We've already looked at the ATI Radeon HD 5770 video card earlier today and to say that we were pleasantly surprised by the model would be an understatement. The ability for a mid-range video card to offer us playable frame rates at resolutions up to 1920 x 1200 with our game settings at High to Very High is nothing short of fantastic.
While the model is great at 1920 x 1200, it's even better at 1680 x 1050 thanks to the fewer amounts of pixels that have to be pushed around the screen. With that said though, if you're really on a budget, it could almost be considered overkill.
While the HD 5770 might cover you a bit more for future releases or the option to move to a larger monitor, you might find yourself being happy with the prospect of saving some money and dropping down some graphics quality detail levels in future games as they become more intensive.
Since the HD 5770 sits only just above that 30 FPS mark when it's achieved, we don't expect the HD 5750 to be able to really offer us a playable setup at that resolution with our presets at Very High. We will test at those settings though for consistency, but the main questions we want to answer are - Are we above 30 FPS at 1680 x 1050 with our Very High Presets and how far are we from 30 FPS at 1920 x 1200 or with a detail drop could we achieve 30 FPS?
With that said, let's have a quick look at the package before we dive deeper into the video card itself, the specification and then of course the performance before we wrap everything up in our final thoughts.
The biggest shock comes in the form that Sapphire has chosen to include a Dirt 2 coupon in the bundle; hopefully this video card is capable of running the future Direct X 11 game release at a decent frame rate.
This is the first ATI Radeon HD 5000 series video card that we can see which doesn't use the same overall cooler design. Instead Sapphire has opted for something a bit more traditional that doesn't manage to take up the whole surface of the video card.
There really isn't a whole lot to say about the overall cooler, the only sticker on it is the Sapphire one placed in the middle of the fan. The other feature worth noting would be the copper base that we can see through the fins, this sits on top of the core to help keep temperatures down a bit better than an aluminum base.
You might find yourself slightly surprised with the single 6-pin PCI-E power connector needed to get the video card up and running. Really though, these mid-range cards offer a good punch of power these days, that it isn't too much of a surprise.
At the front we of course also see two CrossFire connectors which let you run up to three of these cards together, we're not sure why you would bother though, most the time with these mid-range options it's a better option to just fork out the extra money for the higher end models.
While the cooler might be different to the other 5800 cards, the HD 5750 is still packing the same I/O design which gives us the ability to run up to three monitors at the same time via ATI's new EyeFinity technology. As for ports go, we've got two Dual-Link DVI connectors along with a single HDMI and DisplayPort connector.
Since I originally forgot to take a screenshot from GPU-Z, I simply fired up Windows with the video card installed but with no driver installed. This is the main reason for the running clock rates, the default clock rates though are correct; we have a 700MHz core, which is a good 150MHz lower than the HD 5770.
The same 1GB of GDDR5 running on a 128-bit memory bus comes in at 1150MHz or 4600MHz QDR, which is only 200MHz QDR lower than it's big brother, the HD 5770.
Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage
Test System Setup
Processor(s): Intel Core i7 920 @ 3.8GHz (190MHz x 20)
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P (Supplied by Noctua)
Motherboard(s): GIGABYTE EX58-UD5 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Memory: 3 X 2GB OCZ Technology PC-12800 DDR-3 8-8-8-24 (OCZ3G1600LV6GK)
Hard Disk(s): Western Digital 300GB Velicorapter (Supplied by Western Digital)
Operating System: Windows Vista SP1 64-bit
Drivers: ATI Catalyst 9.8, ATI Catalyst HD 5700 Driver and ATI Catalyst Cypress Driver
We'll be comparing the HD 5750 to the same lineup we had in our HD 5770 review, this includes the HD 5770, the new HD 5850 and the older HD 4890.
With a full house of ATI video cards, it will be interesting to see just what kind of performance we're able to get out of the HD 5750.
Let's get started!
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here
3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.
3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.
It's no surprise that the HD 5750 sits at the back of the pack; this is really where it's going to be in all our tests, it's good to see though that in our P preset we score pretty well with over 8000 points.
Benchmarks - PT Boats: Knights of the Sea
PT Boats: Knights of the Sea
Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Developer Homepage: http://en.akella.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.pt-boats.net/
PT Boats: Knights of the Sea is a naval action simulator that places gamers in charge of a mosquito fleet of the Allied Forces, Russia or Germany during the height of World War II.
Using the latest Direct X 10 technology PT Boards - Knights of the Sea manages to apply a lot of stress to the components of today which in turn gives us quite an intensive benchmark.
While we're behind 30 FPS at 1920 x 1200, we're over it at 1680 x 1050 which is great, with a detail drop though, we could probably close that 2.7 FPS gap at 1920 x 1200.
Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10
Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net
CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.
MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).
Nothing unusual here with the HD 5750 lining up with all the other ATI cards, no more than 250 points separate the cards, which is nothing more than fluctuation.
Benchmarks - World in Conflict
World in Conflict
Version and / or Patch Used: 22.214.171.124
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com
World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10).
The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.
Exactly what we want to see, 30 FPS at 1680 x 1050, if it's a bit close to the minimum for you though move from Very High to High or Medium and we'll be a lot further from that number.
