Final Thoughts and Conclusions
The ATI Radeon HD 5970 is a monster no matter how you look at it. The Radeon HD 5970 card is the fastest single x16 PCI Express graphics card in the market today. It clearly dominated the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 in all of our benchmarks and that says a ton as the GeForce GTX 295 was the fastest card in the world for quite a long time. The only cards that would compete with the ATI Radeon HD 5970 when it comes to performance would be a pair of Radeon HD 5850 or Radeon HD 5870 cards running in CrossFire mode since they have higher clock frequencies. The Radeon HD 5970 costs the same as a pair of Radeon HD 5850 cards, so which setup to go with is purely up to you and your needs. The Radeon HD 5970 takes up half the space and only has two power connectors on it, so it seems like the easy choice between the two graphics solutions.
Speaking of space, the Radeon HD 5970 is very long. At 12.125" in length this card isn't going to fit in all the cases on the market today. If you happen to be running a mid-tower it is highly likely that you'll need to get a full tower for this sucker to fit. We tried to fit this card in a number of cases and found that it had conflicts with the hard drive cage in more than one PC, so be sure to measure twice before you order one of these bad boys. If you have two PCI slots to spare and a case that will allow the Radeon HD 5970 to fit inside, then you are golden.
The Radeon HD 5970 fully supports DX11 and ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology, which are two features that NVIDIA can't offer on any of their graphics cards. Those are two key features that have been driving video card sales for months and with more and more DirectX 11 title games coming out, it would be safe to assume that more gamers will be making the move to AMD-based graphics cards.
The ATI Radeon HD 5970 is also very overclockable. This is partly due to the Overvolt tool as you can get even more performance out of this card. The Radeon HD 5970 graphics card is in a league of its own and is clearly king of the hill. O Fermi, Fermi, wherefore art thou Fermi? NVIDIA better hope that their GT300 Fermi series of video cards pack a mean punch because they are going to need all the help they can get!
At $599 the ATI Radeon HD 5970 will be more expensive than what most consumers will want to spend, but all flagship graphics cards are like that. The market has plenty of people that can afford these cards today and with the tight supply of 40nm GPUs on the market today, we have a feeling that this card will be rather elusive at first, but AMD told us that TSMC is getting better yields these days and that more cards will be shipping in time for the holidays. That is great news as it is pretty tough to find Radeon HD 5870 or 5850 card these days.
Legit Bottom Line: The Radeon HD 5970 graphics card is a monster and is the fastest single graphics card in the world!
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