The Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.1 is based on the Unigine Engine, developed by Unigine themselves. While Unigine Heaven is not exactly a game, it is one of the most demanding DirectX 11 benchmarks around.
The following settings were used:
- anisotropy level at 4,
- extreme tessellation mode,
- shaders at high detail level
The NVIDIA GF100 chipset-based GeForce GTX 480 both the Radeon HD 5870 and Radeon HD 5970 out of the water here. GF100 is tessellator heavy, and hence we see excellent performance in Heaven.
The GeForce GTX 580, with its extra SM, ends up a good bit faster than the GeForce GTX 480.
AMD has been working on tessellation performance though; its recently-released Radeon HD 6800 Series of graphics cards are faster than the Radeon HD 5870. We would expect a very large boost in frame rates with AMD’s upcoming flagship.