Mainstream Attack - The ATI Radeon HD 5770

By Kenny Yeo - 13 Oct 2009


Almost Fantastic...

Perhaps we were expecting too much, but the Radeon HD 5770 was a little underwhelming in our books. Where performance
is concerned, we expected it to be positioned in between the Radeon HD 4890 and HD 4870, but our tests have shown that it was mostly a smidge lower than the HD 4870 1GB editions; which puts it closer to the 512MB edition of the Radeon HD 4870. The Radeon HD 5770 was also no match for NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 275 and GTX 260+.

The results seem to indicate the shortcoming of the 128-bit memory bus that the 'mainstream' Radeon HD 5770 possesses. In fact, we were perplexed as to why the Radeon HD 5770 didn't receive a 256-bit wide memory bus like the Radeon HD 4870 did. Perhaps that's still the same silver lining that divides the mainstream from high-end graphics cards as has been the case for several years now. All things equal, we think that a memory bus upgrade would allow the Radeon HD 5770 to convincingly outperform the Radeon HD 4870.

However, while the Radeon HD 5770 might lack the firepower to take on the big boys, it does have a couple of other things going for it. For one, it runs relatively cool even on a stock cooler and it has by far the best power consumption figures, which makes it energy efficient - something which the environmentally conscious should take note of.

So think of the new Radeon HD 5770 somewhat as a revised HD 4870 card that is much more environmentally friendly. Not to forget that it fully supports DirectX 11, which should come in handy as more DirectX 11 games slowly creep in to the market next year. Furthermore, it also boasts ATI's EyeFinity technology, which makes a triple monitor setup a possibility.

Both cards are priced similarly at US$159 and with both performing identically in our tests, the only difference is that the HIS card comes bundled with Dirt 2, and that's an added plus.

ATI has stated that the Radeon HD 5770 will go sale for about US$159 and that's just about right we feel considering that the older Radeon HD 4870 is also going for around that price at the moment. Locally, US$159 translates to S$222 and that sounds like a good price for the card if you take into account that older HD 4870 cards are still commanding quite a premium (~S$260) here on our sunny island.

The Radeon HD 5770 is not quite the smash hit that the Radeon HD 5870 was. Although it did well in the efficiency department where operating temperatures and power consumption is concerned, but it left us wanting more in terms of sheer graphics horsepower. ATI should have given it a 256-bit memory bus, or at least price it a tad lower to make it even more enticing. Right now, the Radeon HD 5770 feels like an updated version of the Radeon HD 4870, with added DirectX 11 support, EyeFinity, and better thermal and power management. It's no doubt a good effort by ATI, but it just didn't blow our socks off.

Final Ratings
The HIS Radeon HD 5770
The PowerColor Radeon HD 5770
The Radeon HD 5770 SKU


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