ATI Radeon HD 5770 and HD 5750 review


Introduction

AMD is on a roll. There seems to be no stopping the ATI branded GPU juggernaut. AMD has done something that we don’t recall every happening before and that is launching four new generation GPUs in three weeks time. This is an amazing achievement. With this 5700 series launch, AMD is following only one and a half weeks behind the ATI Radeon HD 5850 and less than three weeks behind the ATI Radeon HD 5870. Today, AMD brings the new Radeon HD 5000 series architecture down to more budget minded price points; filling the gap between $109-$159 USD.

We have seen great success with AMD’s ATI Radeon HD 4770 video card launched this year on April 28th. This little beauty impressed us with its performance and power savings for around $100. We were able to run the latest games at high in-game settings and resolutions, where 1920×1200 was a common playable resolution on the little $100 video card. Well AMD is here to supplant that video card and give us more performance at $10-$20 more, with DX11 support and full ATI Eyefinity support. What’s more, AMD is also providing even more performance with the Radeon HD 5770 pushing into the territory of the Radeon HD 4870 1GB. In fact, it surpasses performance in some games and allows very high resolutions with AA. Let’s dive into the specifications.

ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series

The first thing to know about the ATI Radeon HD 5700 series is that it shares ALL the same features as the ATI Radeon HD 5870 and ATI Radeon HD 5850. The same TeraScale 2 architecture found in the Radeon HD 5800 series is found in the Radeon HD 5700 series. The Radeon HD 5700 series are scaled down versions of the Radeon HD 5870 and Radeon HD 5850, using a new ASIC.

Product Lineup

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You’ve probably been beaten to death with this slide above, but it has been updated to reflect new changes. The “Cypress” video cards were launched on September 23rd; these are the Radeon HD 5870 and Radeon HD 5850. Right below that is the new “Juniper” ASIC which is launching today, known as the Radeon HD 5700 series comprising the new Radeon HD 5750 and Radeon HD 5770. Below that are unannounced “Redwood” and “Cedar” products, and at the very top is “Hemlock” the dual-GPU video card that is also yet unannounced.

DX11

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Sidetracking just a bit, AMD has updated their DX11 slide information here, and we can see that S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat has been updated and will be released in Q4/2009. So that will mark two DX11 games that will be out this year. We are certainly looking forward to these two DX11 titles being released. Right around the corner from them will be Aliens vs. Predator and Lord of the Rings Online both supporting DX11 as well.

5700 Series Architecture

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The new Radeon HD 5700 series support DX11, full ATI Eyefinity Support, ATI Stream, and are very low power usage cards. As you can see above, the architecture remains the same as the Radeon HD 5800 series, only scaled down. One thing right off the bat that may scare you is the 128-bit memory bus. We must emphasize the Radeon HD 4770 also had a 128-bit memory bus, and it performed very well. Also, GDDR5 is in use so that frequency can be ramped up to provide higher memory bandwidth. We will talk a lot more about the 128-bit bus later on in this evaluation.

5700 Series Specs

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The Radeon HD 5770 provides 1.36 TeraFLOPs of performance, which is the highest yet at this price point. MSRP will be set at $159 for this 1GB model. The core clock speed is 850MHz and there are 800 stream processors. Memory runs at 4.8GHz on a 128-bit bus and there is a whopping 1GB/s of it available. This is good news for running at higher resolutions and higher AA settings. The real win here is the power utilization, only 18W at idle and 108W max board power!

The Radeon HD 5750 (and yes that is a funky cooler), provides 1.008 TeraFLOPs of performance for a low $109-$129 price tag. The core clock runs at 700MHz and there are 720 stream processors. Memory runs at 4.6GHz on a 128-bit bus. There will be two models available, one with 512MB of GDDR5 ($109) and another with 1GB of GDDR5 ($129). The model we have for review today is the 1GB version. Again, the power efficiency is what is very exciting here, max board power only 86W and idle wattage at only 16W WOW.

ATI Eyefinity is fully supported on both video cards, that means a max resolution of 3x 2560×1600 all the way down to the $109 Radeon HD 5750. You also get all the connections on both video cards as the Radeon HD 5800 series, including two DVI ports, one HDMI, and one DisplayPort.

