We took a hard look last week at AMD’s Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850, and in the end, were left impressed. The FPS/$ ratio was superb, as was the feature-set. How do things look when the same cards are tossed into a CrossFireX setup? Well, AMD claims an up to 1.99x gain in certain games, so let’s see how reliable that figure is.
Unigine Heaven 2.1
While Futuremark is a well-established name where PC benchmarking is concerned, Unigine is just beginning to become exposed to people. The company’s main focus isn’t benchmarks, but rather its cross-platform game engine which it licenses out to other developers, and also its own games, such as a gorgeous post-apocalytic oil strategy game. The company’s benchmarks are simply a by-product of its game engine.
The biggest reason that the company’s “Heaven” benchmark grew in popularity rather quickly is that both AMD and NVIDIA promoted it for its heavy use of tessellation, a key DirectX 11 feature. Like 3DMark Vantage, the benchmark here is overkill by design, so results here aren’t going to directly correlate with real gameplay. Rather, they showcase which card models can better handle both DX11 and its GPU-bogging features.
Thanks to the excellent tessellation performance of NVIDIA’s Fermi architecture, that company’s cards out-performed AMD’s in our launch article, but pair a couple of the cards together in CrossFireX, and the tables are turned. Even the lowly HD 6850 far surpassed the performance of the GTX 480!