Benchmarks - Crysis Warhead
Version and / or Patch Used: Unpatched
Timedemo or Level Used: Airfield
Developer Homepage: http://www.crytek.com
Product Homepage: http://crysiswarhead.ea.com/
Buy It Here
Crysis Warhead updates and refines the gameplay of the original game through a sidestory plot involving Psycho, one of previous protagonist Nomad's allies. The game is a parallel story that follows Sergeant Michael "Psycho" Sykes, a character from the original Crysis, as he faces his own trials and challenges on the other side of the island during the time period of the first game.
It also showcases a new, enhanced and optimized version of CryEngine 2 using full DX10 extensions and is the first game developed by Crytek's Budapest studio.
With not a single other model getting over 30 FPS here in the minimum department, it comes as no surprise that the HD 5750 struggles. It manages to look quite impressive next to the HD 5770, which is only slightly faster than it.
Benchmarks - Far Cry 2
Far Cry 2
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here
The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.
Again we're over 30 FPS at 1680 x 1050 and we're almost 10% over that number which is fantastic, at 1920 x 1200 we're seeing a 28 FPS minimum, moving the detail down should find us getting to 30 FPS, which is also great news.
Benchmarks - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.5.07
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.gsc-game.com/
Product Homepage: http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/
Buy It Here
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the stand-alone prequel for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter computer game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World. The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.
While Clear Sky might favor the ATI cards it still requires a fast model, apart from the HD 5850 we see all the other cards we're looking at not be able to achieve that 30 FPS minimum.
Benchmarks - Left 4 Dead
Left 4 Dead
Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.valvesoftware.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.l4d.com/
Buy It Here
Left 4 Dead uses the latest version of Valve's Source engine, with improvements such as multi-core processor support and physics-based animation to more realistically portray hair and clothing, and to improve physics interaction with enemies when shot or shoved in different body parts. Animation was also improved to allow characters to lean realistically when moving in curved paths.
Rendering and artificial intelligence were scaled up to allow for greater number of enemies who can navigate the world in better ways, such as climbing, jumping or breaking obstacles. Lighting has been enhanced with new self-shadowing normal mapping and advanced shadow rendering that is important to convey information about the environment and player actions.
We want to see over 60 FPS in the average department and we see that here at both resolutions, which is great.
Left 4 Dead might not be the most intensive game engine, but popular titles like Counter Strike use it, so if that's what you're addicted too, then the HD 5750 is going to run well at 1920 x 1200 with max detail.
Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF
High Quality AA and AF
Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.
Far Cry 2
AA was never going to be an option for the HD 5750 and we can see it here...
World In Conflict
.... and here...
Left 4 Dead
... and here!
Temperature and Sound Tests
With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).
There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.
It was surprising to see just how cool the HD 5750 operates. We know it's not the fastest video card, but the cooler doesn't look as mean as the other HD 5000 cards.
Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.
After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).
Noise levels are pretty standard on the HD 5750 with it falling in line with all the other video cards.
Power Consumption Tests
Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).
There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.
The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.
So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.
It's no surprise that power draw is at the bottom of the pack, at idle there isn't much that separates the HD 5000 series cards. We really begin to see the difference as we apply pressure to the cards.
If you're a 1920 x 1200 gamer and you not only enjoy the higher detail but also appreciate it, then spend the extra money and buy the HD 5770. However, if you're one of those people who own a 1920 x 1200 monitor though for productivity reasons and you only game to kill a bit of time here and there, the HD 5750 is a good option. At medium graphics quality settings, you're not going to have an issue getting a smooth game experience. In all honesty, it would be just as smooth as a HD 5770; the difference is it just won't look as pretty.
1680 x 1050 users on the other hand should find this model a fantastic option, we're seeing above 30 FPS in our intensive games like Far Cry 2 with our settings at Very High. Future and more intensive games shouldn't have a problem at 1680 x 1050 with settings anywhere from Medium to Very High depending on how well the game is coded.
Really if you don't game above 1680 x 1050, the HD 5770 isn't the best option, with the HD 5750 offering us the number we need in games at max settings - the HD 5770 is going to offer only higher numbers, which won't impact on your overall game experience that much. The HD 5770 isn't that much faster either that you could turn AA on in your games; performance would just be hit too much.
Saying all that though, if you have the money the HD 5770 is a bit more "future proof" when it comes to playing future and more intensive games. If you're a 1680 x 1050 gamer, you're going to be happy with this model or the HD 5770. If you have the money for the higher model, we suggest buying it, if not then buy the HD 5750, either way we're sure you'll be happy.
Sapphire have put on a nice little spread with the model as well, not only do we see SimHD included, but a Dirt 2 coupon too, and with the performance we're seeing from the model, today we can feel confident that the HD 5750 is going to be able to run the game at 1680 x 1050 with some impressive detail.
In the past it felt like a chore to review these mid-range cards, as ATI and really NVIDIA work harder with each release, these middle of the pack video cards become more and more impressive. Really the HD 5750 is just another great video card that falls into the already great Radeon HD 5000 series line up from AMD.
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