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Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
VisionTek Killer HD5770 Combo Card
Closer Look: VisionTek Killer Combo
VisionTek Killer HD5770 Detailed Features
Features and Specifications
Killer NIC Software and Testing
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Street Fighter IV
DX11: Aliens vs Predator
DX11: Battlefield Bad Company 2
DX11: BattleForge
DX11: Lost Planet 2
DX11: Tom Clancy's HAWX 2
DX11: Metro 2033
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.1
VisionTek Killer HD5770 Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
VisionTek Killer HD5770 Overclocking
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Closer Look: VisionTek Killer Combo

The Killer HD5770 combo card is much larger than the regular Radeon HD5770 coming in with a 10" long PCB, this might be something one would need to consider when looking to purchase such a card. Due to its spec's the Killer HD5770 combo card would be ideal for a HTPC/Gaming PC but due to its size it may not fit in some Micro-ATX / HTPC cases.

VisionTek_Killer_HD5770_Combo_Card_Top_View.jpg

The Killer HD5770 combo card has a visually appealing design, this is somewhat wasted when the card is installed into your system even if you have a windowed side panel as this side will be facing down, coolers should be more about function than looks but if a good balance can be found without sacrificing one for the other then all is well.

VisionTek_Killer_HD5770_Combo_Card_Xfire_Bridge.jpg

Looking from the top we can see two CrossFire fingers which means the Killer HD5770 is good for 2- or 3-way CrossFireX, the HD5770 is a relatively low end card but when doubled up it can compete with is bigger brothers. The PCI bracket is vented but I wouldn't think a lot of the hot air will be leaving this way.

VisionTek_Killer_HD5770_Combo_Card_Angle_View.jpg

The Killer HD5770 requires a 450w (or greater) PSU with one 75w 6-pin PCI-E power connector, or a 600w (or greater) PSU with two 6-pin PCI-e power connectors for CrossFireX mode. You may also notice that there is no active cooling on the VRM section, this isn't good for extreme overclocking as this suggests that there is no overvoltage support, but there should definitely be some headroom for a nice moderate overclock. The design of the shroud directs the intake of air over the heatsink and then towards the front and back end of the PCB thus cooling the other components.

VisionTek_Killer_HD5770_Combo_Card_Cooler_Removed.jpg

Removing the cooler and shroud reveals a very busy PCB, we will have a look at this in more detail in the next section. It's good to see that VisionTek haven't used too much TIM on the GPU, it is still more TIM than I would personally use but it is nowhere near as extreme as I have seen in the past. The cooler uses a copper plate to make contact with the GPU transferring the heat to the aluminium heatsink which is cooled by the airflow from the fan.

VisionTek_Killer_HD5770_Combo_Card_Back.jpg

The back of the PCB is well populated, the soldering quality is excellent and the PCB is nice and clean as you would expect, there are also a few chips on this side we will be taking a more detailed look at in the next section, so let's move on and get a more in depth look.



 

Comments 

 
# I like the ideaktew 2011-02-16 07:19
I've had very good history with 5770s and the network speed improvements are very interesting (if you need that type of thing). I think my core disappointment is they did not use a quality cooling solution. Better heatsink or double fan or something to get to or below reference standards.

If I put a mid range machine together again, I'm looking for cool and quiet just as much as performance. This one seems to miss on each of those details and the price has moved it beyond a range I'd be considering in a mid-range build.
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# HmmIM0001 2011-02-16 10:55
The 5770 is a nice midrange card and paired with the Killer Nic, it would be the perfect card for IMO, a WoW player who wants a little graphics upgrade (or a lot) and a nice nic boost to boot. (It is one of the big games that does show a benefit using the Killer Nic vs Onboard.

A lot of people continue to cry foul and say it is just a placebo effect, but a lot of the high end gamers still pick one up since it does do a bit of cleaning and prioritizing of gaming traffic over other traffic while you are gaming. I do have a new Killer 2100 at home here to try but I have yet to have the time to open my rig and install it. Just too busy to deal with it as the comp also needs a bit of tweaking while I have her out.

Either way this card would be a prime candidate for a good crossfire setup to make it a potent little combo.

