AMD has carried over the Volterra VT1165 Digital Programmable Regulators that have been used on previous graphics cards such as HD 4890, along with chips from Texas Instruments that allow real-time power monitoring. We understand these chips allow AMD to throttle performance if the thermal levels rise to unacceptable heights.
3DMark Vantage Results
Longer bars are better
We lined up an HIS Digital HD 5970 with reference speeds of 725MHz/4000MHz and a Sapphire card that has the most miniscule overclock we have ever seen: 735MHz/4040MHz. That’s right, the core and memory are overclocked by a paltry 10MHz.
It may sound trite but running the two cards on our Core i7 test rig - Core i7-965, Intel DX58SO motherboard, Intel X25-M SSD and Windows 7 Professional - delivered epic performance in 3DMark Vantage, Battle Forge and Far Cry 2.
An HD 5870 churns out pixels and frames at a rate that is practically obscene so it comes as no surprise that the two chips in HD 5970 deliver more of the same. CrossFireX isn’t a perfect science and based on our experiences we reckon you can expect your HD 5970 to deliver 25-50 per cent more performance than an HD 5870.
Interestingly enough, the power draw that we measured at the mains socket was 290-300W with the system under load. That’s the motherboard, memory, CPU and graphics card so we can say that either we didn’t have the graphics card fully loaded, or AMD as been cautious with its power figures. We’ll vote for the first option as we doubt that any current game will properly stretch an HD 5970/Core i7 combo.
System Power Draw
Power draw in Watts
Adding the second HD 5970 in CrossFireX raised our test results even further. In 3DMark Vantage, the overall score was 29,745 and the GPU score was 34,959. The HD 5870 of has a GPU score of 15,778.
Pricey, but for me there is an advantage
Ever since I built this machine back years ago when it was running two nVidia 7900GTXs (and heating my room at the same time) I've had a Matrox Triplehead2Go monitor splitter to give me three-screen gaming (and loads of screen space for programming IDEs). Not every game ran well with it - in fact, while a lot of games list the resolution as available in the options screen, actually selecting it completely knackers the perspective and makes the game unplayable. Escape From Butcher Bay is a good example.
With Eyefinity, I could dump my extortionately-priced and annoyingly analogue first-generation external splitter box on eBay, buy a couple of adaptors for my existing monitors, and use the money to soup the machine up even further. Say, with a huge, expensive, completely over the top graphics card? Hell yeah...
Definitely something I'll be looking into. So long as it doesn't require the same number of wires and fecking about as my existing setup - and considering this thing already has 3 output connectors without any external boxes at all, that's quite likely - I would be very interested.
Review makes no sense..
The price is totally irrelevent and it's still cheaper than an nVidia card that costs more and isn't as powerful.
So how did it get a 65% score exactly?
Anybody that buys a card that's this powerful (me included) isn't going to give a damn about the price.. except in the knowledge you're going to get more bang-for-buck than with nvidia..
Seriously this review is just wrong.. No really.
You review what it is - arguably the most powerful single card money can buy, and if you can get comparable for cheaper (even nVidia could actually do cards even close to this powerful) /then/ you start knocking points off...
You put two GTX 295's in your PC, it's not going to be as powerful, it's going to use up at least 4 slots in your case and it's going to cost you 800 quid before you even get started with the 15TW PSU you're going to need.
Seriously - what's the deal? I mean really where is the nVidia comparison anyways?
While I'm ranting..
"so these figures might be sustainable provided we could stand having the cooling fan running at full tilt during a gaming session"
Firstly most people are going to water cool and secondly.. Yes, if you play games without sound it's going to get annoying but who does that..
If we're going to be talking about the sound it makes - what's it like at idle? If in a normal environment when it's not being pounded and it's quiet, that's all that matters.
I have always said there aren't enough computer rendered female rastafarian models in the graphics card industry.
I always worry...
... that if I watch late night TV and I get bombarded by the inevitable 'chatline' adverts aimed at the sad and lonely I have actually become part of that target audience simply by being there.
By the same token if I bought this I would become part of the group of buyers likely to be swayed by pictures of sci-fi body armoured young women on hi-tech equipment. I'm not sure which group is sadder.