Cream of the HD 5870 crop?
As usual, all the games below have been set at the highest texture and effect settings, with the same resolution throughout. The Anisotropic Filtering has been set to maximum wherever available, but Anti-Aliasing settings have been switched.
You may notice the odd score in 3dmark Vantage, but that’s because our CPU score came out to be 6624, while the GPU score was a healthy 17010. This is probably due to the lack of Nvidia’s PhysX.
Beyond the standard tests, we have recently started benchmarking StarCraft II, but that’s something that we’re still building on. At 1900×1200 with all settings at Ultra and no AA (ATI drivers don’t force AA in SC II yet), we were getting an average of 44fps as we used FRAPS to monitor a particularly intense fight between Terrans and Zergs during a multiplayer match replay.
When it came to overclocking, the Matrix 5870 Platinum left us disappointed. In any case, our review piece could hardly run over 900MHz Core clock and 1220MHz Memory speeds (as opposed to 894MHz and 1200MHz factory speeds). Even with a lot voltage tweaking, thanks to the simple UI of iTracker, our Matrix 5870 Platinum would fail immediately after launching 3dmark Vantage. Other games, such as StarCraft II wouldn’t even get past the initial loading screen. The ASUS Matrix 5870 sure has some decent overclocking potential; sadly our review unit wasn’t up to par. The fan noise is what you would expect from such a high-end card, subdued during normal operations, and noticeably loud during very heavy load. Nothing unbearable mind you.
All said and done, the ASUS Matrix 5870 Platinum is one of the better cards in the HD 5870 crowd, with nice power management and better than average performance. The activity light is a nice touch and the iTracker2 utility is one of the more easier to use overclocking software out there. These additions also mean a higher than average price point, which is only justifiable if you think you will be making use of these extra features. Brand loyalty also comes into play, but at a premium.