Lets take a look at a couple of reviews to see how good the new ATI Radeon HD 5970 is. It may be the fastest card in the world, but is it really worth $599? Read on to find out.
Our first stop is at AnandTech, they conclude that it's hands down the fastest single card on the market. The card is not for everyone though, the reviewer states it's so fast that you need more than one display to fully take advantage of this beast with current-generation games. He explains that all their action games that aren't CPU limited did better than 100fps at 2560 x 1600, with exception of Crysis, and that RTS games are doing just under 60fps.
AMD made a good choice in enabling Crossfire Eyefinity for the 5970, as they have made a card so fast that it basically shoots past everything on the market that isn’t Crysis. All of our action games that aren’t CPU limited do better than 100fps at 2560x1600, and RTSs are doing just under 60fps. The 5970 is without a doubt Overkill (with a capital O) on a single monitor. This will likely change for future games (i.e. STALKER), but on today’s games it’s more power than is necessary to drive even the largest single monitor. The 5970 still offers a good performance boost over the 5870 even with a single monitor, but with the 5870’s outstanding performance, it’s not $200 better.
Next we take a look at what PC Perspective has to say about this new dual-GPU beast, they conclude the card beats NVIDIA's fastest in every single benchmark you throw at it.
The new AMD Radeon HD 5970 graphics card takes PC gaming performance to a completely new level by combining a pair of Evergreen-based GPUs on a single PCB, 2GB of GDDR5 memory and plenty of headroom for overclocking. For a single card system, the performance that the HD 5970 provides is simply unmatched but that does not mean the card is without its slight misgivings. First, the card is LONG and some mid-tower cases will likely have problems getting it installed. Secondly, Eyefinity supports needs to be beefed up and soon – multi-GPU performance is needed nowhere more than at resolutions like 7680x1600 and 5760x1200!
Our last stop is at HardOCP, they seem to complain a bit about the poor price/performance in current games and some driver issues with CrossFireX scaling and AA support in some games:
We are expecting this to be a "Hard Launch." However I would not expect to see quantities of these cards till next year. The 5970 will remain as elusive as the 5800 series which we are seeing hit the shelves every week in small quantities.
Given the issues and somewhat lacking value, we think the AMD ATI Radeon HD 5970 is worthy of a Silver Editor’s Choice for its great abilities. I think both these things will be solved when AMD’s driver team gets it nose a bit heavier on the grindstone and TSMC gets its 40nm production up.