AMD ATi Radeon HD 5700 Series Preview



/ 5 years ago
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With the recent release of the first fully DirectX 11 compatible graphics card, AMD have dealt a good first blow to nVidia, with the 5870 offering performance exceeding nVidias fastest single GPU card the GTX285 and the 5850 offering impressive performance for £100 less. However if history tells us anything it is that high end cards are not where most purchasers will be putting their hard earned cash and as a result the 5700 series will be far more critical to AMDs success in this latest generation of graphics cards, than the 5800 series. If this mid-range series of graphics card sell well then AMD will do very well the graphics hardware market, it really is that crucial.

In this preview we will be looking at what to expect from AMDs Radeon HD 5700 series cards, aimed at consumers who don’t want to spend £300 on a single graphics card but still want impressive single card performance and full DX11 compatibility. I’m sure that many 4800 series users will be keeping a keen eye on the 5700 series, it could well be an inexpensive upgrade route which gains them DX11 support.

Key Features of the HD5700 Series

  • It really doesn’t need saying that all the cards in this latest generation fully support the much touted DX11 which is coupled with OpenGL 3.2 support, making the 5700 series cards ready for the very latest games. It is not yet clear if the improvement over DX10.1 will be anything to get excited about and currently with the only game released to the UK market that supports DX11 being Battleforge (through a patch), it may be sometime before we find out. The history of the recent DirectX upgrades tell us that it is unlikely that the improvements will be mind blowing, but even if this is the case with the marketing machine in overdrive, it is unlikely to matter.
  • Affordable PC Gaming is becoming more and more critical, especially with consoles increasing their share of the gaming market and the economic climate reducing the amount that people spend. The 5700 series is therefore being wisely marketed as cutting edge graphics card which offers impressive performance, for a very affordable price.
  • Excellent connectivity including native Display Port and HDMI is part of the continued progression away from adapters towards providing native ports for the increasing popular digital connections, used on most TVs and Monitors. This coupled with AMDs Eyefinity technology gives even these affordable cards impressive connectivity. We can expect dual DVI ports along with one native HDMI port and one native Display Port. This makes connecting the card to a High Definition TV easy and also would make Tri-Monitor setups very easy and affordable assuming at least one of your monitors supports either HDMI or Display Port, which many of the premium models do.
  • Lower power requirements requiring only one 6 Pin PCI-E power connector for both 5750 and 5770 is perfect for the market that these cards are aimed. Most PSUs offer at least one 6 Pin PCI-E power connector or if yours does not suitable adapters can be used, which will no doubt be provided by many graphics card manufacturers. These lower power requirements are not only great compatibility but also for the environment, which is never a bad thing. With the increasing concern for the environment AMD are clearly using these green credentials in their marketing, which I can’t blame them for. Not only has this become a hot topic over the past few years but with the economic situation people will no doubt see the reduction in their electricity bills from the very low idle power usage as a key plus point.
  • Like the 5870 and 5850 the 5700 series will use a 40nm manufacturing process, some may recall the 4770 was AMDs first real trial of the 40nm technology with proved very successful and proved that 40nm was viable. The smaller fabrication process offers lower energy consumption and heat generation, along with lower production costs, part of the reason that these cards are so affordable.
  • For this latest generation of cards AMD have fully adopted GDDR5, with every card in the 5800 and 5700 series adopting this memory type which just shows how mainstream GDDR5 has become. With AMD/ATi having started using this memory technology early it has become a key marketing point as nVidia are still using GDDR3 on all their previous generation of cards, including the very high end GTX285 and GTX295.

Models

In the same vein as the 5800 series, the 5700 cards will come in two flavours with a numbering system that everyone should be familiar with. The first two digits denote the series the card belongs to and the last two digits denoting the performance of the card. So the 5700 series will have the 5750 and 5780 with the latter offering the best performance out of the two. This is a helpful if predictable system that allows an easy way to see which will offer the best performance, the higher the numbers the higher the performance. AMD are clearly sticking to what they know works, so anyone familiar with the previous generation of cards should have no problem grasping where each card sits in the model line up things.

