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Written by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
ATI Radeon HD 5970 Hemlock Video Card
Radeon HD 5970 Features
ATI Eyefinity Multi-Monitors
ATI Radeon HD 5970 Closer Look
Video Card Testing Methodology
3DMark Vantage GPU Tests
BattleForge Performance
Crysis Warhead Tests
Devil May Cry 4 Benchmark
Far Cry 2 Benchmark
Resident Evil 5 Tests
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat
Unigine Heaven Benchmark
Radeon HD 5970 Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
Radeon 5000-Series Final Thoughts
ATI Radeon HD 5970 Conclusion

STALKER Call of Pripyat Benchmark

The events of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat unfold shortly after the end of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. Having discovered about the open path to the Zone center, the government decides to hold a large-scale military "Fairway" operation aimed to take the CNPP under control. According to the operation's plan, the first military group is to conduct an air scouting of the territory to map out the detailed layouts of anomalous fields location. Thereafter, making use of the maps, the main military forces are to be dispatched. Despite thorough preparations, the operation fails. Most of the avant-garde helicopters crash. In order to collect information on reasons behind the operation failure, Ukraine's Security Service send their agent into the Zone center.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: CoP is developed on X-Ray game engine v.1.6, and implements several ambient occlusion (AO) techniques including one that AMD has developed. AMD's AO technique is optimized to run on efficiently on Direct3D11 hardware. It has been chosen by a number of games (e.g. BattleForge, HAWX, or the new Aliens vs Predator) for the distinct effect in it adds to the final rendered images. This AO technique is called HDAO which stands for ‘High Definition Ambient Occlusion' because it picks up occlusions from fine details in normal maps.

Put in simple terms, ambient light occlusion can be described as the parts of the scene where light finds it hard to reach. In the real world, light has to bounce off many surfaces in order to reach some places. Classically this problem is solved with a radiosity technique but this is usually too expensive for real-time applications. For this reason, various screen space techniques have been invented to emulate the effect of ambient occlusion.


S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat is a video game based on the DirectX 11 architecture and designed to use high-definition SSAO. If Benchmark Reviews were to test this game with the developers recommended settings for desired gaming experience, only the ATI Radeon HD 5000-series video cards would be tested. Having the good fortune to experience this free benchmark demo run through all four tests (Day, Night, Rain, Sun Shafts) with the highest settings possible (HDAO mode with Ultra SSAO quality), the Radeon HD5970 produced 30+ FPS (in the Day test) while the GTX295 looked like a slide show with 6 FPS. Needless to say, this wouldn't be the most educational way of testing video cards for our readers. For this reason alone, we reduced quality to DirectX 10 levels, and ran tests with SSAO off and then enabled with Default settings on our collection of higher-end video cards.

Without SSAO and using DX10 lighting, the HD4890 actually comes amazingly close to the Radeon HD 5850 with 42 FPS in the 'Day' test run. The overclocked ASUS GeForce GTX 285 TOP rendered only 38 FPS on DX10 settings, which isn't very convincing argument for NVIDIA's current top-end product. The Radeon HD 5870 performed on-par with the GeForce GTX 295 using DX10 lighting and produced 51 FPS, but then the Radeon HD 5970 comes in and tacks on 42% gain for 75.1 FPS. That might not seem like good news for NVIDIA GeForce products, but it only gets worse.

Even though we've restrained the STALKER CoP tests to a meager DirectX 10 level, the benchmark allows us to add SSAO. There are three SSAO modes: Default, HBAO, and HDAO; this test uses Default. Each mode then has three SSAO levels of detail: Low, Medium, High, and specific to HDAO you can add Ultra. Our tests use the Default-High settings, which rank #3 out of 10 SSAO levels.

Again, the HD4890 (31.6 FPS) is somewhat close to the HD5850 (34.6 FPS), but the GeForce GTX 285 (21.6 FPS) is way below them both. The ATI Radeon HD 5870 flexes its lonely Cypress-XT GPU and squeezes out 41.9 FPS, all while looking down at the dual GT200-GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 video card. The GTX295 squeaks out 28.8 FPS using both GPUs, but then the ATI Radeon HD 5970 steps in and shows how it's to be done: 62.8 FPS (118% faster).

It seems evident that even DirectX 10 platforms favor the ATI Radeon 5000-series. It also seems that NVIDIA should have choose its words carefully when extolling DirectX 10 and condemning DirectX 11.

