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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  • cactusdog - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    Ok it might not be ideal for gaming right now but i could see ATI selling heaps of these cards for commercial purposes. Should be good for security people , finance sector, research and education, advertising dispalys etc the list goes on.

    OMG i just had a thought of connecting 6 HD TV's, you could make your own billboard lol.

    Reply
  • eduardoandradeiturribarria - Monday, May 03, 2010 - link

    I have 4 hdtv's to watch football games. Of course Monday nights or the Super Bowl would be may main objective. Do you think it can be done through eyefinity? Reply
  • nuudles - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    Hi Anand,

    I suppose it is not possible, but would it be possible to crossfire a normal 5870 and a 5870 E6?

    If AMD can enable that then I think they will sell quite a lot more: people who bought a single 5870 + use eyefinity might want an even more immersive experience, and if they could add a 5870 E6 + x-fire it with their normal 5870 they might be a lot more tempted to buy one, even if they lose 1 or 2 frames (due to 1GB+2GB vs 2x2GB, the driver would probably need to treat both cards as 1GB models) in comparison with 2 5870 E6's x-fired (still a lot more performance than a single 5870 E6)?

    Thanks!

    Kind regards,
    Morne
    Reply
  • GiantPandaMan - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    Just wondering if you guys have tried putting 3 projectors in portrait mode and seeing how that worked. Figured 3 1280x720 projectors would make a pretty sweet wall of gaming...then use the other 3 display ports for your actual desktop monitors. Anything in the works for that? Would be a fun little project to put in Anand's theater room. :) Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    This is unbelievably tempting however I foresee two hurdles:

    1) Wall space. My theater has a 2.35:1 screen, I'd need something much wider (or end up with a really skinny display) for a 3x1 projector setup. I don't think I even have a room that has enough uninterrupted wall space for this to work well at a good size. Perhaps I'm thinking too big though. I could just stitch together three 80" screens or something like that.

    2) Inputs. Most 16x9 projectors don't use DisplayPort, although a quick Google search reveals a few options.

    I'll give it some more thought :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • GiantPandaMan - Monday, April 05, 2010 - link

    How about 3 projectors, 3 screens stitched together, and just hang them from the ceiling so you can create a curved screen? That's the beauty of using 3 projectors anyway. Figure a 5970 could drive a 2160x1280 curved screen perfectly. Reply
  • Patrick Wolf - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    This is just craziness. Dunno how someone couldn't just be happy with a single big 1080p TV. Ok, you can see the pixels, so what?; You can also the entire image. I'd like to see a video showing a nice (60"?) set up right next to this E6 display showing the same game or video and do a poll: "Which would you choose?" Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    To show the difference between 1080p and 5760x2160 in a video you'd need a greater than 1080p video and display to keep it from just being down sampled away. Reply
  • Calin - Thursday, April 01, 2010 - link

    This isn't for video - it's for things like - let's say - playing a war plane simulator and seeing actual planes in the distance, not a black dot, or for seeing at decent quality text from several large sources (like seeing several of the very large Excel spreadsheets some of the financial people use). FPS gaming still has issues, I'd say using 3 old, 1600x1200 displays in portrait mode would be best for FPS (a 2.25 aspect ratio). Even with 5 very wide monitors in portrait, you'd end up with almost 3:1 view ratio (which might be good or bad) Reply
  • Roland00 - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    Does the extra memory make a difference in crossfire benches? I am curious for each frame buffer has to keep track of what the other frame buffer is doing, thus having a larger frame buffer would make sense. Is there any chance we can see these results? Reply

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