ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Performance Review

While the ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition supports up to 6 displays, we are going to be performance testing in the more popular 3x1 configuration. We are going to get a the heart of the video card and see if the 2GB of memory on Eyefinity 6 is really beneficial in Eyefinity resolutions with single GPU as well as CrossFireX.

Introduction

AMD’s ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition was launched on March 31st of this year. We covered the experience of six display gaming in our very informative ATI Radeon 5870 2GB 3X2 Eyefinity Gaming Experience video. If you have not watched this video we highly suggest you do. In the 3X2 Eyefinity Gaming Experience video we explore a six display configuration and what that means to the gameplay experience. This evaluation today will cover performance with these new 2GB Eyefinity 6 video cards in a 3x1 configuration, up to 5760x1200 resolution on 3x Dell 2480WFP Digital LCDs. We are going to find out today if the 2GB frame buffer makes a difference in single GPU and CrossFireX configurations.

ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6

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ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 MSRP = $479

The ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 video card shares the exact same specifications with the standard ATI Radeon HD 5870, except for the display outputs and the frame buffer. You will find that the core clock speed is the same 850MHz and the memory is at the same 4.8GHz. The same number of stream processors, ROPs and texture units are all in play here at the same manufacturing process.

What separates Eyefinity 6 from a regular Radeon HD 5870 is that it natively has 2GB of RAM on board, versus 1GB on the Radeon HD 5870 and it uses six Mini DisplayPort connections. AMD had to go with Mini DisplayPort in order to physically fit them all on the backplane. Maximum board power is 228 Watts and 34 Watts at idle, but note that idle Wattage will be higher when multiple displays are connected since the memory frequency does not downclock with multiple displays enabled. Our testing has shown it to only be several watts, not the reported 30w.

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The ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition looks exactly like the ATI Radeon HD 5870, matching it in size and form. In fact you wouldn’t be able to distinguish them if it were not for the output connection differences.

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There is a difference with the power connections though; Eyefinity 6 requires one 6-pin connector and one 8-pin power connector. ATI Radeon HD 5870 only requires two 6-pin connectors.

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CrossFireX is fully supported, and as you can see here we are going to test a 2-way CrossFireX configuration. CrossFireX worked flawlessly for us, it was automatically enabled when we installed the drivers and it worked right out of the box with no fuss. CrossFireX has come a long way, and AMD has its implementation nailed at this point.