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Tuesday, 13 October 2009 10:45

XFX Evergreen series locked and loaded in our lab

Written by Sanjin Rados


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Review: XFX Radeon HD5770, HD5750 and HD5850 round-up





Nvidia's Fermi may have diverted some attention from AMD's launch of Evergreen line, but AMD has been far from idle. As you probably know, the company has been the first to deliver a DX11 card in the shape of HD 5870 and HD 5850, and is now ready to deliver another blow with the HD 5770 and HD 5750. Of course, all Evergreen-series cards come with DX11 support, meaning that AMD is locked and loaded waiting for the new Windows, which should launch next week.

Just like the currently top Evergreen product, the Cypress-based HD5870, the new graphics cards are made in 40nm and come with GDDR5 memory. Furthermore, the cards feature ATI Stream, UVD2 and Eyefinity support. It's well worth noting that AMD uses 128-bit bus for its mainstream models, but using fast GDDR5 memory compensates and provides enough bandwidth.

XFX has been kind enough to send us both 5700 series cards as well as an HD 5850, so we'll begin the talk of the new cards with one of our today's test samples, the XFX HD5850, which will help us shed some light on AMD's Evergreen generation.


The HD 5850

The HD 5850 is based on AMD's Cypress LE GPU running at 725MHz and has 1440 stream processors opposed to 1600 stream processors on the Cypress XT GPU (HD 5870). It is positioned below the HD 5870 but promise to deliver a much better bang per buck as it is priced lower without sacrificing performance too much. Both Cypress cards are high-end cards, and the only card that will top their performance is Hemlock, the dual GPU card we're expecting by the end of the year.

The memory on HD 5850 runs at 1000MHz (GDDR5 4000MHz) but it has much more bandwith compared to mainstrame HD5700 cards, thanks to the 256-bit memory interface. The HD 5850's GPU sports 72 texture units and just like the HD 5870, it features 32 ROPs. Unlike the 5700 generation cards, which are powered via one 6-pin connector, the HD 5870 and HD 5850 require two 6-pin connectors.

XFX sent us a reference clocked HD 5850 with reference, dual-slot cooling. Rest assured though that it won't take long for XFX to come out with an overclocked version, as these guys are rarely wasting time. The card comes with a coupon for the full game Dirt 2.

This game comes with DX11 support, and what you'll see within the game was done using HW Tessellation: DynamicWater Surface , HW Tessellation: Dynamic Cloth, HW Tessellation: Animated Crowd, DirectCompute11: Optimize Post Processing Effects, ShaderModel5.0: High Quality Shadow Filtering and ShaderModel5.0: Depth of Field. The game looks seriously nice so it's well worth giving it a go. 

The pricetag on the XFX HD 5850 is about 210 euro, which is pretty appealing considering what this card can do.

The HD 5700 series

The two new HD 5700 cards are performance-oriented mid-range cards with DirectX 11 and Crossfire Support. The HD 5770 is slightly slower than the HD 4870, whereas the slower Juniper HD 5750 is the HD 4850's successor. The HD 5750 will ship in 512MB and 1024MB versions and is priced at about $129 or 110 euro, so it will be somewhere around the HD 4870's price. The HD 5770 is set to go on sale for $159 at Newegg and about 130 euro in the EU, which is a bit more than the HD 4870. Unfortunately, some things never change and once again we see the planetary popular overcharge-the-Europeans tactics at work.

The HD 5750

The HD 5750 is based on AMD's Juniper LE GPU running at 700MHz and while its big brother, the HD 5870 features 1600 stream processors, the HD 5750's stream processor count is down to 720. The HD 5750's 1GB of GDDR5 memory runs at 1150MHz on a 128-bit bus and comes with 36 texture units and 16 ROPs, compared to the HD 5870's 80 texture units and 32 ROPs.

Although this is a crippled version of the Cypress chip, the new technologies are featured on manstream cards as well. Those who follow developments on the graphics market already know that this cards comes with Eyefinity technology, which allows for more than two monitors on one card, up to three. The HD 5750 features 2 dual-link DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, just like HD 5770 and other Cypress card. AMD used dual-slot cooling on this card, rendering it pretty quiet (pun intended). As we've said already, XFX stuck to the reference clocks on the first batch of cards to come out of the company.

The HD 5770

The HD 5770 is based on AMD's Juniper XE GPU running at 850MHz and it features 800 stream processors. The memory on HD 5770 cards is clocked at 1200MHz (GDDR5 efective 4800MHz). The card comes with 800 stream processors, which is half the amount the Cypress is capable of. The card's bandwidth is 76.8GB/s, slightly higher than on the HD 5750, which comes with 1150MHz memory and 73.6GB/s bandwidth.

The cards we recieved from XFX came with 1GB of GDDR5 memory but the HD 5750 will also be probably available in 512MB GDDR5 versions at a later date.

Note that all the cards we've recieved from XFX run at reference clocks, but that's still enough for serious gaming performance.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 14 October 2009 16:37
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