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Written by Olin Coles   
Friday, 18 December 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
XFX Radeon HD 5850 HD-585A-ZNFC
Radeon HD 5850 Features
XFX HD5850 Closer Look
Video Card Testing Methodology
ATI Eyefinity Multi-Monitors
3DMark Vantage GPU Tests
BattleForge Performance
Crysis Warhead Tests
Devil May Cry 4 Benchmark
Far Cry 2 Benchmark
Resident Evil 5 Tests
SPECviewperf 10 - Pro/E
Radeon HD 5850 Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
Radeon 5000-Series Final Thoughts
XFX Radeon HD5850 Conclusion

3DMark Vantage GPU Tests

3DMark Vantage is a PC benchmark suite designed to test the DirectX10 graphics card performance. FutureMark 3DMark Vantage is the latest addition the 3DMark benchmark series built by FutureMark corporation. Although 3DMark Vantage requires NVIDIA PhysX to be installed for program operation, only the CPU/Physics test relies on this technology.

3DMark Vantage offers benchmark tests focusing on GPU, CPU, and Physics performance. Benchmark Reviews uses the two GPU-specific tests for grading video card performance: Jane Nash and New Calico. These tests isolate graphical performance, and remove processor dependence from the benchmark results.

3DMark Vantage GPU Test: Jane Nash

Of the two GPU tests 3DMark Vantage offers, the Jane Nash performance benchmark is slightly less demanding. In a short video scene the special agent escapes a secret lair by water, nearly losing her shirt in the process. Benchmark Reviews tests this DirectX 10 scene at 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 resolutions, and uses Extreme quality settings with 8x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering. The 1:2 scale is ustilized, and is the highest this test allows. By maximizing the processing levels of this test, the scene creates the highest level of graphical demand possible and sorts the strong from the weak.


Beginning with the NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 (aka GeForce 9800 GTX+ prior to product line renaming) the performance is extremely sub-par and not on level with many of the products that gamers consider mainstream by today's standard. The ATI Radeon HD 5770, the DirectX 11 mainstream video card, managed to perform almost as well as the Radeon HD 4890. An overclocked Palit GTX 260 Sonic narrowly outperforms the 4890 in this test, before the overclocked ASUS GeForce GTX 285 Top is edged out by the XFX Radeon HD 5850 DirectX11 video card. The reference ATI Radeon HD 5870 outperformed the overclocked NVIDIA counterpart by 30% at 1680x1050 and nearly 32% at 1920x1280.

3DMark Vantage GPU Test: New Calico

New Calico is the second GPU test in the 3DMark Vantage test suite. Of the two GPU tests, New Calico is the most demanding. In a short video scene featuring a galactic battleground, there is a massive display of busy objects across the screen. Benchmark Reviews tests this DirectX 10 scene at 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 resolutions, and uses Extreme quality settings with 8x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering. The 1:2 scale is utilized, and is the highest this test allows. Using the highest graphics processing level available allows our test products to separate themselves and stand out (if possible).


Starting with the lowest performer, the NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250/GeForce 9800 GTX+, it becomes obvious that GPU performance from this yesteryear-mainstream product is way below what's going to be required for modern DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 video games. If you're using a product from NVIDIA GeForce 9800 series or older/lower, it might be time to consider an upgrade. ATI's mainstream Juniper GPU powers the Radeon HD 5770 video card, which happens to nearly match performance to the former premium-level ATI Radeon HD 4890 in the New Calico benchmark. The Radeon 4890 performs at nearly the same frame rate as the overclocked GeForce GTX 260, which is also only a few FPS away from the overclocked ASUS GeForce GTX 285 Top. The DirectX 11-compatible Cypress GPU clearly dominates the field in this test, allowing the XFX Radeon HD 5850 to easily overtake the GeForce GTX 285 by 11% at 1680x1050 and then an astonishing 27% at 1920x1200. The top-of-the-line Radeon HD 5870 is well ahead of the others, especially NVIDIA's closest graphics solution, and outperforms our overclocked ASUS GTX 285 Top by 40% at 16x10 and 46% at 19x12 resolution.

Product Series GeForce GTS 250 Reference Radeon HD 5770 Reference Palit GeForce GTX 260 Radeon HD 4890 Reference XFX Radeon HD 5850 ASUS GeForce GTX 285 Radeon HD 5870 Reference
GPU Cores 128 800 216 640 1440 240 1600
Core Clock (MHz) 738 850 625 850 725 670 850
Shader Clock (MHz) 1836 N/A 1348 N/A N/A 1550 N/A
Memory Clock (MHz) 1100 1200 1100 975 1000 1300 1200
Memory Amount 512 MB GDDR3 1024 MB GDDR5 1024 MB GDDR3 1024 MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR3 1024MB GDDR5
Memory Interface 256-bit 128-bit 448-bit 256-bit 256-bit 512-bit 256-bit


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