Product Series ATI Radeon HD 5770 Palit GeForce GTX 260 ATI Radeon HD 4890 ATI Radeon HD 5850 ASUS GeForce GTX 285 ATI Radeon HD 5870 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 ATI Radeon HD 5970
GPU Cores 800 216 640 1440 240 1600 480 (240 per GPU) 3200 (1600 per GPU)
Core Clock (MHz) 850 625 850 725 670 850 576 725
Shader Clock (MHz) N/A 1348 N/A N/A 1550 N/A 1242 3200
Memory Clock (MHz) 1200 1100 975 1000 1300 1200 999 1000
Memory Amount 1024 MB GDDR5 1024 MB GDDR3 1024 MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR3 1024MB GDDR5 1792MB GDDR3 2048MB GDDR5
Memory Interface 128-bit 448-bit 256-bit 256-bit 512-bit 256-bit 896-bit (448-bit per GPU) 512-bit (256-bit per GPU)



# the diffrenceJeff 2010-03-24 07:12
In my opinion. the diffrence between ATI and NVidia when it comes to gameing, is that NVidia seems to have alot of technical problems and games seem to crash every so often. With ATI the video card drivers and software can be more user friendly. the cards are outstanding in the performance and there are no problems when it comes to games, movies, etc. The best part of ATI, is Eye Finity.... Hopefully they can come up with a card that can hold the 3 screens, but dont have to order a dual link to DVI adapter off the internet... which seems to be the biggest problem for most people....
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# Drivers Blow !!!Mike 2010-03-26 17:01
ATI's drivers are horrendous!! I have had nothing but problems with them. Tons of in game glitches and outright crashes and they are never optimized when a new game is released. It takes forever for them to address individual game issues ( see Batman Arkham Asylum and AA ). They might release a driver a month but I think all they do is change the version number and kick it out the door. If you really want bad drivers just run any of their 2x gpu cards then it gets even worse...

Jeff sounds like ATI employee at the very least.
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# ... So Does Mike ;)EetMe 2010-04-10 09:59
ATI is clearly the "hardware" king-o-graphics/GPU's right now. Mike sounds like a poor-loser nv-fanboy. tough eh ?
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# Fanboy at the LEASTRj 2010-04-13 07:17
Yes, fanboy at the least, or some dumbass that doens't know how to use a GPU lololol
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# RE: ATI Radeon HD 5970 Hemlock Video CardFrostbite 2010-05-03 15:53
I still don't get why people complain about ATI's drivers. I keep up to date monthly and sometimes much longer periods before I do update, and I haven't had a single issue. Yeah, the games have crashed but hell, they did that to me back in 95. Learn how to keep your drivers in shape newbies, as I've yet to experience anything overly frustrating in this many years of ATI.
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# ATI and NVIDIA both have issues.Olin Coles 2010-05-03 16:07
I've already pointed out problems with NVIDIA drivers here:
What I haven't pointed out is how NVIDIA drivers lack 60Hz support, and instead offers a lower 59Hz option. On the other hand, ATI delivers the full 60Hz experience, and Battlefield Bad Company 2 loads levels in only 10 seconds and not 62 like the latest Forceware driver. As I see it right now, ATI has an edge over NVIDIA drivers.
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# IT guyDave 2010-05-07 07:48
I'm unsure if Mike understands how to correctly install the drivers for his GPU. The only time I've ever had issues with my 5970 is when USER error was involved. Yes I am human too. haha. If you are switching from Nvidia or if you wish to have a clean install use a product like Driver Sweep. Download the newest drivers from ATI first. Run Driver Sweep and remove the ATI drivers. For an extra layer of assurance uninstall your video drivers/hardware in safe mode as well, re boot and install the new drivers!! Easy cheesy! :-)
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# Not 1 single problemRecon 2010-08-06 10:19
I have buy this card. And i love nv (always buy Nividia). But i was afread bugged drivers because i have see so many bad reviews its like the trying to rip off ati, however a friend buy this card. And i was like OMFG this can not be happening, Well see that beast in action i can not belive wat that thing can do. So i buy this card. So far not even 1 single crash. Perhaps people need to chill down and buy this card. Realy the love it when the have this card. If ati stay that way i will follow.
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# RE: ATI Radeon HD 5970 Hemlock Video Cardmike 2010-08-22 21:12
Uh well my HIS HD4870 has major problems. Actually, I have two of them and they both exhibit the same problems. I can't even run MOH:AA without cat A.I. on at least low. Took me about 2 years to figure this out, so I went 2 years without playing one of all time favorite classic games. No one had an answer, including ATI. I also can't play the game with Vsync on, or my mouse becomes erratic. This does not happen on ANY other video card I've had, but does with both HD4870s. Add to this numerous other glitches and I've pulled all of my hair out over it the past couple of years. I don't know if this is a hardware issue with this particular model of card, or a driver issue, or both. I just hope, really hope that if I spend another 400 dollars on my next ATI card that I do not have these glaring issues.
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# Ati Vs NvidiaRoy 2010-10-08 13:35
i always used to have an Nvidia card, but now it was time to change to an Ati card.
Ati has the best ones at this moment in my eyes.
i just bought an Sapphire Hd 5850 Toxic, it runs great, silence and it doesnt gets hot.

If you wanna buy an new graphics cards, then buy an ati, there the best now.
(ati is the cheapest and it wont use as much power as an nvidia as well atm)
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