Also the cooling solution is similar to what VisionTek has been using on a lot of their card and it may make the system itself run a bit hotter since it vents into the case, it also cools the card a reasonable bit better than the stock reference design while also being quieter. What is the bummer is the 5700 series chip runs hotter than the 5800 series for whatever reason. It is the same chip used on the 5870M on laptops and they just get hot under load. The VT 5870 I own on my desktop has a very similar cooler (but more copper) but it idles at around 30-40C and under load never goes above the 70C's. A nice improvement over the older awesome yet super hot running 4800 series. (I had a VT 4870X2) It idled at 58C if the idle clocks were enabled, and under load it often hit 80+ with the VRM's themselves hitting 100C quite often on a lot of owners cards. They ran hot but ran great while they lasted.
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# Not that cheap, IMO.Olle P 2011-02-17 04:11
While the VisionTek Killer 2100 is a pretty expensive NIC, you can get a similar card at
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# most of the reply disappeared...Olle P 2011-02-17 04:14
A similar NIC can be had at
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# Darn code!Olle P 2011-02-17 04:18
It's the "less than" sign that cut my messages short... Here we go again:

A similar NIC can be had at less than $10.
A basic HD5770 less than $130.
Combined less than $140, which is way less than the $200 combo card.

The combo card is just about only worthwhile when you have a micro-ITX motherboard (only one expansion slot) *and* need the extra network speed *and* need fair graphics performance.
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# RE: VisionTek Killer HD5770 Combo CardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-02-18 00:32
Similar NIC? or are you talking about any old network card?
Value rating was based on buying a VisionTek HD5770 and a Killer NIC since there are no other VGA+NIC comparison products.

AS I pointed out in my article, this card is aimed at MMORPG / RTS players.
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# RE: RE: VisionTek Killer HD5770 Combo CardOlle P 2011-02-18 05:20
The only reasons for using a NIC when there is a network controller on the motherboard are to a) offload the CPU and/or b) to have more network connectors.
"Any old network card", as you put it, *will* do this. And when it comes to MMORPG gaming the LAN speed is fairly irrelevant, since the server typically doesn't reside within the player's LAN. The vast majority of players have 100 Mbps internet speed or less, which will bottleneck any NIC.
So for relevancy the comparison should also include a cheap, separate, network card, and it should be made towards some server on the internet, or at least on a 100Mbps LAN incapable of higher speeds. I have a hunch that the Killer card isn't decidedly faster in that situation...
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# RE: RE: RE: VisionTek Killer HD5770 Combo CardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-02-18 14:49
I do not own a game server that I can test on, also I can't just choose 'some' game server to conduct tests on because there are too many variables involved for it to be a controlled test. If the test isn't controlled then the results might as well just be plucked from a hat.

All I wanted to find out was whether UDP transmission was faster on the Killer NIC than on my on-board NIC since game traffic relies on UDP protocol. Testing this on a LAN resricted to 100Mb/s won't prove asnything as it is still a LAN.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: VisionTek Killer HD5770 Combo CardOlle P 2011-02-21 04:03
"Testing this on a LAN resricted to 100Mb/s won't prove asnything as it is still a LAN."
It will prove what happens when the top speed is governed by an external bottleneck. Restricting the speed to 10Mbps should be even more realistic, since that's closer to the real world limits.
Your own test showed that the motherboard's NIC ran both TCP and UDP at about 95 Mbps, which is what you get with a 100Mb restriction.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: VisionTek Killer HD5770 Combo CardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-02-21 04:40
"It will prove what happens when the top speed is governed by an external bottleneck. Restricting the speed to 10Mbps should be even more realistic, since that's closer to the real world limits."

Since both NIC's are capable of near 100Mbps on TCP and UDP then the results would be equal and inconclusive.

The only real way to test would be to set up a game server and control the load on that server, connect to it with two identical machines at the same time (one with killer NIC one without) and record average frame rates and ping and also run the same test as detailed within this article.

My budget won't allow for that, so I test within my means.
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# usefulldie 2011-03-26 03:14
6870 I like it for price and power consumption I think for best buy
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