|Radeon HD 5770 CrossFireX Performance Scaling|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Tuesday, 24 November 2009|
Page 9 of 20
3DMark Vantage Benchmark Results
3DMark Vantage is a computer benchmark by Futuremark (formerly named Mad Onion) to determine the DirectX 10 performance of 3D game performance with graphics cards. A 3DMark score is an overall measure of your system's 3D gaming capabilities, based on comprehensive real-time 3D graphics and processor tests. By comparing your score with those submitted by millions of other gamers you can see how your gaming rig performs, making it easier to choose the most effective upgrades or finding other ways to optimize your system.
There are two graphics tests in 3DMark Vantage: Jane Nash (Graphics Test 1) and New Calico (Graphics Test 2). The Jane Nash test scene represents a large indoor game scene with complex character rigs, physical GPU simulations, multiple dynamic lights, and complex surface lighting models. It uses several hierarchical rendering steps, including for water reflection and refraction, and physics simulation collision map rendering. The New Calico test scene represents a vast space scene with lots of moving but rigid objects and special content like a huge planet and a dense asteroid belt.
At Benchmark Reviews, we believe that synthetic benchmark tools are just as valuable as video games, but only so long as you're comparing apples to apples. Since the same test is applied in the same controlled method with each test run, 3DMark is a reliable tool for comparing graphic cards against one-another.
1680x1050 is rapidly becoming the new 1280x1024. More and more widescreen are being sold with new systems or as upgrades to existing ones. Even in tough economic times, the tide cannot be turned back; screen resolution and size will continue to creep up. Using this resolution as a starting point, the maximum settings were applied to 3DMark Vantage include 8x Anti-Aliasing, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, all quality levels at Extreme, and Post Processing Scale at 1:2.
I'm tempted to call the 3DMark Vantage results a disaster, but the truth is the only disaster in testing is when you don't learn anything. In this case, we learn that there is something interfering with the proper operation of three video cards, hooked together in CrossFireX. Now, it happens that in addition to being the first benchmark that appears in most of our reviews, it's also the first benchmark I usually run. You can imagine my trepidation after seeing these results. Luckily, this is not representative of what we can expect from the rest of our tests.
The two test scenes in 3DMark Vantage provide a varied and modern set of challenges for the video cards and their subsystems, as described above. The results always produced higher frame rates for GT1 and so far, I haven't seen any curveball results like I used to see with 3DMark06. The twin Radeon HD5770 cards pull impressive numbers, as we saw in our earlier comparison. To be blunt, they smoke the GTX285. Performance scaling is quite good, at 76% increase for Jane Nash, and 79% at New Calico. There were no issues with twin cards at all, while running this benchmark. Unfortunately, the combination of three cards gave us terrible results. It's not worth even calculating the gains, as something is so obviously wrong with this combination of hardware and software.
At a higher screen resolution of 1920x1200, the story remains essentially the same. Jane gets an 80% increase for twin cards and New Calico gets an even smarter 86%. Truly, there is very little holding CrossFireXTM back in this synthetic benchmark, at least with two cards. We'll have to wait and see what is wrong with either the drivers or the benchmark when three cards are put into play. Catalyst 9.11 drivers are due to be released soon, so that might fix it.
We need to look at actual gaming performance to verify these results, especially in light of the troubles with TriFire, so let's take a look in the next section at how these cards stack up in the standard bearer for gaming benchmarks, Crysis.