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Review: AMD Radeon 6870 Crossfire Benchmarks and Review

Martin is dual graphics card mad this week putting two 6870's through their paces to see just how they compete against todays big hitters

Dead Space 2

Dead Space 2Dead Space 2

When I first started Dead Space 2, I never expected to quite like it, I’d never really played the first, so I didn’t know what to expect, however as of Steams recent Halloween deal I picked them both up, but for the purposes of this review, I opted for Dead Space 2 seeing as it’s newer and current. One thing’s for certain with Dead Space 2, it’s a pretty freaky game, but brilliantly entertaining.

For Dead Space 2, I ran it at 1920x1080, with everything set to high and on, including anti-aliasing, while it looked gruesome and chilling, there were some textures that did slightly annoy me as I felt they were a little too low texture, but it doesn’t take away from the overall art style, which is something straight out of a psychopaths mind.

For recording FPS in this game, I ran through the first 10 minutes when you’re able to take control of the player, it featured a fair bit mind chilling gameplay, with one very bizarre scene with someone slicing their own throat, nevertheless, the game ran very well, I even stopped for a few seconds to watch video playback on a screen within the game, which I thought was some superb voice acting. I do have to note however that I feel the maximum frame rate may have been an anomaly, perhaps a momentary figure, here are the results;

Dead Space 2 - ResultsDead Space 2 - Results

We’ll start with what I consider to be an outlier, the maximum frame rate, it shows a stupidly high figure of 690 frames per second, which to me indicates that it was only a momentary thing, which highlights a flaw at times in recording the maximum and minimum FPS, as a momentary, once ever spike in a minimum frame rate gets counted, despite it not actually affecting overall playability at all. Furthermore, the reason I feel it’s an outlier, as that it’s the only game I tested with that amount of difference between the maximum frame rate and the average frame rate. As you can see from the average frame rate, the game really doesn’t require too much power to run at all and you’d quite easily be able to up the resolution a fair amount, probably to eyefinity resolutions such as 5760x1080 without seeing any real drop in how one perceives the playability. Unfortunately, the maximum FPS kind of dwarves the minimum FPS, but if you look at the figure, at 75 minimum FPS the game didn’t run below 60 FPS at all, the entire time, overall it was very smooth and a 6870 Crossfire is serious overkill for it.

 

Lost Planet 2Lost Planet 2

In contrast to the last game I tested, I’m now using a game that I don’t feel is quite as optimized. I loved the original Lost Planet, having played it back on the Xbox 360, however Lost Planet 2, for me, didn’t have the same pull, alas it’s still a fairly good game, with solid gameplay.

For Lost Planet 2, I ran the game with everything set to high and using 8x MSAA, I was expecting much worse results that I managed, so perhaps it’s a little harsh in my opening line. To record the FPS, I ran through the first 10 minute when you’re able to control the player, I felt that the opening gave a fair view on gameplay and how it would run due to the giant akrid that you’re left to deal with on the opening snow levels and then with the change of scenery to the jungle which was fairly narrow and action packed, lots of akrid to fire at.

While Lost Planet 2 certainly doesn’t look bad and it had the same art style as the original, I felt that some sections were a little lacklustre graphically, more so in the start, but it did gradually improve in the jungle. Anyway, onto the results, here are the frame rates that I recorded during my play through;

Lost Planet 2 - ResultsLost Planet 2 - Results

Lost Planet 2 was the first game I’d used in this review that showed frame rate figures below 20 for the minimum frame rate in games, even getting less than extreme in the heaven benchmark which was just under 20. I can’t help but think that this may have been down to a loading screen, however again it reiterates the point I made earlier, that sometimes recording minimum and maximum frame rates can be a little deceiving, as the average FPS denotes that gameplay through was above 70 frames, getting highs at a 120 frames per second. I felt that this game could improve from drivers, as it was, in my opinion the worst running of the lot, regardless of the figures, as it just didn’t have the same feel to it, that’s not to say that it ran bad, it just seemed to “stutter”, this could be down to Crossfire and I’d have to check the game on a single GPU set up before I could pass verdict.