Another gap to fill? Sounds like a familiar story. Back when ATI released their Radeon 4000 series, they had the awesome Radeon HD 4870 and HD 4850, both of which provided excellent performance for their price. A rung below the Radeon HD 4850 was the HD 4670 (the HD 4770 only came later), which meant there was a big gulf in performance for ATI to fill. Enter, then, the Radeon HD 4830, and subsequently, HD 4770.
This time round, ATI is suffering from the same problem they did with their previous generation graphics cards. While there's no doubting the tremendous graphics horsepower of the top tier Radeon 5800 series, the Radeon HD 5700 series, on the other hand, is a little underwhelming. In our tests, we found that the Radeon HD 5770 had problems keeping up with the older Radeon HD 4890, leading us to believe that it was the HD 5770's narrower 128-bit wide memory bus that was the culprit. Because of the Radeon HD 5770's performance, or lack thereof, it created a big price and performance gap between itself and the Radeon HD 5850.
So now to plug this price and performance gap, ATI has introduced yet another member to the Evergreen family, and it is the Radeon HD 5830.
Introduced in late February this year, the Radeon HD 5830 is closely related to both the Radeon HD 5870 and HD 5850, as it uses a stripped down version of the Cypress chip. Instead of the 1600 and 1440 stream processors found on the Radeon HD 5870 and HD 5850 respectively, the new Radeon HD 5830 instead has only 1120. And compared to the Radeon HD 5850, it also has lesser texture mapping units - 56 vs. 72.
However, it will continue to use ultra-fast GDDR5 memory and memory clock speeds will remain the same at 4000MHz DDR. And to make up for the reduction in stream processors, the Radeon HD 5830's core clock speeds will be bumped up to 800MHz - 75MHz higher than the Radeon HD 5850. Therefore, it'll be interesting to see how these changes will affect the Radeon HD 5830's performance.
Here's a quick look at how it measures up against its closest rivals.
|Model||ATI Radeon HD 5830 1GB GDDR5||ATI Radeon HD 5850 1GB GDDR5||ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 465 1GB GDDR5||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 1GB GDDR5||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 1GB GDDR3|
|Core Code||Cypress LE||Cypress Pro||Juniper XT||GF100||GF100||GT200|
|Transistor Count||2150 million||2150 million||1040 million||3200 million||3200 million||1400 million|
|Stream Processors||1120 Stream Processing Units||1440 Stream processing units||800 Stream Processing Units||352 Stream Processors||448 Stream Processors||240 Stream Processors|
|Stream Processor Clock||800MHz||725MHz||800MHz||1215MHz||1215MHz||1476MHz|
|Texture Mapping Units (TMU) or Texture Filtering (TF) units||56||72||40||44||56||80|
|Raster Operator units (ROP)||16||32||16||32||40||32|
|Memory Clock||4000MHz GDDR5||4000MHz GDDR5||4800MHz GDDR5||3206MHz GDDR5||3348MHz GDDR5||2484MHz GDDR3|
|DDR Memory Bus||256-bit||256-bit||128-bit||256-bit||320-bit||512-bit|
|PCI Express Interface||PCIe ver 2.0 x16||PCIe ver 2.0 x16||PCIe ver 2.0 x16||PCIe ver 2.0 x16||PCIe ver 2.0 x16||PCIe ver 2.0 x16|
|Molex Power Connectors||2 x 6-pin||2 x 6-pin||1 x 6-pin||2 x 6-pin||2 x 6-pin||2 x 6-pin|
|Multi GPU Technology||CrossFireX||CrossFireX||CrossFireX||SLI||SLI||SLI|
|DVI Output Support||2 x Dual-Link||2 x Dual-Link||2 x Dual-Link||2 x Dual-Link||2 x Dual-Link||2 x Dual-Link|
|HDCP Output Support||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|