Specs Compared

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Here is a specification chart we put together so you can see how these video cards compare. Interestingly, the Radeon HD 5750 and Radeon HD 5770 share the same transistor count. Though the Radeon HD 5750 has a lower core clock than a Radeon HD 4770, it has a higher stream processor count and slightly more texture units, and a massive memory bandwidth upgrade. The Radeon HD 4770 has the same core clock speed, stream processor count, texture units and ROPs as a Radeon HD 4890. In the table you can see it is 100MHz faster on the core clock than a Radeon HD 4870. Where it differs is the memory bandwidth available. The Radeon HD 4870 and HD 4890 simply have a lot more memory bandwidth available. However, you are going to see the HD 5770 still compete very well at high resolutions. When all is said and done, at the price the HD 5770 is positioned at, it competes at the level of the Radeon HD 4870.

Eyefinity Performance

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We usually don’t show these kinds of performance slides, since we rely on our own testing to determine gameplay performance. However, we wanted to post this one up specifically because we know the big question with the Radeon HD 5770 and HD 5750 will be its Eyefinity performance and ability to run games at super high resolutions. AMD has provided this data running the HD 5770 at high Eyefinity resolutions so you can see that they believe these cards are capable of doing it. We will be running our own Eyefinity Performance testing and doing an evaluation to find out just how well the HD 5750 and HD 5770, including the HD 5850 and HD 5870 can in fact run Eyefinity.

ATI Radeon HD 5770 and HD 5750

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The Radeon HD 5770 is shorter than an HD 5870 and HD 5850. It measures 8.5″ to the very edge of the Batman vents on the back. With the HD 5770 those vents are not as crowded, and do act slightly as intake vents since air can be pulled in through them, and underneath the fan which also has openings. Only one power adapter is required for operation of this video card. The video card itself is physically light, and the back is exposed, with no back plate. The memory modules used on our card are Hynix H5GQ1H24AFR; they are rated at T2C which according to their site translates into being rated at 5GHz.

The Radeon HD 5750 is the interesting one; it is a double-slot video card only to accommodate all the connections such as dual-DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort. Manufacturers may indeed bring single-slot Radeon HD 5750’s to market, but you will lose connections, unless special adapters or dongles are provided. The heatsink/fan unit looks crazy, we know, but add-in-board partners will be using some of their own designs, while others will use the reference heatsink/fan. We have seen a couple that don’t look as awkward. This video card is short as well, measuring only 7″ in length. The Radeon HD 4770 for comparison is 8″ in length. Only one power adapter is required for operation. The memory modules used are exactly the same as found on the Radeon HD 5770, so they are also rated at 5GHz.

System Test Setup

We will be using a Gigabyte EX58-UD5 motherboard, an Intel Core i7 920 Overclocked at 3.6GHz, and 6GB of Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D Dominator DDR3.

While it might be a bit “overkill,” we use the i7 920 at 3.6GHz processor in an attempt to keep from putting our evaluation into a position of being CPU limited. Obviously, we make every effort to not use CPU limited games for video card evaluations, but the i7 920 at 3.6GHz seems to put many peoples’ minds at ease when it comes to that subject.

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For comparison, the Radeon HD 4870 1GB matches closest to the Radeon HD 5770 in price. For the Radeon HD 5750 we wanted to see how much better it is than the Radeon HD 4770 it is replacing, and how it compares to the GeForce GTS 250 which is price comparable.

We are using the latest drivers provided by AMD, which are Catalyst 8.66.6 Beta 2 dated October 7th. Also note that Windows 7 Ultimate x64 RTM is being used.

Radeon HD 5770

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Radeon HD 5750

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A newer version of GPUz was provided by AMD that reveals specifications.

Driver

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The driver version is shown above.

Evaluation Method

We evaluate what each video card configuration can supply us in terms of a playable gaming experience while supplying the best culmination of resolution and “eye candy” graphical settings. We focus on quality and immersion of the gameplay experience rather than how many frames per second the card can get in a canned benchmark or prerecorded timedemo situation that often do not represent real gameplay like you would experience at home. Then we will follow with apples-to-apples testing in with minimum, maximum, and average framerates.

Card Setup

On each game, as you will see, we are separating the Radeon HD 5770 and comparing it with its counterparts, and then we are separating the Radeon HD 5750 and comparing it with its counterparts. If we had put all the cards together in one table or graph it would have been a mess to analyze.

Therefore, the first section on game page is the HD 5770 in comparison to HD 4870 and HD 5750. The second section is HD 5750 in comparison to GTS 250 and HD 4770. The third section is our apples-to-apples testing at the bottom.

Please also note that the order of video cards in our tables range from most expensive video card to least expensive video card. This way you can see which card at what price point provides the best value.

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