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XFX Radeon HD 5970 Black Edition Limited Review

jlqrb    -   September 7, 2010
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Testing:

Testing of the XFX Radeon HD 5970 Black Edition Limited card will consist of running the card through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of equal and greater capabilities to show where it falls on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles to give you an idea on how the cards perform relative to each other. The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustment will be made to the respective control panels during the testing with the exception of the 3DMark Vantage testing where PhysX will be disabled in the NVIDIA control panel. I will test the card at stock speeds, then overclocked in order to see how much additional performance is available and to determine if it can run with the current fastest single GPU cards on the market. The drivers used in this test will be the 10.8 Catalyst drivers for ATI and 257.15 Forceware drivers from NVIDIA for the GTX 480, 470 and 465 while the GTX 460 gets the 258.96. Tests will be conducted at both stock and overclocked settings to gauge performance when an increase in clock speed is applied.

 

Comparison Video Cards:

  • 2x ATI HD 5970 4GB QuadFire
  • ATI HD 5870 2GB Eyefinity Edition
  • ATI HD 5770

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

Overclocking the HD 5970 seemed easy at first and I was able to quickly take the core to 900MHz and the memory to 1300MHz. With these settings the card appeared to be doing well, and would even pass the AMD stability test, as well as run MSI's Kombuster without errors for 15 minutes. However, when it came to gaming these settings would not remain stable. This would result in long screen freezes and even random crashes while gaming. So, without being able to successfully benchmark a game I went back to tweaking the core. In the end I found that it was one core that was limiting the overclocking potential of the graphics card. This GPU could only run at around 875MHz, while the other GPU was stable just above 900MHz. Still, the end result was decent for an HD 5970 (especially for the memory) as the clocks were able to be set at 885/1300MHz respectively.

Maximum Clock Speeds:

Each card has been tested for its maximum stable clock speeds using MSI's Kombuster utility. So far my testing has shown that higher clock speeds may be stable in games where GPU usage does not reach 100%, but will crash within a few minutes using this utility. The reported clock speeds are those that proved stable over a 15 minute test at 1920 x 1200 and 8x AA.

 

  • Gaming Tests:
  1. Far Cry 2
  2. Metro 2033
  3. Crysis Warhead
  4. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
  5. Darkest of Days
  6. Bioshock 2
  7. Just Cause 2
  8. Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.0
  9. Batman: Arkham Asylum
  10. Resident Evil 5
  11. 3DMark 06 Professional
  12. 3DMark Vantage
  • Usage:
  1. Temperature
  2. Power Consumption



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (The Video Card)
  3. Specifications & Features
  4. Testing: Setup, Overclocking
  5. Testing: FarCry 2
  6. Testing: Metro 2033
  7. Testing: Crysis Warhead
  8. Testing: Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
  9. Testing: Darkest of Days
  10. Testing: Just Cause 2
  11. Testing: Unigine 2.1
  12. Testing: Batman: Arkham Asylum
  13. Testing: Resident Evil 5
  14. Testing: 3DMark 06
  15. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  16. Testing: Temperature
  17. Testing: Power Consumption
  18. Conclusion
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