The pros and cons of my new HD5870 Vapor-X - please have a read

Discussion in 'Videocards - AMD Radeon' started by Darren Hodgson, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. Sever

    Sever Ancient Guru

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    ive had four 5000 series cards, no issues whatsoever.

    @Darren - dont know if youve heard this before, but with dirt2, it generally runs like crap with vsync off from my experience. when i ran the bench, i hit 115fps, but it looked like it was stuttering at like 40fps. with vsync on, its incredibly smooth.
     
  2. Black_ice_Spain

    Black_ice_Spain Ancient Guru

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    apart that IMO nowadays with a single monitor upgrade a 280GTX its not needed.

    i agree with above's 3.36ghz seems a bit low for the 5870

    Take care that some games nvidia its over ati, and others is the other way. Maybe the ones you tried are pro-nvidia? :/
     
  3. GabrielSans

    GabrielSans Banned

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    4x + Edge Detect, Darren, it is all what you need!
     
  4. Reciprocity

    Reciprocity Member Guru

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    @Darren:

    I found myself in the same exact boat as you, and ended up myself biting the bullet and getting an ASUS 5870 in light of the personal letdown that the GTX 470/480 were. It was a huge adjustment, I've never owned an ATI card personally so I immediately began noticing little things that didn't quite work that I always took for granted over the years with Nvidia cards. I also experienced the same rather underwhelming feeling (admittedly, my expectations were pretty high) after initial testing, myself also having upgraded directly from a GTX 280. But still, I paid about as much for the 5870 as I did initially for the GTX 280 when I first got it, so the performance gains were enough that I didn't feel like I had wasted my money. Still though, I winded up getting a 2nd 5870 (HIS, flashed to ASUS bios to get passed the 900 MHz core clock ceiling) to give myself some future proofing.

    I was expecting the 470/480 to be truly mind blowing, and though they are undoubtedly good cards they didn't blow my skirt up as I was hoping.

    Overall, I'm pleased with how the cards perform, but man...you can't deny that the drivers can be a pain in the ass - the first week, I must have gone back and forth trying to find the sweet spot at least 10 times or so, trying different revisions, playing with settings, etc. I even went so far as to do a fresh install of Win7 just to be safe (and this did actually improve a few issues that I was having previously). My biggest headache remains with Battlefield BC2, I'm still waiting for a fully functional driver that doesn't require me to screw with Vsync/HBAO every time I load a new game. And then there's the random and inappropriate downclocking in certain games while actively playing...just weird stuff that I never experienced with Nvidia. Not showstoppers by any means, just annoying.

    At heart, I'm still an Nvidia user, but ATI won the performance game this round in my opinion so they got my money. If Nvidia destroys ATI in the next round, I'll probably go back in a heartbeat but until then overall I'm happy and will probably stick with these cards for the next couple of years - I just wish the transition would have been smoother.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010

  5. The Postman

    The Postman Ancient Guru

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    Downclocking happens when core or vrms are overheating. Why do you "screw' with Vsync/HBAO in BC2? Maybe we can help you friend.

    I went through the same process of switching drivers when I got a 4870x2 for my main rig. I had a pair of 8800gt but I was so upset of checking for beta drivers every week that would make one game work and broke another, the heat from the cards, the noise, etc. I switched to ATI, their cards are far from perfect but it fits my needs and they OC like mad :nerd:
     
  6. Reciprocity

    Reciprocity Member Guru

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    1. Turning Vsync & HBAO off and then back to on when first starting a match in BC2 is the only way I've been able to fix the flickering textures issue on the newest 10.3 OGL 4.0 Cat drivers. I've tried everything else under the sun, this is all that works for me. It's just an annoyance at the end of the day, and I will be happy when I can just start playing without having to think about it ;)
    2. The downclocking only happens in older games frankly, it's very intermittent and most prevalently happens when playing Oblivion (which I honestly haven't played in a little while, BC2 is completely raping my free time lately...this may be fixed with the newer drivers). And it happens at stock clock speeds too.

    Other gripes are just the 'little' things, sometimes animations in Windows aren't terribly smooth (someone actually mentioned this in another thread), older drivers (10.2) wouldn't retain my custom-defined fan curve in MSI or wouldn't throttle the fan correctly, custom overclocks wouldn't be retained Windows startup and I'd have to just hit 'apply' to set them back, etc...and having to ditch nHancer was a bummer. But these were learning curve issues in the beginning mostly due to unfamiliarity with ATI related software. Things are running pretty smoothly as of the latest drivers in all honesty.

