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REVIEW / AMD Radeon HD 5770 1 GB

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Régis Jehl Published on December 9, 2009
Updated on December 9, 2009
Translated by
 
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SPECIFICATIONS

  • Chip Juniper XT
  • GPU frequency 850 MHz
  • Memory quantity 1 GB
  • Memory type GDDR5
  • Memory frequency 1200 MHz
  • Cooler double-hauteur
Launched mid-October, the Radeon HD 5770s are a less powerful version of the Radeon HD 5800s. They keep the eyecatching DirectX 11 compatibility and moderate power consumption but what about gaming performance? Are they better or worse than the older generation?

Size, noise and heat generation

The Radeon HD 5770 uses a short PCB (printed circuit board, on which the components are soldered) – only 21 cm (8.3"). Yet the stock cooler is a double decker. While it's bulkier, it keeps the card’s sound down to a very acceptable level in 2D.

At idle, we measured 39.8 dB(A) with the graphics chip at 41°C: the card was barely warm and the fan noise was perceptible but quite unobtrusive. In use, the GPU doesn’t get very hot, not going above 84°C, but with noise levels at 56.2 dB(A). So the fan is really noisy during gaming and could disturb the people around you (in a living room, say).

Energy consumption

The 5770 retains the advances in energy management of the 5800 series. At idle, our wattmeter read 84 W, and it topped out at only 230 W during our intense 3D test. These numbers are for the entire computer, not just the graphics card. Only a single 6-pin PCI-E power connector is needed.

Gaming performance

The card is meant mostly for owners of monitors with average definition (1680 x 1050). With such resolutions it allows you to run games with the texture filters on and enable all detail settings on most games. You will have to back off on graphics options for certain very power-hungry games (ArmA 2, BattleForge, Crysis). So the card’s performance is well down on the older Radeon HD 4870 1GB.


Performance average.
Click on the image to see all our readings
and compare this model with other cards.

The first set of results is with World in Conflict: Soviet Assault. At 1680 x 1050 with filters activated, the 5770 scored an average framerate of 32 fps, compared to 36 fps for the 4870. With ArmA 2, still at 1680 but without filters, the average framerate was 39 fps for the 5770 and 45 fps for the 4870. With Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X, at 1680 x 1050 + texture filters, the 5770 scored 52 fps and the 4870 61 fps.
The card at a glance
For our tests, HIS supplied us with their Radeon HD 5770 H577F1GDG. It’s not really an original card since it uses the ATI stock design. The size, cooler, and clocks are the same as on a standard Radeon HD 5770. The rear connectors are also standard, with two DVI outs, a DisplayPort out, and an HDMI.

The box contents aren’t very innovative – a user manual, an installation CD, a DVI-to-VGA adaptor, a Molex-to-PCI-E 6-pin adaptor, and a CrossFireX bridge for running two cards in parallel on compatible motherboards.

But HIS still know how to set themselves apart from the competition, and they've thrown in a download coupon for race simulation game Colin McRae: DiRT 2. So it’s a pretty good deal – but make sure you look for the game icon on the box. There’s another version that doesn’t come with the coupon.

We also like the fact that the HDMI out lets you output DTS-HD MA and Dolby Digital True HD in bitstream. Also note that it’s possible to extend the display onto two, three, or four monitors and extend the overall resolution (the Eyefinity function).

What’s the point of that? To be able to play games on multiple monitors! In a race game, with three screens, you have the windshield view on the center screen and the driver’s and passenger’s windows on the other two displays. In a shooter game, your viewing angle becomes really wide – you get full visibility of what’s going on on the sides. Note that to use Eyefinity, at least one of your monitors needs a DisplayPort connector.

PROS

  • Reduced power consumption in 2D and 3D
  • Low noise at idle
  • DirectX 11 compatibility

CONS

  • 3D performance – you’ll want to reduce certain details in power-hungry games
  • No stereoscopic 3D
  • Noisy in 3D

CONCLUSION 3/5

If you don’t absolutely need to play with all graphics options set to the maximum and you don’t play every day, this model will do.
3 AMD Radeon HD 5770 1 GB DigitalVersus 2009-12-09 00:00:00
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