Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

AMD's ATI Radeon Eyefinity Performance Review

We’ve covered AMD’s ATI Radeon Eyefinity in terms of the experience provided, and now we will evaluate how Eyefinity actually performs across the entire line of ATI Radeon HD 5000 series video cards. From the Radeon HD 5970 down to the Radeon HD 5750, we review the performance of Eyefinity in some new games and some old.

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AMD Radeon HD 5750

The AMD Radeon HD 5750 fully supports every Eyefinity resolution the HD 5770, HD 5850, HD 5870 and HD 5970 does. However, that doesn’t mean it has the performance to accelerate current games that well at those resolutions. In our evaluation of this video card in Eyefinity, we found that we had to lower settings in every game we played. It just didn’t have the horsepower to plow through games at 5760x1200 with the highest in-game settings, even in Left 4 Dead 2. Since its performance was pretty low, we decided to give it its own page and simply give you a run-down of the highest playable settings and some commentary on what it took to make playable.

(Editor’s Note: It is very arguable that a person buying a 5750 is not going to be using $1500 worth of 24" monitors as we are doing here. We wanted to add the 5750 to see what it was made of. Certainly, a 5750 owner is very likely going to have to be rendering a few less pixels. So while trying to have the Radeon 5750 push 5760x1600 resolution is somewhat unfair and likely not a very real world situation, it is interesting to see exactly how it does. And I have to say we found it incredible that it did as well as it did rendering 6.9 million pixels.)

The table below details the highest-playable settings.

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Before we begin, in every game we had to disable AA as well as AF, we had to do this in order to try and get other in-game settings up first.

In DiRT 2 we had to set every in-game setting to its lowest value, which means some of the options were actually turned completely "Off." However, we did find we could keep the Particles at "Low." The Particle effects do go one step further down to an "Off", but we found there was performance enough to leave it at "Low" to provide some particle effects in the game. At these settings we saw upper 20’s to mid 30’s FPS while playing.

In Crysis Warhead we had to set the game to the lowest possible settings, "Minimum" settings. At this setting the game was just playable at 30 FPS in the ice levels.

In Need for Speed SHIFT we had to set every in-game option to "Low." At these settings the framerates hovered around 30 FPS while playing. A couple of the in-game settings actually have an "Off" position, but we were able to keep them all at "Low", so it wasn’t the absolute lowest setting the game has.

In Flight Simulator X we had to lower the Weather to "Minimal", which is the lowest possible setting. We also had to disable Bloom lighting and the Lens Flares effects.

In Grand Theft Auto IV we had no luck whatsoever making it playable. We set every in-game option to the lowest possible levels and the framerates were still in the teens.

In Left 4 Dead 2 we experienced the best performance out of all the games at 5760x1200. We were able to have the Shaders on "High" (not "VeryHigh"), and we had to lower Models to "Medium" and Effects to "Low." With those settings lowered we were able to get framerates between 30-40 FPS. This is the only game to have the Shader related setting at a high level.