Sapphire HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition Video Card Review :: Features

04-25-2010 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Benjamin Sun
  • 2.15 billion 40nm transistors
  • TeraScale 2 Unified Processing Architecture
  • 1600 Stream Processing Units
  • 80 Texture Units
  • 128 Z/Stencil ROP Units
  • 32 Color ROP Units
  • GDDR5 memory interface with 153.6 GB/sec of memory bandwidth
  • PCI Express 2.1 x16 bus interface
  • DirectX® 11 support
  • Shader Model 5.0
  • DirectCompute 11
  • Programmable hardware tessellation unit
  • Accelerated multi-threading
  • HDR texture compression
  • Order-independent transparency
  • OpenGL 3.2 support
  • Image quality enhancement technology
  • Up to 24x multi-sample and super-sample anti-aliasing modes
  • Adaptive anti-aliasing
  • 16x angle independent anisotropic texture filtering
  • 128-bit floating point HDR rendering
  • ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology
  • Three independent display controllers
  • Drive up to three displays simultaneously with independent resolutions, refresh rates, color controls, and video overlays
  • Display grouping
  • Combine multiple displays to behave like a single large display
  • ATI Stream acceleration technology
  • OpenCL™ 1.0 support
  • DirectCompute 11 support
  • Double precision floating point processing support
  • Accelerated video encoding, transcoding, and upscaling
  • Native support for common video encoding instructions
  • ATI CrossFireX™ multi-GPU technology
  • Dual, triple, and quad GPU scaling
  • Dual-channel bridge interconnect
  • ATI Avivo HD Video & Display technology
  • UVD 2 dedicated video playback accelerator
  • Advanced post-processing and scaling
  • Dynamic contrast enhancement and color correction
  • Brighter whites processing (blue stretch)
  • Independent video gamma control
  • Dynamic video range control
  • Support for H.264, VC-1, MPEG-2 and Adobe Flash
  • Dual-stream 1080p playback support
  • DXVA 1.0 & 2.0 support
  • Integrated dual-link DVI output with HDCP
  • Max resolution: 2560x1600
  • Integrated DisplayPort output
  • Max resolution: 2560x1600
  • Integrated HDMI 1.3 output with Deep Color, xvYCC wide gamut support, and high bit-rate audio
  • Max resolution: 1920x1200
  • Integrated VGA output
  • Max resolution: 2048x1536
  • 3D stereoscopic display/glasses support
  • Integrated HD audio controller
  • Output protected high bit rate 7.1 channel surround sound over HDMI with no additional cables required
  • Supports AC-3, AAC, Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio formats
  • ATI PowerPlay™ power management technology
  • Dynamic power management with low power idle state
  • Ultra-low power state support for multi-GPU configurations
  • Certified drivers for Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP
  • Engine clock speed: 850 MHz
  • Processing power (single precision): 2.72 TeraFLOPS
  • Processing power (double precision): 544 GigaFLOPS
  • Polygon throughput: 850M polygons/sec
  • Data fetch rate (32-bit): 272 billion fetches/sec
  • Texel fill rate (bilinear filtered): 68 Gigatexels/sec
  • Pixel fill rate: 27.2 Gigapixels/sec
  • Anti-aliased pixel fill rate: 108.8 Gigasamples/sec
  • Memory clock speed: 1.2 GHz
  • Memory data rate: 4.8 Gbps
  • Memory bandwidth: 153.6 GB/sec
  • Maximum board power: 188 Watts
  • Idle power: 27 Watts
Brand Name Sapphire
Model Number HD 5870 2G GDDR5 PCI-E HEXAD MINI DP
Graphics chip HD 5870
Clock Speed 850MHz
Shader Clock 850MHz
SPs 1600
Fabrication process 40nm
Transistors 2.15 Billion
Memory clock 4800MHz
Memory Bus 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth 153.6GB/s
Memory Size 2048MB
ROPs 32
Texture filtering rate 68 Gigatexels/second
HDCP Support Yes
HDMI support Yes with adapter
Connectors 6 DP
RAMDACs 400MHz
Bus PCI Express 2.0
Form Fator Dual Slot
Power connectors 6-pin, 8-pin

The RADEON HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition card is based upon ATI’s Cypress chip which is the largest chip in terms of transistor count in ATI’s history at 2.15 billion transistors. Manufactured on a 40nm fabrication process at TSMC, the HD 5870 has a die size of only 334mm2 which is only 27% bigger than the HD 4890 at 263mm2.


Sapphire HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition Video Card Review Radeon logo

Radeon logo


The HD 5870 has 1600 Stream Processors divided into 320 5D processors each capable of doing a 5D operation in a single clock. This compares favorably with the 800 SPs found on the earlier generation HD 4890, doubling the number of SPs on the card from the previous generation. There are 32 ROPs, 80 Texture units and 128 Z/Stencil ROP units on the HD 5870.

The entire Redwood family supports Microsoft’s DirectX 11 API. This brings Shader Model 5.0, tessellation, DirectCompute, multi-threading and much more to the DirectX feature set. Tessellation allows game developers to use lesser detailed models, subdivide the polygons to get more detail, add a displacement map to add geometry to the figure and output a much more detailed figure in the end.

The main new feature of this card is Eyefinity. Eyefinity is ATI’s trademarked name for their multi-monitor support. Most HD 5 series cards have support for up to three monitors, with two DVI, a Display Port and a HDMI port. The Sapphire HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition card, on the other hand has six Display Ports for monitor hookup. The use of three monitors requires a Display Port to be used on other HD 5 series cards, but the inclusion of six Display Ports allows a wide variety of screen modes to be used.

The Eyefinity 6 card allows up to six displays to be connected to the card via Display Port, HDMI or DVI. Note that the use of adapters is allowed, and in fact the bundle has five display adapters for HDMI and DVI, but the use of more than two display outputs requires Display Ports to be used or native Display Port adapters to be used. The bundle allows the end-user to use two DVI monitors, three HDMI monitors and a DisplayPort monitor for six monitor gaming.

The Eyefinity 6 card with six monitors hooked up has an available resolution of 7680x5200 or 3x 2560 by 2x1600. This configuration allows up to six Dell 30” displays to be used in a really big display. The more realistic use of six monitors for most people is for a 3x2 1920x1080 display. This results in a maximum resolution of 5760x2160, but the higher resolutions are supported by people with the bucks and real estate in their gaming room to have them.