|Radeon HD5830 DirectX-11 Gaming Performance|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Friday, 12 March 2010|
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Unigine Heaven DX11 Benchmark Results
Unigine Corp. released the first DirectX-11 benchmark "Heaven", based on its proprietary UnigineTM engine. The company has already made a name among the overclockers and gaming enthusiasts for uncovering the realm of true GPU capabilities with previously released "Sanctuary" and "Tropics" demos. Their benchmarking capabilities are coupled with striking visual integrity of the refined graphic art.
The "Heaven" benchmark provides the following key features:
The distinguishing feature of the benchmark is a hardware tessellation that is a scalable technology aimed for automatic subdivision of polygons into smaller and finer pieces, so that developers can gain a more detailed look of their games almost free of charge in terms of performance.
Unigine Corp. is an international company focused on top-notch real-time 3D solutions. The development studio is located in Tomsk, Russia. Main activity of Unigine Corp. is development of UnigineTM, a cross-platform engine for virtual 3D worlds. Since the project started in 2004, it has attracted the attention of many different companies and groups of independent developers, because Unigine is always on the cutting edge of real-time 3D visualization and physics simulation technologies.
The Heaven benchmark from Unigine offers the best evidence for explaining how the HD 5830 came to be seen as a weak offering in some testing scenarios. As the amount of multi-sampling anti-aliasing is increased, from zero to 8x, performance of the 5830 moves closer and closer to that of the 5770. In fact, the 5770 loses the least amount of fps performance with increasing MSAA; the 5850, 5830, and 5770 lose 11.1, 10.3 and 8.8 fps respectively. This seems counter-intuitive, until you remember that the lowly 5770 has the highest GPU clock rate and the highest memory clock. True, it has a memory bus that's only half as wide as the 58xx series cards, but for MSAA apparently, speed matters. Regardless of the reasons why, the fact is that without MSAA, the HD 5830 covers 43% of the gap between the 5770 and 5850, and with 8x MSAA in play, it only covers 33% of the gap between the cards above and below it. We're not talking huge differences here, but people have been hyper-critical of the HD 5830. Anything less than splitting the gap exactly, or better, has been called a failure by the on-line community, as far as I can tell.
So, depending on how you measure the HD 5830, you get two different versions of reality. Neither of them is right or wrong, they're just different. ATI feels that they hit their performance target of splitting the gap as precisely as possible, but the data they present to back it up has this foot note: "Games are measured at standard settings with AF and AA off unless otherwise noted." There is some variation among review sites, but most of them show at least some benchmarks that have both AF and AA enabled, if not maxed out. As I mentioned earlier, Benchmark Reviews generally publishes results that are obtained with the most demanding settings available in each benchmark program. You can see how this may have impacted the results for the HD 5830 and placed it at a performance disadvantage, relative to the HD 5850 in some tests.
Let's take a look at another benchmark, a decidedly less cheerful scenario in a post-apocalyptic "Zone", which is traversed by mercenary guides called Stalkers.