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HIS Radeon HD5870

Manufacturer: Hightech Information System
Supplied by:
Hightech Information System
Estimated Street Price: $399

by Dean Barker  (11/01/2009)

Introduction

HIS has put out a reference design based Radeon HD5870. Reference design smacks of 'normal' but the HD5870 is anything but normal. Billed as the fastest single GPU card currently being manufactured, the HIS Radeon HD5870 is FAR from normal.  ATi bills their new line up of cards under the marketing moniker "The game has changed."  The new HD5870 supports ATi's new Eyefinity, ATI Stream and DirectX 11 with the later leap frogging right over NVidia in the ongoing duck and parry of King of the Hill.  Speaking of King of the Hill, ATi and HIS make zero apologies, tongue in cheek remarks or hold back at all in their claim that the Radeon HD5870 is the single fasted GPU on the planet right now.

Today, we are fortunate enough to have a go with the HIS Radeon HD5870 to see what all the hype is about.  The HD5870 has certainly made a lot of press so far and while most cards of this class remain reference designs, I fully expect HIS to add something extra in to make their product all the more desirable.  With that, let's jump right into the white papers to start us off.

Specifications

  • Graphics Engine: ATi Radeon HD5870 (Cypress)

  • Interface: PCI-Express 2.0

  • Engine Clock: 850MHz

  • Memory Clock: 4.8GHz

  • Stream Processors: 1600

  • Texture Units: 80

  • Texture Fill Rate: 68 GTexel/sec

  • Pixel Fill Rate: 27.2 GPixel/sec

  • Computing Power: 2.72 TFLOPs

  • Memory Type/Size: GDDR5/1GB

  • Memory Interface: 256-bit

  • Max Resolution: 2560x1600 in up to three displays

  • VGA Output: Yes with adapter

  • DVI: Two ports

  • Display port

  • HDMI: Yes

  • CrossfireX support

  • OpenGL 3.1 support

  • ATi Avivo HD video and display Technology

  • ATi PowerPlay Technology

  • Maximum Power Draw: 188 watts

  • Idle Power Draw: 27 watts

Before we start looking at the HIS Radeon HD5970 we have in hand, a few explanations are called for.  First of these is what exactly is ATi's Eyefinity Technology?  Eyefinity is the expanding of your viewing area over up to three displays to provide a wrap around experience.  Talk about immersing yourself in a game; I can picture three monitors in a half hexagon setup that would give game play an entirely new meaning.  Taking this technology on to productivity or entertainment applications offers every bit the same tantalizing feeling.

The second big technology development with the HD5800 series is ATi's Stream Technology.  Stream Technology enables the ATi GPU on the HD5800 card to work in conjunction with the CPU.  This tandem balance of computing power is able to accelerate applications other than just graphics.  The result is a more balanced machine that raises the bar in efficiency and computing power.

The final big advance offered by the HD5800 is the card offering full DirectX 11 support for use with Windows 7.  While NVidia is still tweaking with DirectX 10.1; ATi has flat jumped over them to the next level.  As more and more titles become available this holiday season, the HD5800 will become even more desirable in its blending of DirectX 11 and ATi's Eyefinity for some unforgettable gaming.  The mantra of "The game has changed" could not be closer to the truth.

What you get

Looking back to our HIS HD5870 we find that everything is packaged in an entirely new box.  We typically don't focus or look at packaging much here but the 'tall' box being so radically different from the standard rectangular shaped package tells me that HIS and ATi are really looking to make the point that THIS is something entirely different.  Opening things up we found one big card, the HIS HD5870, a Driver and Utility CD, CrossfireX bridge, Manual, Case Badge, a DVI to VGA adapter, two Molex to 6-pin PCI-E power adapters, the HIS 7 in 1 Tool (which is really cool) and a coupon for the full version of Dirt 2.  Dirt 2 has an anticipated release date of mid-December and may be one of the first big DirectX 11 gaming hits of the year.  As far as bundles go, lots of demos are a waste of space in my book.  Now throwing in a full version of a cutting edge DirectX 11 game really makes a card purchase very attractive.


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