Specifications

  • 5750
  • Codename: Juniper LE
  • Computing Power: 1.008 TeraFLOPs
  • Transistor Count: 1040 Million
  • Fabrication Process: 40nm
  • Stream Processors: 720
  • Texture Units: 36
  • Core Clock: 700MHz
  • Memory Clock: 1150MHz
  • Memory Type: GDDR5
  • Memory Size: 512MB or 1024Mb
  • Memory Bus Width: 128bit
  • Memory Bandwidth: 73.8 GB/s
  • Memory Bandwidth: 4.6Gbps
  • Idle Power Consumption: 16W
  • Max Power Consumption: 86W
  • Bus Interface: PCI-E 2.1 x16
  • Target Price: $109USD 512MB $129 1024MB

5770

  • Codename: Juniper XT
  • Computing Power: 1.36 TeraFLOPs
  • Transistor Count: 1040 Million
  • Fabrication Process: 40nm
  • Stream Processors: 800
  • Texture Units: 40
  • Core Clock: 850MHz
  • Memory Clock: 1150MHz
  • Memory Type: GDDR5
  • Memory Size: 1024Mb
  • Memory Bus Width: 128bit
  • Memory Bandwidth: 76.8 GB/s
  • Memory Data Rate: 4.8Gbps
  • Idle Power Consumption: 18W
  • Max Power Consumption: 108W
  • Bus Interface: PCI-E 2.1 x16
  • Target Price: $159USD

Well I’m sure you will agree that these are some impressive specifications for cards with Target prices of under $200USD and the 5770 appears to have the raw power to exceed performance of the current 4800 series, all but the x2 cards of course. As we’ve seen in the past, raw power isn’t always enough so we will have to wait for some benchmark results before drawing any conclusions, but once the drivers reach maturity I can see these cards being the budget and mid range choices for some time to come. From the pre-order prices that I’ve seen, UK retailers appear to be pricing the 5700 series very keenly, even with the poor exchange rate. Pre-Order prices are £115 to £120 for a 1GB 5750 and £130 to £145 for a 1GB 5770. With the minimal price difference of around £15 between the cheapest 5750 and 5770 it would be wise to go for the 5770, as it is unlikely that dormant stream processors and texture units on the 5750 could be unlocked and for such a small extra amount of cash not really worth the hassle of trying.

Conclusion

Although it is not clear yet if DX11 is anything more than marketing hype, it is clear that these two new graphics cards have the potential to become very popular upgrades for the mid-range user. They offer an impressive amount of hardware and performance for very little money, although this may not be enough for some 4800 series owners to take the plunge. Many users will however see these cards as an affordable route to DX11, which regardless of the near complete lack of compatible games currently released will still be very attractive. So assuming they are priced as keenly as the pre-order target prices suggest and the drivers mature quickly enough nVidia could well have some serious problems breaking into the mid range market that these cards are aimed at. We should see their response to the 5870 and 5850 in December 2009 and a response to the 5700 series in Q1/Q2 2010, but for now it appears that AMD have a good footing in the market. If the benchmarks are as impressive as the hardware and pricing, AMD appear to be onto a winning formula with the 5700 series.

Attached files

5700series.jpg (8.1 KB)

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  • buburuza72

    The 5750 could be a good bargain. But i guess it will depend with what price will hit the retail stores.

  • Speed

    buburuza72;7029 wrote: The 5750 could be a good bargain. But i guess it will depend with what price will hit the retail stores.

    I have updated this article with prices:

    Pre-Order prices are £115 to £120 for a 1GB 5750 and £130 to £145 for a 1GB 5770. With the minimal price difference of around £15 between the cheapest 5750 and 5770 it would be wise to go for the 5770, as it is unlikely that dormant stream processors and texture units on the 5750 could be unlocked and for such a small extra amount of cash not really worth the hassle of trying.

  • eden999

    hi, you didn't mention the size of this card, btw do you know what midtowers can carry the radeon 5870?

  • navi1995

    Wow nice review, Saddens me how things like these are so expensive. My parents wouldnt ever let me get parts at this rate, why cant they b affordable and around the $20 NZD margin :P

  • razor1979

    What's the prices like in NZ then? Problem i have is shipping costs :(

  • navi1995

    Well 300 NZD and up, 300 being average video cards, like the one i have now, not good enough though =Im lucky i even have a graphics card cuza my cheap parents :P

  • razor1979

    So around £140 which isn't too bad but depends on what card you want i guess.

  • navi1995

    You might think that but my parents dont XD

  • sushrukh

    Nice review Andy. :)

  • Skessu

    Good review, much info about that card. I think i would buy 5770 in near future. I got 2 displays so i think Eyefinity would be good for that.

