I got the 5870 installed.
First off. It is a pretty big card. There are some screenies out there, and even a video showing just how big it is. Luckily the case I have can more than accommodate it. (The NZXT Hush series...padded for sound proofing as well...sweet case.)
I will let you find out all you need to know from the web about this beast of a card.
Suffice it to say, I have it with one goal in mind...Age of Conan frames.
Now, I got her installed, all excited about what this bad boy can do...then the first thing I notice after loading up, and leaving my settings as they were (Using 2x AA for example)...I had this happen...
Seems the lowest AA settings did not work. Now, of course, the drivers are pre-release, so this could explain the problem.
As well, any benchmarks will be suspect.
But, when I saw this...I got scared. Did I get a bad card? I decided to go ahead and play around and changed to 8x AA though, then all was good.
It seems that as part of ATI's new AA features, they have introduced a feature that Nvidia has had for a while..Super-Sample AA.
Now, lets not get too overloaded on jargon here, but let me say this...Super-Sample basically runs the card to supply AA multiple times to pixels to reduce shiny sparkles on edges when using AA (something Nvidia has to defeat...and believe me, sparkly textures can be just weird). And for those who do not know, AA just attempts to reduce jagged edges on objects in a game. Most normal players and gamers (my wife for example who nodded her head very nicely as I kept saying.."Look at the SMOKE from those chimneys")...well, they just don't get it.
Thats ok...this here stuff is for the geeks (and geekesses...all nice in their glasses and short skirts...WHA!! ...whew day dreaming...sorry).
ATI's goal with the new cards was to offer a "Maxxed" out experience for settings with minimal to no change in Framerates. Quality visual is key here while keeping performance.
So, how did that go? Lets get to the MEAT here.
Ready to see what this bad boy does?
First stop...Danger zone. Who remembers this from yesterday? 15.1 frames per second...OUCH.
Ok...now lets crank everything...all features on...and now what do we get?
26.6 FPS. We added over 11.5 FPS alone (and this is stock, with a few minor adjustments, UPWARDS even...using the super-sample)
So basically I can have ALL my features on (yes, even ones I have been turning off) and get some decent frames in one of the most harsh views in the game. (Still unimpressed that this area has such a low benchmark though)
I am close to the magic 30FPS here at least.
30FPS is really the bare minimum we wish to see in game, as this still allows a modicum of visual quality in movement and animation. Standard TV for example runs at 30FPS (not anymore thanks to HDTV...oh and before the super geeks come here and start quoting exacts...I know it is 27 something...but for arguments sake, we are sticking with the standard of 30 as is mostly quoted to be general.)
Now, I plan to do more testing and will be sharing the next two systems (the Medium and the Low End unit) and their specs along with performance. Then we will get into "tweaking"...but this is a good starting spot for those who are desperate for info.
So...a verdict. How do I feel so far about the ATI 5870? Well, this is kinda how I feel ...
Yes Virginia...that IS 259+ frames per second...