Product: Sapphire Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 2GB
Company: Sapphire
Authour: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: April 18th, 2010
Summary & Conclusions

Terry "CatalystMaker" Makedon, Manager for Catalyst Product team tells Rage3D that no special changes or additions have been made to the driver team or resources. You couldn't tell that from the recent pace of driver updates, fixes and general improvements. Performance gains across the board and excellent CrossfireX scaling show why AMD have now surpassed more than 6 million HD 5000 series products shipped. That's a lot of efficient, power saving, great performing cards out there, with little competition. Ultra Enthusiasts looking for the best in gaming and home entertainment will be looking long and hard at the Sapphire Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity6 2GB Edition. CrossFire is scaling ridiculously well in some cases, and in some of our results its obvious in-game elements are changing the experience considerably. But in general, there are indications that CrossFire shouldn't be thought of as the poor man's multi-GPU - it's a monster in it's own right.

Using the reference design and configuration, it is a strong product that enthusiasts and ultra enthusiasts should consider. The sheer flexibility of the six display output is immense, and a worthy consideration even if you don't plan on using all six outputs. The extra VRAM will help in higher quality modes, and higher resolutions, too. Despite AMD's stated lack of intention to bring forced AA, AF and Vsync to all titles, it's worth noting that the circumstances that this is required are few and far between. Certainly it would seem a better use of AMD's developer resources to reach out to game developers and offer assistance in getting native deferred render MSAA support included from the get-go, and perhaps some AMD hardware specific optimizations, too - certainly use of the Eyefinity Developer SDK is a must for all new titles.

It's also fair to say that the Ultra Enthusiasts who pay out for these cards and associated equipment would be happy to accept an EULA of non-support for forced modes, given the option. Perhaps a separate CCC module download/add-in, along the lines of the existing AMD Overdrive application, that offers not only forced AA/AF/Vsync for all levels of AA, but voltage control, clock speed control, and custom profiles - actual user profiles for specific executables - per game, too. AMD's Sweet spot execution has left little room for criticism, but what little chinks in AMD's armour exist are being hammered hard.

Sapphire HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 2GB
Sapphire HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 2GB

Rage3D awards Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 2GB 4 1/2 stars! The price is high, $20 USD above AMD's recommended price point but so is the potential and performance. AMD's driver weak spots are down to the level of nit-picking in some cases, and certainly not something that can be held against the Sapphire card specifically. How good is the Sapphire HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 edition? So good I think you should buy two. 

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