight Simulator X
Microsoft Flight Simulator X is part of a handful of games that are heavily CPU reliant. If you thought that this was bad, at initial release this game did not have multicore cpu support. I need not say anymore on that front, but with this in mind, the results that followed were not too surprising.
The game's CPU dependancy is quite clear from the level set of results.
Call of Duty 4
Call of Duty 4 is one of the older games within our testing. Once again, all quality settings are set as high as possible and Dual Graphics Card support has been checked in game. Our particular CoD4 test is not terribly strenuous but the performance scaling is quite clear.
In both configurations, the Radeon HD 5870 outpaces the 5850 by considerable margins. Once again however, the HD 5850 plays the game flawlessly and the quality of game play would be no different to the other graphics card configurations.
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Most Recent Comments

01-11-2009, 21:25:50

Ask any man, 1 is never enough. Mul puts a pair of fast women on the bench to see how 2 Sapphire 5850 shaped ladies perform under preasure.

Continue ReadingQuote

02-11-2009, 14:12:16

Great review as usual Mul. The 5850's look like a good buy! They should be awesome around christmas when the price drops kick in, ATI's cards are the real working class hero's of graphics Quote

02-11-2009, 14:28:23

Originally Posted by name='MeltedDuron'
Great review as usual Mul. The 5850's look like a good buy! They should be awesome around christmas when the price drops kick in, ATI's cards are the real working class hero's of graphics
Cheers MeltedDuron.

As for price drops, I fear it may well go the other way until nVidia has a direct competitor. Given that the production of GeForce GTX 260/275/285's, VAT increases and a (currently) low supply of Cypress cards to meet demand, prices could even rise. We'll see how things pan out though.Quote

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