ATI Radeon 5870 Eyefinity6 Review - Heaven Demo DX9

Submitted by skipclarke on 5 April, 2010 - 15:09

Article Type: 
Heaven (DX9)
Eyefinity 5760x1200 (fps)
  1 GPU 2 GPU
1GB 17 22
2GB 18 22

The Unigine Heaven Demo is unique in that it is the only demo which allows for the following components in one package:

  • Synthetic Demo (i.e., a demo designed to "test" a system)
  • Comparable tests of DX9, DX10 and DX11
  • Is Hor+ (rather than limited to a few predefined aspect ratios)

The ability to compare DX9, DX10 and DX11 in the same environment allows for the unique ability to see when and if additional VRAM comes into play. For the DX9 test, the additional VRAM of the Eyefinity6 card offers no improvement over the original Radeon HD 5870. However, the additional frame buffer does provide additional benefits in a multi-GPU scenario.

The real interesting comparisons start at DX10. The additional framebuffer offers no help at normal widescreen aspect ratios. However, the 2GB of VRAM offers substantial improvement over 1GB in Eyefinity resolutions. The difference moves between a veritable slideshow and something bordering on playability. While additional tweaks would be needed to hit 30fps+ with the E6 card, it simply does not appear possible to do so with the original 5870 and maintain the DX10 path.

The DX10 trend continues with the DX11 code, and the extra VRAM shows its value. In both DX10 and DX11, the additional framebuffer completely outpaced the horsepower of the second GPU in the Radeon 5970.

Hitting 60fps

It is not possible to hit 60fps with this benchmark on a single GPU at Eyefinity resolutions. Considering it is meant to test/tax your system, that is to be expected. 40fps+ can be hit with 0xAA and 1xAF, but that looks downright horrible. Here is what I was able to achieve with a reasonable quality:

  • DX9: 4800x900, 2xAA, 4xAF, low shaders - 34fps, med shaders - 28fps

Heaven DX9