2GB vs. 1GB: Does it Matter?

AMD equipped the Eyefinity Edition cards with 2GB of GDDR5 to deal with the increased memory requirements that come with pushing 2x the pixels of a standard 5870. But does the added memory improve performance in single-monitor scenarios?

We ran through our standard GPU test suite (the same suite from the GTX 480 review) with our Eyefinity 6 Edition card and found that there's no performance advantage to having a 2GB frame buffer at 2560 x 1600 or below.

Performance did improve in our Crysis Warhead benchmark, but only in minimum frame rate.  There we saw a 40% improvement in minimum frame rates at 2560 x 1600, but not often enough to really increase the average. The rest of our benchmarks don't produce repeatable enough minimum frame rates for us to draw any meaningful conclusions.

For single monitor users, I'm not sure that the 2GB frame buffer is worth it for today's games.

Crysis Warhead

Crysis Warhead - Minimum Frame Rate

BattleForge DX10

BattleForge DX11

HAWX

Left 4 Dead

Battlefield Bad Company 2 - Chase Bench

Battlefield Bad Company 2 - Waterfall Bench

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

DiRT 2

Mass Effect 2

Wolfenstein

More Games & Productivity Triple Display Performance
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  • Paulman - Thursday, April 01, 2010 - link

    I agree that they should release a higher clocked (binned) version of the HD 5870, if only to steal NVIDIA's thunder. They wouldn't need mass availability. Even just a few hundred, or ideally 10,000+ units would be enough to dethrone NVIDIA from being able to claim "the fastest single-GPU card". And I think such claims form the bulk of what NVIDIA has to work with right now.

    A 512-bit version would require a redesign of the chip, though, which would require a lot of manpower including design verification, etc. I don't think it would be worth it for ATI/AMD. Again, releasing a higher-clocked part - now that would be super easy and super effective.
    Reply
  • Calin - Thursday, April 01, 2010 - link

    A redesigned 512-bit memory interface card wouldn't come much earlier (if at all) than the next generation. Also, it would use a lot of design/test/silicon resources and time (financially, manpower, ...) for what would be some couple thousands cards sold (when AMD can not produce enough graphic chips as it is).
    Keep up availability and low price instead of the absolute top. NVidia will be in the "enviable" position of having the top performance card which nobody can find, and nothing else in performance and mainstream segments.
    Reply
  • Hargak - Monday, April 05, 2010 - link

    I would think they already have a working dual gpu that will beat it, yet stay close to the single cards output. Reply
  • Griswold - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    I think 3 displays or better yet, 5 displays with the middle one in pivot mode, to counter any crosshair issues, is they route go. Should be possible, no? Reply
  • bigboxes - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    No one says you have to add monitors in pairs. This card just has the connection for UP TO 6 monitors. So hook up five and then configure eyeinfinity. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    3 is currently possible, however 5 isn't supported by the drivers yet. AMD is apparently working on it though.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Quidam67 - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    Devils advocate, but it seems to me that you actually need 9 displays to deal with the crosshair issue.

    And wouldn't that also allow you to maintain aspect ratio?

    Imagine the fun Anand could have putting 9 monitors together :O)

    Reply
  • Granseth - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    why not buy 3 cheap projectors and set them up with eyefinity.
    No Bezels, high resolution and a large screen.

    I would very much like to see somebody doing this and giving feedback about how this solution would work. Although the problem would probably be to find a cheap projector with display port.
    Reply
  • AmbroseAthan - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    Though not eyefinity, this could give you an idea of what it is like:

    http://nthusim.com/setup/bhawthorne-triple-circula...
    Reply
  • Makaveli - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    From this review it looks like the 2GB's are needed for a 6 screensetup.... I don't see how that is suppose to be a counter to the GTX 480.

    Graphic card prices aren't going down as quickly as people would have liked based on its review, just wait for the refresh card its coming.
    Reply

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