|XFX Radeon HD5770 Video Card HD-577A-ZN|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Tuesday, 27 October 2009|
Page 19 of 19
XFX Radeon HD5770 Conclusion
The performance of the XFX HD5770 is more than adequate for most game titles. In stock form it doesn't quite match an overclocked GTX260, but as soon as I leveled the playing field with a modest overclock in ATI Overdrive, it was more than competitive. Just keep reminding yourself that these are mid-range GPUs with only half the horsepower of the Cypress. I think people were expecting more from the Juniper; in fact right up until launch, rumors consistently called for 1120 shaders, which would have meant that it was 70% of a Cypress GPU, not the 50% that it turned out to be. There's a $100 gap between the HD5770 and the HD5850, which needs to be filled by ATI, so don't expect the HD5770 to compete with the HD4890 or the GTX275, at least on frame rates.
Performance is more than just frames-per-second, though; the ability to run 2-3 monitors with Full ATI EyeFinity Support counts, too. Plus, we've been measuring performance with Beta drivers. If you've read some of my recent video card reviews, you've got a better understanding of why driver performance on launch day is not a good measure of the final product. The raw performance numbers are plenty good enough for the target price point today, and I predict even better things to come for both price and performance.
The appearance of the product itself is top notch. The ATI reference cooler is transformed, once XFX got their graphics artists to work up a product label; they improved the appearance by a large margin. The full cover provides plenty of space for almost unlimited choice in graphics and XFX took full advantage of it. The reference design has plenty of cooling capacity for the tiny Juniper GPU, even with the higher GPU overclock, once the fan is ramped up.
The build quality of the XFX Radeon 5770 is much better than the engineering sample I received before the launch date. The retail version XFX is putting out had no quality issues I could detect. The parts were all high quality, and the PC board was manufactured and assembled with care and precision.
The features of the HD5770 are amazing, having been carried over in full measure from the HD5800 series: DirectX 11, Full ATI Eyefinity Support, ATI Stream Technology Support, DirectCompute 11 and OpenCL Support, HDMI 1.3 with Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio. We've barely scratched the surface in this review of all the capability on offer, by focusing almost exclusively on gaming performance, but the card has other uses as well. Speaking of gaming though, I was a little disappointed that XFX didn't include a coupon for DiRT 2, as some other ATI partners are doing. It's one of the DirectX 11 titles I'm most looking forward to playing.
As of late October, Newegg is selling the XFX Radeon HD5770 at $179.99, which is $15 higher than several others vendors. XFX has always commanded a premium for their cards, because of their enthusiast-based support model. They offer a double lifetime warranty, which is quite useful for enthusiasts that buy and sell the latest hardware on a regular basis. The second owner gets the second full lifetime warranty. That's a very nice benefit if you know the guy that owned it before you ran it 24/7, highly overclocked at full load, loading up on points in Folding@Home. I think this is less likely to be an issue with a card in this price range, but it does explain the price premium a bit.
The XFX Radeon HD5770 earns a Silver Tachometer Award, because it fills an important slot in the graphics card middle ground at a price that most casual users won't have to think too hard about. With the launch of Windows 7 and its DirectX 11 interface, anyone who wants to take advantage of the advanced features becoming more prevalent in the next 4-6 months needs new hardware. If you're shopping in this price range, the HD5770 is the only card to get; every other choice is going to cost more or do less.
+ Unmatched feature set
- No voltage control in ATI Overdrive, no XFX tool available
Final Score: 8.95 out of 10.
Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.
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