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Sapphire Radeon HD 5870 Vapor-X 2GB
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by Rob Williams on May 21, 2010 in AMD-Based GPU

As our games continue to become even more robust, it would seem likely that having more memory available to the GPU would prove useful, but are we soon to see 2GB cards become commonplace? After many completed tests with Sapphire’s Radeon HD 5870 Vapor-X 2GB, we’re having a hard time settling on that.

Crysis Warhead

Like Call of Duty, Crysis is another series that doesn’t need much of an introduction. Thanks to the fact that almost any comments section for a PC performance-related article asks, “Can it run Crysis?”, even those who don’t play computer games no doubt know what Crysis is. When Crytek first released Far Cry, it delivered an incredible game engine with huge capabilities, and Crysis simply took things to the next level.

Although the sequel, Warhead, has been available for just about a year, it still manages to push the highest-end systems to their breaking-point. It wasn’t until this past January that we finally found a graphics solution to handle the game at 2560×1600 at its Enthusiast level, but even that was without AA! Something tells me Crysis will be de facto for GPU benchmarking for the next while.

Manual Run-through: Whenever we have a new game in-hand for benchmarking, we make every attempt to explore each level of the game to find out which is the most brutal towards our hardware. Ironically, after spending hours exploring this game’s levels, we found the first level in the game, “Ambush”, to be the hardest on the GPU, so we stuck with it for our testing. Our run starts from the beginning of the level and stops shortly after we reach the first bridge.

The extra brawn that is the pre-overclock wasn’t enough to help the card pass NVIDIA’s GTX 480, but it came very, very close, especially at 2560×1600.

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Min FPS
Avg. FPS
NVIDIA GTX 295 1792MB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Gamer, 0xAA
19
40.381
NVIDIA GTX 480 1.5GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Gamer, 0xAA
23
37.135
ATI HD Radeon 5870 2GB (Sapphire)
2560×1600 – Gamer, 0xAA
16
36.257
ATI HD Radeon 5870 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Gamer, 0xAA
15
34.41
ATI HD 5850 1GB (ASUS)
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
28
52.105
NVIDIA GTX 285 1GB (EVGA)
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
27
50.073
NVIDIA GTX 275 896MB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
24
47.758
ATI HD 5830 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
23
41.621
NVIDIA GTX 260 896MB (XFX)
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
21
40.501
ATI HD 5770 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
20
35.256
NVIDIA GTX 250 1GB (EVGA)
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
18
34.475
ATI HD 5750 1GB (Sapphire)
1920×1080 – Mainstream, 0xAA
21
47.545
ATI HD 5670 512MB (Reference)
1920×1080 – Mainstream, 0xAA
20
35.103
NVIDIA GT 240 512MB (ASUS)
1920×1080 – Mainstream Detail, 0xAA
19
33.623
ATI HD 5570 1GB (Sapphire)
1920×1080 – Mainstream Detail, 0xAA
17
29.732
ATI HD 5550 1GB (Sapphire)
1920×1080 – Minimum Detail, 0xAA
18
34.363

For a first-person shooter, 30 FPS tends to be a minimum, and that’s really no exception here. But as there is such a nice improvement in detail from Mainstream to Gamer, we feel that sacrificing some extra framerates is worth it, as we still have a very playable game.