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AMD Radeon HD 6870 & HD 6850 in CrossFireX
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by Rob Williams on October 25, 2010 in AMD-Based GPU

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.

Colin McRae: Dirt 2

It’s not that often that faithful PC gamers get a proper racing game for their platform of choice, but Dirt 2 is one of those. While it is a “console port”, there’s virtually nothing in the game that will make that point stand out. The game as a whole takes good advantage of our PC’s hardware, and it’s as challenging as it is good-looking.

Colin McRae: Dirt 2

Manual Run-through: The race we chose to use in Dirt 2 is the first one available in the game, as it’s easily accessible and features a lot of GPU-pounding effects that the game has become known for, such as realistic dust and water effects, a large on-looking crowd of people and fine details on and off the track. Each run-through lasts the entire two laps, which comes out to about 2.5 minutes.

We’re off to a strong start, with even the CrossFireX’d HD 6850’s far surpassing the performance of NVIDIA’s high-end GeForce GTX 480. To be fair, though, this game does tend to be Radeon-sided, but even so, the differences are huge.

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Min FPS
Avg. FPS
AMD HD 6870 1GB (CrossFireX)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
76
96.555
AMD HD 6850 1GB (CrossFireX)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
69
81.853
NVIDIA GTX 480 1536MB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
53
61.850
AMD HD 5870 1GB (Sapphire)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
52
60.85
AMD HD 6870 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
42
53.592
AMD HD 5850 1GB (ASUS)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
42
50.325
NVIDIA GTS 450 1GB (SLI)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
44
53.584
NVIDIA GTX 470 1280MB (EVGA)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
42
49.032
AMD HD 6850 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
39
45.135
AMD HD 5830 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
24
40.385
NVIDIA GTX 460 1GB (EVGA)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 0xAA
38
44.090
AMD HD 5770 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Medium Detail, 4xAA
44
58.439
AMD HD 5750 1GB (Sapphire)
2560×1600 – Medium Detail, 4xAA
39
50.327
NVIDIA GTS 450 1GB (ASUS)
2560×1600 – Medium Detail, 4xAA
35
45.422

No surprises here… maxed-out details and 4xAA are no problem for most of our single-card configurations, much less our CrossFireX ones.