ATI 5000 Series Roundup

Dirt 2 and GRiD

Gaming Results Part 2 - Racing Games

Codemasters Dirt 2 is infamous for being heavily delayed to enable the introduction of DirectX 11 code paths and features. Thankfully the final product is amazing with great handling, a deep career mode, lots of rewards, a robust online component and, yes, those graphics. The Codemasters EGO engine making a complete mockery of the Crysis effort by giving us all the glitz and glamour we demand from our modern games coupled to the single greatest water effect even produced by silicon. 

The main things to note from our Dirt 2 tests are firstly, and most obviously, how close the minimum, maximum and average framerates are to each other. This ensures a very smooth experience at all times even down at the 5770 range of the graph. Secondly is something that doesn't fully come across in this test, but from other tests we've done, is how scaleable the engine is. Naturally with such behemoths we had to use 8xAA to stop the 5870xf not blowing the graph apart, but this has meant that it takes until the 5870 to reach the 60fps bracket. However, we need to point out that reducing the anti-aliasing to only 4x means that it easily hits 60fps on all but the 5770.

If anyone doubts the potential of DirectX 11, take the car through the puddles on Battersea or Malaysia and then get back to us. And this is one of the first games to utilise it. We can't wait.



The oldest game on test today is a standby of OC3D and still one of the most enjoyable racing games around. It's probably at the end of it's life as a useful way to push graphics hardware hard but, with so many of our reviews and our readers using it, we do enjoy taking it out for a spin and seeing some of the ludicrous frame-rates it's possible to achieve.

Even at this high resolution and level of anti-aliasing the little 5770 never dips below 68fps and the clear winner is the stunning 5870 Crossfire setup that very nearly broke the 400fps maximum mark. However before we move on to our final game it is worth taking a moment to compare a couple of results.

The 5970 is roughly the features of a 5870 at the clockspeeds of a 5850, but the 5850 Crossfire setup spanked even the overclocked 5970 and would save you about £100 in purchase price. Ok at these frame-rates the difference between 180 and 200 is impossible to notice, but that £100 in your wallet will be easily spotted.

Finally let's have a look at NFS:Shift and the ever important Vantage results before wrapping this up.

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Most Recent Comments

20-01-2010, 07:44:19

Very nice review! 3DMark Vantage fails though -.-Quote

20-01-2010, 08:17:35

Of course it does. Vantage is bias heavily towards the Nvidia cards and Physx. If Nvidia allowed standalone Physx cards to still be a viable option, or Futuremark wasn't so ridiculously weighted, then the scores would be more impressive from a comparison standpoint.

Finally, who gives a fig if a synthetic "my wedding tackle is so tiny I need to compensate with a big score" benchmark doesn't look great when the actual gaming results are so great?Quote

20-01-2010, 08:38:44

A very good review,it makes me want to go and buy 2 5770s to replace these old 4850s.Quote

20-01-2010, 08:41:38

I've been eyeing the 5850 since release but i can't justify spending over 200€ for a gfx, specially since my 4870 is still doing quite ok. I hope Nvidia manages to knock down these prices a bit with their new cards.Quote

20-01-2010, 09:54:56

Epic review mate, kept me entertained. I think for any new budget pc i build, the 5770 will be the card going in! :PQuote

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