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Kicking things off as always is Crysis: Warhead, still the toughest game in our benchmark suite. Even 2 years since the release of the original Crysis, “but can it run Crysis?” is still an important question, and the answer continues to be “no.” One of these years we’ll actually be able to run it with full Enthusiast settings…

For reasons we’ve yet to determine, Crysis continues to do a very good job serving as an overall barometer for video card performance. Much of what we see here will show up later, including the order that cards fall in.

As we’ve been expecting, the 6800 series cannot keep up with the 5800 series – Barts is still a “rebalanced” Cypress after all. The performance gap isn’t too severe, and it certainly couldn’t justify 5870 prices at today’s prices, but the 6870 and 6850 definitely aren’t perfect replacements for their 5800 series counterparts.

Focusing on 1920x1200, we have a 3-way race between the GTX 470, EVGA GTX 460, and the 6870. The 6870 comes out ahead, with the EVGA and then the GTX 470 bringing up the pack at under a frame behind. Meanwhile near the 6850 is the GTX 460 1GB, and it’s 2fps behind; while even farther down the line is the GTX 460 768MB, which officially is only $10 cheaper than the 6850 and yet it’s well behind the pack. As we’ll see, the 6850 will quickly assert itself as the GTX 460 1GB’s peer when it comes to performance.

Meanwhile taking a quick look at Crossfire performance we see an interesting trend: the 6800 series cards are much closer to their 5800 series counterparts than they are in single card mode. Here the 6850CF even manages to top the 5850CF, an act that nearly defies logic. This is something we’ll have to keep an eye on in later results.

Moving on to our minimums, the picture changes slightly in NVIDIA’s favor. The 6870 drops to the bottom of its pack, while the 6850’s lead narrows versus both GTX 460 cards. Meanwhile in CF mode now both 6800 series cards top their 5800 series counterparts. Crysis’ minimum framerate has always been a bit brutal to AMD cards due to how AMD’s drivers manage their memory, a problem compounded by Crossfire mode. Perhaps something has changed?

NVIDIA’s 6870 Competitor & The Test BattleForge
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  • Targon - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Since the 6870 can not beat the 5870, shouldn't AMD leave the 5870 on the market until they have a true replacement ready? Price vs. Performance is one thing, but dropping their high end parts and replacing them with mid-range cards($200ish) just doesn't have the "Wow!" factor that helps drive sales across the price ranges. Reply
  • Jansen - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    That would be the 6900 series next month:
    http://www.dailytech.com/Radeon+6800+Series+Launch...
    Reply
  • Kyanzes - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    Just to be on the safe side I'd like to see minimum FPS results. Although there's very little doubt in my mind that it underperforms. Reply
  • animekenji - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    It doesn't underperform. HD6970 replaces HD5870. HD6870 will be replacing HD5770, which it vastly outperforms. What about the new numbering scheme don't you get? Reply
  • Onyx2291 - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    If I had a job and the money, one of these would be on it's way to my house right now. Reply
  • Doctor_Possum - Thursday, November 11, 2010 - link

    One of these is on it's way to my house right now. Can't wait. Reply
  • Onyx2291 - Thursday, December 22, 2011 - link

    Over a year later, and one is now on it's way to my house right now :D Reply
  • Rasterman - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Ok nVidia, ATI, Intel, enough with the shitty naming of your devices, a 5870 beats a 6870? Really? I mean come on! Really? Create a committee to agree on a group of benchmarks the result of which is what you get to name your card. Score 100, you now have the Radeon 100, score 340, you now have a GeForce 340. Reply
  • Fleeb - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    Though I must agree with you, AMD gave a reason why they did that (marketing perspective) - they are not going to drop 5770 and 5750 yet but replace 5870 and 5850 with 6970 and 6950. Perhaps everything will go back to normal again in the 7xxx series. Reply
  • bennyg - Saturday, October 23, 2010 - link

    Maybe if it were something like 6810 and 6830 there wouldn't be so many complaints.

    But the wider issue is the quasi-quantitative naming schemes in general, they'll never be a perfectly accurate representation of "performance" (or "value for money" or whatever other metric that every individual buyer interprets it to be)

    There'll never be any standard like that, marketing needs wiggle-room that independently-derived pure numbers do not provide. So they'll never agree to it.
    Reply

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