Graphics Cards Guide

Takes Two to Tango - ATI Radeon HD 5770 in CrossFire Action

Introduction & Setup

Fruitful Partnership

The good thing about graphics cards of today, apart from being faster of course, is the scalability they offer. ATI has CrossFireX, while NVIDIA has SLI. These technologies allow you to increase your graphics processing oomph by simply purchasing another companion card. Sure, the technology is not perfect (think driver issues and card compatibility), but it's better than being stuck with a single card or forking out much more for an all new solution, right?

With that in mind, we turn our attention back to the ATI Radeon HD 5770. In our review of ATI's latest offering, we concluded that it is essentially an updated Radeon HD 4870 (or close to it) with better power and thermal efficiency, support for DirectX 11, and Eyefinity. Today, we are going to see how two of them in CrossFireX will perform.

Before we head on to the benchmarks, here's a quick look at our test setup.

Test Setup

The tests will be conducted on our Windows Vista, Intel X38 based system:

  • Windows Vista SP1 Test System:
  • Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 (3.00GHz)
  • Gigabyte X38T-DQ6 motherboard
  • 2 x 1GB DDR3-1333 Aeneon memory in dual channel mode
  • Seagate 7200.10 200GB SATA hard drive
  • Windows Vista Ultimate with SP1

Considering that a Radeon HD 5770 is just about as quick as a Radeon HD 4870, we expect two HD 5770 cards in CrossFire to perform as well as a Radeon HD 4870 X2 and HD 5870. We have also plugged in results from our Radeon HD 5870 review, as well as all of NVIDIA's high-end GT200 class cards.

Here's the complete list of cards tested and the driver versions used:

  • ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 in CrossFire (Beta 8.66 RC9)
  • ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB GDDR5 (Catalyst 9.8)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB GDDR5 (Beta 8.66)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 (Beta 8.66 RC9)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 1792MB GDDR3 (ForceWare 190.62)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 1GB GDDR3 (ForceWare 190.62)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 275 896MB GDDR3 (ForceWare 190.62)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260+ 896MB GDDr3 (ForceWare 190.62)

And the cards were tested using the following benchmarks:

  • Futuremark 3DMark06
  • Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
  • Crysis Warhead
  • Far Cry 2
  • Dawn of War 2