It's easy to be impressed with the performance of video cards like the HD 5870. They're really designed to be fast and over the years we've seen ATI do a really good job of making these high-end cards really good value for money, which was something that tended to be reserved for the mid-range models.
What this has ultimately done though is create an even greater value for the mid-range cards than in previous generations. Where it really began was the 9600 GT series a few years back. Does the HD 5770 follow the trend that we've seen over the past few years, though? Hell yeah!
The HD 5770 offers some serious performance for the price and when it came to testing, I knew that benching at 2560 x 1600 wasn't going to be an option, it was then a decision of if I benchmarked the card at 1280 and 1600 or continued to use the 1680 and 1920 setup. Once the results started rolling in I was so glad that I stuck with benchmarking at 1920 x 1200, because this video card manages to perform at that resolution.
We're seeing two results, just over 30 FPS in the minimum department or way below it due to the fact that the game isn't coded the best and prime examples include Crysis Warhead and S.T.A.L.K.E.R Clear Sky. Games like FarCry 2, World in Conflict and Left 4 Dead see some seriously good numbers at 1920 x 1200, the other thing to consider is the fact that our presets are designed for high-end cards, so we see are at High to Very High in our graphics quality settings.
Due to these presets, if you need a little bit of wiggle room, like World in Conflict where we have a 29 FPS minimum moving from Very High to High or even Medium is going to get above the 30 FPS mark, which is great.
If all that wasn't enough to convince you to buy a HD 5770, then the fact that Sapphire have thrown in Dirt 2 should sign, seal and deliver the deal.
This video card is great not because it's really fast. It's not quicker than a HD 4890 or a HD 5850 - it's great because it's this fast at the initial pricing we're seeing. Value for money is fantastic, but we can't give it that award, we have to give it our top award, the Editors Choice, because it's also fast, it has a good bundle and the I/O shield packs everything the more expensive HD 5800 series offers.