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Written by Bruce Normann   
Friday, 26 March 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
XFX Radeon HD5830 DX11 Video Card
XFX Radeon HD5830 Features
ATI Radeon HD5830 Specifications
Closer Look: XFX Radeon HD 5830
Detailed Features: XFX Radeon HD 5830
Video Card Testing Methodology
3DMark Vantage Benchmarks
Crysis Benchmark Results
Devil May Cry 4 Benchmark
Far Cry 2 Benchmarks
Resident Evil 5 Benchmarks
Unigine - Heaven Benchmarks
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat Benchmarks
XFX Radeon HD5830 Temperature
VGA Power Consumption
Radeon HD 5830 Final Thoughts
XFX Radeon HD 5830 Conclusion

XFX Radeon HD 5830 Conclusion

The XFX Radeon HD 5830 easily equaled the performance levels set by the engineering prototype we received from ATI. That's important, because each of the AIB partners was on their own during the development process. There's a lot of diversity in the 5830 product mix, something we don't often see. It was reassuring to see the frame rates match up, but it was also good to see the thermal and power consumption results fall within the ballpark established by the prototype.

The performance of the HD 5830 GPU is still a bit of an enigma to the enthusiast community. ATI claims to have hit their overall performance target, but the rub is that enthusiasts won't be able to jack up the GPU clock and reap the kind of performance gains that they were able to get with the HD 5850. The variance in relative performance between the various benchmarks is a bit confusing. Everyone runs their benchmarks with slightly different settings, and we saw in our DirectX 11 follow-up article that relative performance levels can shift around when AF and MSAA are cranked up or down. The mix of GPU components, the recipe for the HD 5830, if you will, is unique. You have to pay attention to what works in the games you like to play; Crysis certainly worked very well with this card, and for some, that will be enough.

XFX_HD_5830_Video_Card_Box_and_Card.jpg

The appearance of the XFX HD 5830 video card is quite good. It strays from the "box" approach, without getting silly like some products; done up to look like a race car, for instance. It's always been clear that the 5830 needs a healthy dose of cooling to perform reliably, and XFX has been able to do this without an outsized fin and heatpipe arrangement. The radial design they've chosen makes the most of the airflow from the fan. There continues to be an abundance of creativity in the area of GPU cooling, and I'm happy that companies like XFX don't feel like they have to offer a me-too approach.

The build quality of the XFX Radeon HD 5830 is excellent. Everything is well put together and nothing is out of place. The assembly and soldering quality of the PC board is fully up to standard for this type of product, and the packaging was also first rate. The industry has been very tight-lipped about which AIB partners were having trouble with their 5830 power supply designs, but considering the XFX HD 5830's power section is built better than another vendor's factory-overclocked 5870 card, I'm not concerned about this product at all. Plus, the XFX Double-Lifetime warranty means you won't ever have to worry about product support, and you get to pass that on to the next owner, free of charge.

The features of the HD 5830 may seem slightly less amazing, now that we've been using all of them on other Radeon 5xxx cards since last September. Still, no one else has an equivalent combination of features that compete fully with DirectX 11, Full ATI Eyefinity Support, ATI Stream Technology Support, DirectCompute 11, OpenCL Support, HDMI 1.3 with Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio. We've barely scratched the surface of all the features in this review, focusing almost exclusively on gaming performance, but the card excels at other uses as well.

As of March 2010, the price for the XFX Radeon HD 5830 (model HD-583X-ZNFV) is $259.99 at my favorite PC component supplier, Newegg. There is eventually going to be a wider price range than usual for this product, since there is no reference design to act as an anchor. For now, this XFX card is priced in the middle of the pack, and the inclusion of the Aliens vs. Predators game and XFX's exclusive Double-Lifetime warranty certainly adds some tangible value. Unless ATI jiggles the drivers around to give the 58xx series a performance advantage over the 57xx products, there will always be some who question the value of any HD 5830 video card that costs one cent more than the imaginary price point halfway between the 5770 and 5850. That's a criticism I think the free market will eventually answer.

The XFX Radeon HD 5830 earns a Silver Tachometer Award, because it pushes the design of the HD5xxx series further along than many of its contemporaries. The power supply is state-of-the-art in ways that make it smaller, cheaper and more efficient, not more complex. The cooling solution is right-sized, not over-sized, and also more efficient than most. It's always easier to solve engineering problems with a pile of parts and more money, rather than hard work, but I've consistently preferred the simpler, neater results from the latter approach.

Pros:silvertachaward.png

+ Robust, modern power supply design
+ Unmatched feature set
+ 1250 MHz Samsung GDDR5 memory
+ Full 256-bit memory architecture
+ 1.79 TeraFLOPS of double-precision computing
+ Free Aliens vs. Predators game
+ Double-Lifetime warranty
+ HDMI, (2) DVI-I, and DisplayPort interfaces
+ Easy to overclock with ATI Overdrive
+ Dual CrossFireX connectors

Cons:

- Only 1120 Stream Processors
- Only 16 ROPs, same as HD 5770
- No software voltage control, can limit OC abilities
- Stock fan settings make GPU too hot
- Stock GPU clock is nearly maxed out
- Requires more power than stock HD 5850

Ratings:

  • Performance: 8.25
  • Appearance: 9.25
  • Construction: 9.25
  • Functionality: 9.50
  • Value: 8.25

Final Score: 8.9 out of 10.

Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.

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