March 20, 2010
Radeon HD 5870: Great performance, Great price, Great card :)
If your looking for a top of the line card with exceptional performance that while its not exactly cheap it wont break the bank either being competatively priced around $420. The 5870 shines brightly at a price the competition just cant or wont match.
The 5870 will cost you around $399-430 depending on manufacturer and OC versions, it however is worth every penny. I recently upgraded to the 5870 from the GTX 285 after 9 years of being an Nvidia user and have no regrets. the 5870 sports 1600 Stream Processor, 850Mhz clock speed, 1Gb GDDR5 memory clocked at 1200Mhz, 40nm chip, and supports DirectX11 and utilizes Tessellation. Its Also has 2 DVI ports, an HDMI port and Display Port.
The performance of the 5870 is through the roof and I have yet to play a game on it that I cant max out, for instance I can max Bad Company 2 with 8xAA/8xAF and get over 60-70FPS, and can max Crysis with 4xAA at 40-50FPS, all at a resolution of 1920×1080. The competition, Nvidia, is about to release its Fermi card the GTX 480 and while there isnt much info yet on the new Nvidia card there is a benchmark pitting the 5870 against the new GTX480. The 5870 ran head to head with the 480 only falling behind when tessellation is introduced, which while that is a slight drawback its not enough to justify the giant $200 price gap and despite the fact that ATI doesnt support Physx its price compared to Nvidia makes the 5870 the choice card for enthusiests at the moment. And dont forget ATI’s new Eye Finity tech. allowing gamers to span their game across 3+ monitors.
Now as I mentioned, ATI does not have physx support not does it have its own physics engine anymore (wonder what happened to havok???). There is however a work around for someone with an extra Physx capable Nvidia GPU laying around. There is a driver mod out called Physx mod 1.02 which will allow you to patch your video drivers and use an Nvidia GPU with an ATI card for Physx accelleration, which in turn will drive your graphics performance up just that much more. Tutorials can be found online including one I found in an AMD forums as Nvidia is the only that has a problem with this.
Bottom line, the HD5870 while a tad pricey is very competatively priced and worth the cost with exceptional performance and great quality. But beware, the card is huge, it measures in at 11″ long and is double profile so make sure you have the room for this monster before investing unless you have the extra cash for a larger case also.