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Written by Bruce Normann   
Monday, 19 April 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
PowerColor PCS+ AX5870 1GBD5-PPDHG2
PowerColor PCS AX5870 Features
PowerColor PCS AX5870 Specifications
Closer Look: PowerColor PCS AX5870
Detailed Features: PowerColor PCS AX5870
Video Card Testing Methodology
3DMark Vantage Benchmarks
Crysis Benchmark Results
Devil May Cry 4 Benchmark
Far Cry 2 Benchmarks
Resident Evil 5 Benchmarks
Unigine - Heaven Benchmarks
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat Benchmarks
PowerColor PCS AX5870 Temperature
VGA Power Consumption
Radeon HD 5870 Final Thoughts
PowerColor PCS AX5870 Conclusion

Far Cry 2 Benchmark Results

Ubisoft has developed Far Cry 2 as a sequel to the original, but with a very different approach to game play and story line. Far Cry 2 features a vast world built on Ubisoft's new game engine called Dunia, meaning "world", "earth" or "living" in Farci. The setting in Far Cry 2 takes place on a fictional Central African landscape, set to a modern day timeline.

The Dunia engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2, by Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers realistic semi-destructible environments, special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storms, real-time night-and-day sun light and moon light cycles, dynamic music system, and non-scripted enemy A.I actions.

The Dunia game engine takes advantage of multi-core processors as well as multiple processors and supports DirectX 9 as well as DirectX 10. Only 2 or 3 percent of the original CryEngine code is re-used, according to Michiel Verheijdt, Senior Product Manager for Ubisoft Netherlands. Additionally, the engine is less hardware-demanding than CryEngine 2, the engine used in Crysis. However, it should be noted that Crysis delivers greater character and object texture detail, as well as more destructible elements within the environment. For example; trees breaking into many smaller pieces and buildings breaking down to their component panels. Far Cry 2 also supports the amBX technology from Philips. With the proper hardware, this adds effects like vibrations, ambient colored lights, and fans that generate wind effects.

There is a benchmark tool in the PC version of Far Cry 2, which offers an excellent array of settings for performance testing. Benchmark Reviews used the maximum settings allowed for our tests, with the resolution set to 1920x1200. The performance settings were all set to 'Very High', Render Quality was set to 'Ultra High' overall quality level, 8x anti-aliasing was applied, and HDR and Bloom were enabled. Of course DX10 was used exclusively for this series of tests.

PowerColor_PCS+_AX5870_Video_Card_Far_Cry_2_DX10_1680.jpg

Even on a game that typically favors the Green Machine, the HD 5870 cards are top dog again. They also respond well to the GPU overclocks of 25 MHz and 75MHz above standard. Even with the higher overclock, the GPU temperature only maxed out at 59C. This test is generally one of the lighter GPU loads among our benchmarks; the coding appears to be highly optimized.

Although the Dunia engine in Far Cry 2 is slightly less demanding than CryEngine 2 engine in Crysis, the strain appears to be extremely close. In Crysis we didn't dare to test AA above 4x, whereas we use 8x AA and 'Ultra High' settings in Far Cry 2. Using the short 'Ranch Small' time demo (which yields the lowest FPS of the three tests available), many of the midrange products we've tested are capable of producing playable frame rates with the settings all turned up. We also see a different effect when switching our testing to DirectX 10. Far Cry 2 seems to have been optimized, or at least written with a clear understanding of DX10 requirements.

PowerColor_PCS+_AX5870_Video_Card_Far_Cry_2_DX10_1920.jpg

The higher resolution test doesn't change the rankings at all, and the overclock scaling for the PowerColor PCS+ AX5870 is right on target, netting a 9% gain in frame rates for a 9% overclock.

Product Series

Stream Processors

Core Clock (MHz)

Shader Clock (MHz)

Memory Clock (MHz)

Memory Amount

Memory Interface

ASUS Radeon HD4850 (EAH4850 TOP)

800

680

N/A

1050

512MB GDDR3

256-bit

ATI Radeon HD5770 (Engineering Sample)

800

850

N/A

1200

1.0GB GDDR5

128-bit

XFX Radeon HD5830 (HD-583X-ZNFV)

1120

800

N/A

1000

1.0GB GDDR5

256-bit

ASUS GeForce GTX 260 (ENGTX260 MATRIX)

216

576

1242

999

896MB GDDR3

448-bit

XFX Radeon HD5850 (21162-00-50R)

1440

725

N/A

1000

1.0GB GDDR5

256-bit

MSI GeForce GTX 275 (N275GTX Twin Frozr OC)

240

666

1476

1161

896MB GDDR3

448-bit

ASUS GeForce GTX 285 (GTX285 MATRIX)

240

662

1476

1242

1.0GB GDDR3

512-bit

XFX Radeon HD5870 (HD-587X-ZNFC)

1600

850

N/A

1200

1.0GB GDDR5

256-bit

PowerColor AX5870 (1GBD5-PPDHG2)

1600

875

N/A

1250

1.0GB GDDR5

256-bit

PowerColor AX5870 (1GBD5-PPDHG2)

1600

925 OC

N/A

1300 OC

1.0GB GDDR5

256-bit

Our next benchmark of the series puts our collection of video cards against some fresh graphics in the newly released Resident Evil 5 benchmark.



 

Comments 

 
# I'm not sure about good soldering qualityRod 2010-04-19 15:59
The solder drip you can see on the 3rd image down isn't from wave soldering, its in the wrong direction, it would be more likely from the rework station.

The solder joint on R639, tho may be intact, but I would hesitate to guess that given a bit more time, and temperature cycling that you'll have a dry joint on the upper left.

C658 & C660 seem to not have a good flow on the upper pad to the component, this should have been picked up in rework/inspection before it went in to the tester.

Though you say that even knowing those caps are on a 1mm grid, they are still HUGE components compared to whats out there and what I have worked with, 1mm gridding is still quite a large grid to work with.
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# ThanksBruceBruce 2010-04-19 16:21
Rod,

Care to see the hi-res photos?
BTW, what component pitch is considered SOTA today?

Thanks for the feedback. FWIW, it's tough for the average person to even see this stuff. I have a 10X loupe, and it doesn't cut it. I have to go 2.5X with my Micro-Nikkor on a DSLR to see it properly.
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# soldering qualityHap 2010-04-19 16:27
Most of the inspection is now done using a Automated Optical Inspection System, and it's up to the programmer what is caught as bad solder joints or min passing, as in the Landrex AOI Unit.
BTDT
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# Thanks to the reviewer!Greg 2010-09-27 10:47
I really appreciate a well-written, and in depth review. I had recently purchased the ASUS EAH5870, and am sad to say that it is junk by my standards. Poor cooling, and came well-equipped to fail and cause artifacting due to a bad memory chip. As I am now on the quest to RMA, I am considering this card. Your review was extremely helpful in my decision, and I will be interested in ANY other hardware reviews you write.

Thanks!
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# AppreciatedBruceBruce 2010-09-27 17:25
Hi Greg, Glad you found the review helpful. Although I complained about the cleaning solution residue, this card has been providing good service since the day I got it. I recently tried an aftermarket cooler on it, and the performance was only slightly better, really just lower noise. benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=595&Itemid=62

I am a little surprised by your experience with the ASUS model, they have been good cards for me...but nobody's perfect ALL the time.
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