ATI have been in fine form lately with the release of the 5xxx series of graphics cards. Every card in this family has received huge acclaim from DriverHeaven in the last couple of months - such as the stunning 5870 series. Shortly after this they brought to market two great mainstream cards in the form of the 5750 and 5770 which gave us price and performance similar to the older 4800 series but with additional/enhanced features, lower temperatures and more desirable power requirements.
With those products ATI have a very impressive set of high end and mainstream cards which currently have no direct competition from Nvidia due to their delay in getting DX11 products to market. When you add the frame rate devouring 5970 to the equation, things get even more lopsided in favour of ATI and we recently had a look at the Powercolor version of the card for the product launch. The 5970 broke all of our performance records and by a considerable margin.
Today we will be taking a look at the new HIS and Sapphire 5970's and as they sent us two of the cards apiece we felt it would be a good time to to cover Crossfire X configurations - for those of you rich enough to be able to afford two of these monster graphics cards. We also overclock our watercooled Core i7 processor to 4.1 ghz and the memory to 1800mhz to mirror a real life environment for a potential customer of two of these high end boards - we want CPU limiting at a minimum.
We put all four cards through their paces in a selection of real world gaming tests, including the recently released Left4Dead2 and Modern Warfare 2. In addition to this we will cover GPU computing and high definition playback as well as power drain and system temperatures. We weren't overly impressed with ATI's rather noisy reference cooler in our first review so two of these cards in close proximity could be a potential cause for concern.