AMD's Radeon HD 5870: Bringing About the Next Generation Of GPUsby Ryan Smith on September 23, 2009 9:00 AM EST
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The First DirectX 11 Games
With any launch of a new DirectX generation of hardware, software availability becomes a concern. As the hardware needs to come before the software so that developers can tailor their games’ performance, it’s just not possible to immediately launch with games ready to go. For the launch of DirectX 11 and the 5800 series, AMD gave us a list of what games to expect and when.
First out of the gate is Battleforge, EA’s card-based online-only RTS. We had initially been told that it would miss the 5870 launch, but in fact EA and AMD managed to get it in under the wire and deliver it a day early. This gives AMD the legitimate claim of having a DX11 title out there that only their new hardware can fully exploit, and from a press perspective it’s nice to have something out there we can test besides tech demos. Unfortunately we wrapped up our testing 2 days early in order to attend IDF, which means we have not yet had a chance to benchmark this title’s DX11 mode or look at it in-depth.
We did have a chance to see the title in action quickly at AMD’s press event 2 weeks ago, where AMD was using it to show off High Definition Ambient Occlusion. As far as we can tell, HDAO is the only DX11 wonder-feature that it current implements, which makes sense given that it should be the easiest to patch in.
The next big title in AMD’s stack of DX11 games is STALKER: Call of Pripyat. This game went gold in Russia earlier this week, with the English version some time behind it. Unfortunately we don’t know what DX11 features it will be using, but as STALKER games have historically been hard on computers, it should prove to be an interesting test case for DX11 performance.
DIRT 2 is a title that got a great deal of promotion at AMD’s press event. AMD has been using it to show off their 6-way Eyefinity configuration, and we had a chance to play it quickly in their testing labs when looking at Eyefinity. This should be a fuller-featured DX11 game, utilizing tessellation, better shadow filtering, and other DX11 features. Certainly it’s the closest thing AMD’s going to have for a showcase title this year for the DX11 features of their hardware, and the console version has been scoring well in reviews. The PC version is due December 11th.
Finally, AMD had Rebellion Games in house to show off an early version of Aliens vs. Predator. This was certainly the most impressive title shown, with Rebellion showing off tessellation and HDAO in real time. Unfortunately screenshots don’t really do the game justice here; the difference from using DX11 is far more noticeable in motion. At any rate, this game is the farthest out – it won’t ship until Q1 of next year at the earliest.