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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.

Metro 2033

One of the more popular Internet memes for the past couple of years has been, “Can it run Crysis?”, but as soon as Metro 2033 launched, that’s a meme that should have died. Metro 2033 is without question one of the beefiest games on the market, and though it supports DirectX 11, it’s almost a feature worth ignoring, because the extent you’ll need to go to in order to see playable framerates isn’t likely going to be worth it.

Metro 2033

Manual Run-through: The level we use for testing is part of chapter 4, called “Child”, where we must follow a linear path through multiple corridors until we reach our end point, which takes a total of about 90 seconds. Please note that due to the reason mentioned above, we test this game in DX10 mode, as DX11 simply isn’t that realistic from a performance standpoint.

AMD has gotten back on track here, with some wicked performance at the high-end resolution of 2560×1600.

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Min FPS
Avg. FPS
AMD HD 6870 1GB (CrossFireX)
2560×1600 – High Detail, 0xAA
46
64.47
AMD HD 6850 1GB (CrossFireX)
2560×1600 – High Detail, 0xAA
41
57.134
NVIDIA GTX 480 1536MB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Medium Detail, DX10, 0xAA
46
62.563
AMD HD 5870 1GB (Sapphire)
2560×1600 – Medium Detail, DX10, 0xAA
39
60.947
AMD HD 6870 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Medium Detail, DX10, 0xAA
38
54.442
NVIDIA GTS 450 1GB (SLI)
2560×1600 – Medium Detail, DX10, 0xAA
32
50.060
NVIDIA GTX 470 1280MB (EVGA)
2560×1600 – Medium Detail, DX10, 0xAA
35
49.220
AMD HD 5850 1GB (ASUS)
2560×1600 – Medium Detail, DX10, 0xAA
30
47.746
AMD HD 6850 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Medium Detail, DX10, 0xAA
34
44.377
NVIDIA GTX 460 1GB (EVGA)
1920×1080 – High Detail, DX10, 0xAA
45
66.894
AMD HD 5830 1GB (Reference)
1920×1080 – High Detail, DX10, 0xAA
30
44.030
AMD HD 5770 1GB (Reference)
1920×1080 – Medium Detail, DX10, 0xAA
32
52.555
AMD HD 5750 1GB (Sapphire)
1920×1080 – Medium Detail, DX10, 0xAA
32
47.660
NVIDIA GTS 450 1GB (ASUS)
1920×1080 – Medium Detail, DX10, 0xAA
30
47.608

Since the performance seen with our usual settings above was so good, that’s where I left the Best Playable settings at. Enabling Very High detail lagged the game to no end, and the performance drop with DirectX 11 mode made it less than desirable. At resolutions of 1920×1080 or lower, you’ll have far better chances with DirectX 11 mode.


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