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Written by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Gigabyte HD5870 SOC Video Card GV-R587SO-1GD
Features and Specifications
ATI Eyefinity Multi-Monitors
Closer Look: Gigabyte HD5870 SOC
Video Card Testing Methodology
3DMark Vantage GPU Tests
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
BattleForge Performance
Crysis Warhead Tests
Far Cry 2 Benchmark
Resident Evil 5 Tests
Metro 2033 DX11 Performance
Unigine Heaven Benchmark
VGA Temperature Comparison
VGA Power Consumption
Editor's Opinion: Radeon 5000
Gigabyte HD5870 SOC Conclusion

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

The Unigine "Heaven 2.0" benchmark is a free publicly available tool that grants the power to unleash the graphics capabilities in DirectX-11 for Windows 7 or updated Vista Operating Systems. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode, emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

The distinguishing feature in the Unigine Heaven 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. Thanks to this procedure, the elaboration of the rendered image finally approaches the boundary of veridical visual perception: the virtual reality transcends conjured by your hand. The "Heaven" benchmark excels at providing the following key features:

  • Native support of OpenGL, DirectX 9, DirectX-10 and DirectX-11
  • Comprehensive use of tessellation technology
  • Advanced SSAO (screen-space ambient occlusion)
  • Volumetric cumulonimbus clouds generated by a physically accurate algorithm
  • Dynamic simulation of changing environment with high physical fidelity
  • Interactive experience with fly/walk-through modes
  • ATI Eyefinity support


Although Heaven-2.0 was recently released and used for our DirectX-11 tests, the benchmark results were extremely close to those obtained with Heaven-1.0 testing. Since only DX11-compliant video cards will properly test on the Heaven benchmark, only those products that meet the requirements have been included.

Cost Analysis: Unigine Heaven

  • Radeon HD 5850: $12.92 per FPS
  • GeForce GTX 470: $11.67 per FPS
  • Radeon HD 5870: $13.45 per FPS
  • Gigabyte 5870 SOC: $16.13 per FPS
  • GeForce GTX 480: $13.51 per FPS
  • Radeon HD 5970: $14.89 per FPS
  • GeForce GTX480 SLI: $14.71 per FPS
  • Test Summary: Our test results with the Unigine Heaven benchmark tool appear to deliver fair comparisons of DirectX-11 graphics cards. Like clockwork, the Gigabyte Radeon HD5870 SOC tacks on another 3 FPS over the reference design... which is promptly outperformed by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX-480 (and nearly the GTX-470 as well). Reviewers like to say "Nobody plays a benchmark", but it seems evident that we can expect to see great things come from a tool this detailed. For now though, those details only come by way of DirectX-11 video cards. It's worth noting that if there was a cost involved with Unigine's Heaven, the HD5870 SOC would cost more per frame than every other DirectX-11 video card.

    Graphics Card Radeon HD4890 GeForce GTX285 Radeon HD5850 GeForce GTX470 Radeon HD5870 GeForce GTX480 Radeon HD5970
    GPU Cores 800 240 1440 448 1600 480 3200 (1600 per GPU)
    Core Clock (MHz) 850 670 725 608 850 700 725
    Shader Clock (MHz) N/A 1550 N/A 1215 N/A 1401 N/A
    Memory Clock (MHz) 975 1300 1000 837 1200 924 1000
    Memory Amount 1024 MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR3 1024MB GDDR5 1280MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1536MB GDDR5 2048MB GDDR5
    Memory Interface 256-bit 512-bit 256-bit 320-bit 256-bit 384-bit 512-bit (256-bit per GPU)



    # mmmmIgnacio 2010-06-17 23:26
    In my country the GTX 480 is 250 dollars more expensive than the ATI 5870... mmm... the 470 is at the same price just 4 dollars more expensive than the ati 5870... I think your review is a little biased...
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    # sorryIgnacio 2010-06-17 23:42
    Sorry, now I read the entire article... you are so right! The industry is always pushing things farther than they should. I also have the Radeon 5770 and is so fresh, Vapor-X version :)... I didn'tknow much about VGA's but I think I was lucky getting that exact card. Nice review and sorry again.
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