By now it will be clear that AMD's new graphics chip, the Radeon HD 5870, has had a very succesful introduction. In our 22 page review on Hardware.Info we describe extensively what new features the card brings to the table, including being the first to support the new DirecX 11 API. Of course we presented a huge amount of benchmarks, comparing the new product to previous generations.
As one of the first sites Hardware.Info had performance numbers on a CrossFireX setup, having two HD 5870 cards working together to produce quite spectacular results. Compared to a single HD 5870 we saw a significant increase in performance; however we also noted a lack of difference in performance at varying resolutions: the card clearly i slimietd by the "lowly" 3.2 GHz Core i7 965 that forms the basis of our regular testing platform.
Earlier today a third AMD HD 5870 arrived in our testing lab, one by formerly exclusively nVidia oriented XFX. Of course we will discuss this card in detail later, but the thing we wanted to try right away was of course a Triple CrossFireX setup. Initially the driver appeared not to support this, but by way of a trick we managed to get the monstrous setup, pictured below, to work.
Anyone going for this type of machine will do well to invest heavily in a really good power supply unit (the upside being a heartfelt thank you note from the energy company): this configuration draws no less than 462 Watts. Of course we ran some benchmarks, which you can find on the specs tab of the product page. The 3DMark Vantage score shows this setup has a potential to scale very well indeed:
Also in evidence is how badly this configuration is limited by the CPU speed: only at higher resolutions and higher CPU speeds we will get a clear image of the difference with an "ordinary" CrossFireX setup of two HD 5870 cards. You can count on Hardware.Info producing extensive tests to detail the performance differences for those who wish a truly exotic graphics setup, delivering the results in a review at a later date. However we did not want to keep the data we have at this time from you with our current platform, so here it is - remember, you can compare more performance numbers easily through this comparison table.