    I should also note that I am _very_ picky and sensitive to little changes during gaming or overall operation of my PC from one configuration to the next (whether that be a driver or hardware change). I am one of those people who unfortunately notice the slightest little hiccups or things that most people wouldn't give crap about - e.g. the *first* thing that I noticed after freshly installing the 5870 was the BIOS startup font text wasn't smoothed, but rather very pixelated, and the Windows 7 startup screen 'jumped' slightly just before logging on. Not even remotely worth complaining about, but it stuck out at me and continues to be a slight irritation - I just don't pay attention to it at this point :) A while back I also had to move back to my 24" monitor from a 46" HDTV because I couldn't stand the input lag, which pained me to do because it was a totally different experience to game on that size screen, but I just couldn't deal with the 30ms mouse lag.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
  7. Darren Hodgson

    Darren Hodgson Ancient Guru

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    After a few days of use and playing games I'm starting to appreciate the HD5870. Most games seem to run fine but there are some issues I've come across.

    1. Vin Diesel's Wheelman, granted it is not a very good game, displays graphical corruption in the form of grey flickering patterns during gameplay with both the 10.3b and OpenGL 4.0 preview drivers. That game doesn't crash but the corruption pretty much renders it unplayable.

    Nice to see that forced AA works with this game though (it's UE3 based). Forced AA also works in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Mass Effect 2 and Unreal Tournament III too, all also UE3 based games.

    If anyone with an HD5870 has this game would care to test it and report back I'd appreciate it as it's pretty much the only game with this issue which I initially thought was a sign of my graphics card overheating (the temperatures at the time though were about 55 C).

    2. Anti-aliasing cannot be forced through the Catalyst Control Centre for either BioShock or BioShock 2 in DX10 mode which is a huge disappointment after playing them on the GTX 280. AA works but only in DX9 mode.

    3. The Movies works fine but the HD5870 keeps lowering and raising the clock speeds between three settings during play leading to jerky scrolling. Considering this game has an ATI logo during bootup it was surprising that the card wasn't working 100% (OK so the game is fairly old admittedly).

    4. Far Cry 2 with 8xAA still feels juddery on Ultra High settings at 1920x1200 despite the framerate showing as 60 fps with v-sync on. It was exactly the same on the GTX 280 so it's clearly a game engine issue not a driver one. It should feel a lot smoother than this; Modern Warfare 2 for example runs at 60 fps and feels ten times smoother than this game.

    5. An odd issue this one and not repeatable but some games seem to have either long initial loading times, like Far Cry (64-bit) or start up with a black screen forcing me to alt-tab to the desktop and back. It doesn't happen for every game and overall it's rare but it's something I never came across with my GTX 280. I'm not sure whether it's a driver issue or something to do with having played them games on the GTX 280 and the game getting a bit confused over the settings until it has loaded once. What makes me think it is the latter is that it generally only happens the first time I load the game.

    6. Not the fault of the ATI card, true, but I was a bit miffed that Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen still has the disgusting gamma bug on the HD5870 with makes the entire game look washed out. I was hoping it had been miraculously fixed on the ATI cards because how else can you explain why the developers never picked up on such an obvious bug?!?!?

    On the more positive side, I noticed the following games all felt noticeably smoother on the HD5870 than they ever did on my GTX 280:

    1. Fallout 3 - For some reason, NVIDIA messed up the drivers for this game which resulted in stuttery performance so I was pleased to see it runs silky-smooth on the HD5870. The pause when using V.A.T.S. with 8xAA seems to have gone too. Very happy with that.

    2. Need for Speed SHIFT - After the reported issues with this game and ATI cards, it was nice to see the pre-race pan around running without noticeable judder and in-game it is silky smooth with less flickery shadows than on the GTX 280.

    3. Assassins' Creed II - Now I can plays this game maxed out with 8xAA at 1920x1200 and it feels much smoother than it did on the GTX 280, although that is done to using a more powerful card rather than the drivers themselves. Still nice though.

    Overall I'm happy with the HD5870 and the drivers seem fine for more new games but I really wish ATI would add game profiles so we can force AA for UE3-based games without having to do it globally or use third-party software. The only game I can across with major issues was Wheelman but even that's an odd one because other UE3-based games run fine on the HD5870.
     
  8. Decane

    Decane Ancient Guru

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    I have (had) the exact same issue with my HD4870; the first time the game loads it takes AGES and the graphical settings don't seem to stick very easily, especially AA. I had AA set to 8x initially, but upon re-starting the game, it said I had it set to 2x. :3eyes: However, after a few times of re-setting the AA to 8x, it is now being applied correctly so I've left the video settings alone for now to avoid having the game "forget" my settings.
     

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