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Written by Bruce Normann   
Monday, 10 January 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
PowerColor Radeon HD 6870 PCS+ Video Card
Closer Look: PowerColor PCS HD 6870
PowerColor PCS HD 6870 Detailed Features
Features and Specifications
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Crysis
DX10: Just Cause 2
DX9 SSAO: Mafia II
DX11: Aliens vs. Predator
DX11: Battlefield: Bad Company 2
DX11: DiRT-2 Demo
DX11: H.A.W.X. 2
DX11: Lost Planet 2
DX11: METRO 2033
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.1
PowerColor PCS HD 6870 Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
AMD Radeon HD 6870 Final Thoughts
PowerColor PCS HD 6870 Conclusion

DiRT-2 Demo DX11 Benchmark Results

DiRT-2 features a roster of contemporary off-road events, taking players to diverse and challenging real-world environments. This World Tour has players competing in aggressive multi-car, and intense solo races at extraordinary new locations. Everything from canyon racing and jungle trails to city stadium-based events. Span the globe as players unlock tours in stunning locations spread across the face of the world. USA, Japan, Malaysia, Baja Mexico, Croatia, London, and more venues await, as players climb to the pinnacle of modern competitive off-road racing.

ATI-Radeon-HD5830-DirectX11_DX11_WRC_Rally_Car

Multiple disciplines are featured; encompassing the very best that modern off-roading has to offer. Powered by the third generation of the EGOTM Engine's award-winning racing game technology, DiRT-2 benefits from tuned-up car-handling physics and new damaged engine effects. It showcases a spectacular new level of visual fidelity, with cars and tracks twice as detailed as those seen in GRID. The DiRT-2 garage houses a collection of officially licensed rally cars and off-road vehicles, specifically selected to deliver aggressive and fast paced racing. Covering seven vehicle classes, players are given the keys to powerful vehicles right away. In DiRT-2 the opening drive is the Group N Subaru, essentially making the ultimate car from the original game the starting point in the sequel, and the rides just get even more impressive as you rack up points.

ATI-Radeon-HD5830-DirectX11_DX11_Water_Effects

The primary contribution that DirectX-11 makes to the DiRT-2 Demo benchmark is in the way water is displayed when a car is passing through it, and in the way cloth items are rendered. The water graphics are pretty obvious, and there are several places in the Moroccan race scene where cars are plowing through large and small puddles. Each one is unique, and they are all believable, especially when more than one car is in the scene. The cloth effects are not as obvious, except in the slower-moving menu screens; when there is a race on, there's precious little time to notice the realistic furls in a course-side flag. I should also note that the flags are much more noticeable in the actual game than in the demo, so they do add a little more to the realism there, that is absent from the benchmark.

On a side note, I appreciate the fact that the demo's built-in benchmark has variable game play. I know its lame, but I most always watch it intently, just to see how well "my" car is being driven. So far, my finest telekinetic efforts have yielded a best finish of second place!

PowerColor_HD_6870_PCS_Video_Card_Dirt2_Demo_1920.jpg

The race winner is the GTX460 SLI combo again; imagine my shock and disbelief... For a title that was developed on AMD hardware, this is a somewhat surprising result, or it would be if I hadn't already seen the GTX460 pick a fight with every high end card it encountered. The HD 6870 and HD 5870 results look pretty lackluster here, as this is the first time the GTX 480 SOC is able to beat out both of the CrossFireX solutions, each of which costs more than the single GTX 480 video card. Fortunately, every setup I tested with here did a great job rendering all of the various scenes. As I said above, this is one of my favorite games, and I can confirm that the results above are not far off from real gameplay. There has been some concern in the community about the veracity of the Demo Benchmark compared to the in-game one, and/or FRAPS results. Despite that, I like to use the Demo version because everyone has access to it, and can easily compare results obtained with their own hardware.

In the next section we'll take a look at one of the newest benchmarking tools, H.A.W.X. 2. It's a high flying aerial adventure filled with lots of tessellated terrain, blown-up airplane bits, and masses of blue sky as a background.

Graphics Card

Cores

Core Clock

Shader Clock

Memory Clock

Memory

Interface

MSI GeForce GTX 460 (N460GTX Cyclone 1GD5/OC)

336

725

1450

900

1.0 GB GDDR5

256-bit

PowerColor PCS+ HD 6870 (AX6870 1GBD5-PP2DH)

1120

940

N/A

1100

1.0 GB GDDR5

256-bit

PowerColor Radeon HD 5870 (PCS+ AX5870 1GBD5-PPDHG2)

1600

875

N/A

1250

1.0 GB GDDR5

256-bit

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 480 (GV-N480SO-15I Super Over Clock)

480

820

1640

950

1536 MB GDDR5

384-bit



 

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