ATI Radeon CrossFireX Review - Scaling in Widescreen

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These four cards scale very well in widescreen, with most results showing improvements between 60% - 80%. The scaling "falls" on the lower end cards in widescreen. The truth is that those cards are often hitting exceptional frame rates in widescreen, and don't have much room for improvement. Additionally, the CFX scaling starts to run into CPU limitations. In reality, CrossFireX is overkill for widescreen users.

Most every game we tested hits 60fps at max settings on a single card. There are a few exceptions - Battle Forge, STALKER and the Heaven benchmark. All in all, any single card will give you solid frame rates. You can't expect to play every game at max settings on a 5770 and hit 60fps (though you will hit it on many). However, you will hit 30fps on most other games. With tweaking the settings, you get past 30fps and work towards 60fps.

If you're considering 5770 CFX for widescreen, I would point you to a single 5850 instead. While the 5770 CFX performs better than the single 5850, you're not beholden to a good CFX profile for solid performance. The single 5850 is almost always more than enough for widescreen.

The 5850 is cheaper than a pair of 5770 cards, draws less power, and performs better in Eyefinity (if you're looking to go that route at some point). If you are cash strapped, the 5770 is a great option for widescreen, and you can always add a second card at a later date. This would make the overall cost lower, when you pick up the 2nd card once prices fall. This will allow for the CFX implementation when more demanding games are released, or you want to jump into Eyefinity. You can pick up that second card knowing that it carries solid performance improvements.