  • patheticcockroach

    Skessu;10361 wrote: I got 2 displays so i think Eyefinity would be good for that.

    Eyefinity is a GPU killer. If not for playing it will be okay, if for playing a resolution such as 4000×1200 will be harsh on the 5770.

  • Burdokva

    Well, if you can afford 3 decent LCD monitors for playing games, you should be able to afford a powerful GPU as well. Two 5870s Cross-Fired, for example. A lot of fellow simmers and virtual pilots use such setups and I'm pretty sure Eyefinity boosted ATI sales in that niche, but I don't like it much (even if I could afford it) – the frame of the monitors look like awful black "bars", especially in dim lighting condition, like if you're playing in the evening. It can be very distracting and unpleasant.A friend has two small, peripheral monitors, but he's an nVidia fan boy and can only use two at once – even though he would benefit from more working space with Eyefinity – he blatantly refuses to go ATI. Sigh… :p Sorry for the off-topic. Otherwise, based in TFlops only, the 5770 is a monster. Better than the 4870 and with about one third more bandwidth than my current 4770 (it should be around 960GFlops) – which was the link between the two generations. Impressive, really!

  • patheticcockroach

    Burdokva;10415 wrote: Otherwise, based in TFlops only, the 5770 is a monster. Better than the 4870

    Well, as far as I remember from the benchmarks, the 5770 stands somewhere between the 4870 and the 4890 so yeah, your TFlops approach looks like pretty accurate on this one :)

  • Mlong128ir

    In real world applications though (S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Skies, Crysis (under some settings), Far Cry 2, Left 4 Dead) the 4870 beats the 5770 in FPSs based on benchmarks that I've seen. Although Catalyst 10.1 may have changed that, I haven't seen any updated benchmarks since it's release to see how they now compare. If you take into account power consumption though, the 5770 is better, especially when you consider DX11 on top of that.

  • Burdokva

    Even if it's slightly below the 4870, that's still very impressive for a firmly mid-level card. I could max out pretty much any game with max AA/AF at my monitor's native resolution (1280×1024) with that card.10.1 didn't bring any improvement for my 4770, but I remember a few months back when I bought it, it shipped with the beta driver (9.5). I can't remember 9.6, but 9.7 brought a huge improvement in performance. With the beta the card felt sluggish and barely faster then the x1650 I used before, with 9.7 it ripped it apart… Maybe 10.1 has big improvements for the 5xxx series?

  • patheticcockroach

    Burdokva;10580 wrote: Maybe 10.1 has big improvements for the 5xxx series?

    Nah, just +3% as per the release note. But if they do that every time this will end up being significant :)

  • MTA99

    The 5770 is amazing value. About to upgrade/refresh my hardware with a 5770 and Phenom II :D

  • Mlong128ir

    MTA99;11268 wrote: The 5770 is amazing value. About to upgrade/refresh my hardware with a 5770 and Phenom II :D

    I really think the 5770 is the sweet spot this last ATI generation as far as price and performance go. And if it's not enough, somewhere down the line you can get another one for much less and use them in crossfire to make up the difference for not going with a 5850 or 5870.

  • patheticcockroach

    Mlong128ir;11340 wrote: I really think the 5770 is the sweet spot this last ATI generation as far as price and performance go.

    Yeah that's the point of the series where perf/price seems best. The shortage on 5850 and 5870 helped that a bit though. Also, the 5870 will give you slightly better perf/watt.

  • Mlong128ir

    I don't think the shortages helped out at all, people who could afford, wanted, and were willing to go for a 58xx card waited for them. People in that bracket know the performance advantages of the 58xx's and wouldn't settle for less since their overclocks and benchmarks would depend on it.

  • patheticcockroach

    What I meant is, the 58XX got a worse perf/price ratio than the 5700 notably because of the shortage. AFAIK the prices of the 58XXs raised some time after their release. Otherwise it seems that ATI tried to keep a rather constant perf/price ratio on this series, since the 5970 was released @ just twice the price of the 5850, and it's performing just like 2 CrossFired 5850.

  • Mlong128ir

    The 58xx were never as good as the 57xx's even at launch in price/performance when the pricing was less. The 5870 launched at $400, the 5700 at $160. More than double the price, significantly less than double the performance.


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