To say we were happy with the HD 5870 Vapor-X model from Sapphire would be a bit of an understatement, its fancy new cooling and small bumps in core and memory clocks made it a great card.
At the same time the HD 5870 Vapor-X was launched, the new mid range HD 5750 was released into the same series. While we're not expecting the same "WOW" factor from the HD 5750, we expect this model to carry with it better cooling numbers compared to the standard HD 5750. This shouldn't be too hard, though, since the main emphasis on the Vapor-X series is the cooling.
The HD 5750 Vapor-X from Sapphire is only the third card to get run through our new benchmark line up. This time around due to the model being a mid range one, how we test is going to be a little different; we'll talk more about that under our test system setup. For now, we'll have a quick look at the package before having a closer look at the card itself.
Like our HD 5870 version of the card, we have the same fancy Vapor-X package going on. As for extras, we can see that Sapphire has chosen to include the Dirt 2 coupon in the new mid range model from ATI. While it's lacking BattleStations Pacific which was seen in its bigger brother's bundle, this isn't really too much of a surprise for this mid range model.
Like the HD 5870 Vapor-X model we looked at from Sapphire recently, the first thing we notice is the new cooler design that the company has opted for on this card. We can see a fairly large fan sits in the middle of the card with a nice looking shroud around it.
If you look carefully behind the fan and through all the aluminum fins, you can see the giant copper heatsink that Sapphire has opted to use. This should help keep temps down further then the standard cooler, there's only one way to find out though and we'll see what exactly the cooler is doing for us later on in the review.
Having a quick look around the card, there aren't any surprises here. Towards the back of the card we have our single 6-Pin PCI-E connector that's required to power the model, while closer to the front we have our two CrossFire connectors which give us the ability to run three of these together.
The I/O department doesn't show any changes for the simple fact that out of the box the standard HD 5700 and HD 5800 series offer an excellent choice in connectivity. What this means is we've got two Dual-Link DVI connectors along with a single HDMI and DisplayPort connector.
The Vapor-X series isn't about the raw FPS numbers; instead, it's about offering a card that should run either cooler, quieter or both thanks to the new heatsink/fan setup. With that said, it hasn't stopped Sapphire giving the model a very small bump in MHz.
Looking above, we can see they've moved the 700MHz core to 710MHz while the 1GB of GDDR5 has moved from 4600MHz QDR to 4640MHz QDR. It's nothing major and really could hardly be called an overclock. However, it should still give the model a small bump in performance, all the same.
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 Kingston Hyper X PC3-16000 2000MHz DDR CL9 (Supplied by Kingston)
Hard Disk(s): Western Digital 640GB SATA 2.0 HDD (Supplied by Western Digital)
Operating System: Windows 7
Drivers: ATI Catalyst 9.10 Beta
As we mentioned in our HD 5870 Vapor-X review, with the implementation of a new testbed setup brings with it the inability to use any of our old results. What this means is we've got to start from scratch. For that reason, initially there won't be as many cards to compare against each other and we've only included the standard Sapphire HD 5750 to compare against the Vapor-X model of the card.
Being a mid range card and also at the lower end of that range, we've cut our benchmarks a little bit. Not in the amount of programs we run, but just the amount of tests. 2560 x 1600 has completely been removed, while at the same time we've got rid of our AA / AF tests for this particular model.
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.
We can see that the small bump in MHz gives us a small bump in performance; nothing to get excited about here, though.
Unigine Heaven Benchmark (DX10 & DX11)
Unigine Heaven Benchmark
Version and / or Patch Used: 1
Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com
Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/products/unigine
New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.
Note: If a card doesn't support DirectX 11 the benchmark will be left out. If it does it will be included along with the DirectX 10 results.
Direct X 10
Direct X 11
We see that in both the DX 10 and DX 11 tests the Vapor-X OC version of the HD 5750 is ever so slightly faster, but nothing major.
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).
Not being able to make use of the overclock, we see both cards perform very close to each other under CINEBENCH.
Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 5
Version and / or Patch Used: Demo Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com
Product Homepage: http://www.residentevil.com
Resident Evil 5 is a survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the seventh installment in the Resident Evil survival horror series, and was released on September 18. Resident Evil 5 revolves around Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar as they investigate a terrorist threat in Kijuju, a fictional town in Africa.
Wanting an average of around 60 FPS, we can see both cards are able to achieve that at 1920 x 1200. Again, the Vapor-X OC from Sapphire gets an extra FPS and a bit, but it's nothing that's ultimately going to change your overall gaming experience.
Benchmarks - Far Cry 2
Far Cry 2
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.03
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.
Being under 30 FPS, but still close, means that the extra FPS we're able to get brings us even closer to the minimum we want to reach at 1920 x 1200. In all seriousness, a minimum of 28.5 FPS is really going to be fine for the most part. Move down to high or even lower and the whole gaming experience will be even smoother.
Benchmarks - World in Conflict
World in Conflict
Version and / or Patch Used: 184.108.40.206
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 that is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards. We use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.
The OC gives us a little more Umph! - But not quite enough to get that 30 FPS minimum. A small drop in detail will lift that 1680 x 1050 number. A much larger drop is going to be needed for 1920 x 1200, though.
Benchmarks - Batman Arkham Asylum
Batman Arkham Asylum
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.rocksteadyltd.com
Product Homepage: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com
Batman: Arkham Asylum exposes players to a unique, dark and atmospheric adventure that takes them to the depths of Arkham Asylum - Gotham's psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Gamers will move in the shadows, instigate fear amongst their enemies and confront The Joker and Gotham City's most notorious villains who have taken over the asylum.
Using a wide range of Batman's gadgets and abilities, players will become the invisible predator and attempt to foil The Joker's demented scheme.
Batman: Arkham Asylum features an original story penned exclusively for the game by famous Batman author and five-time Emmy award winner Paul Dini, whose credits include Lost season one and Batman: The Animated Series.
Note: With support for PhysX NVIDIA based cards will be tested with the technology on and off, while ATI cards will be tested with the technology off due to it not being supported on their cards.
Batman Arkham Asylum performs surprisingly well on these mid range cards. We're way above the 30 FPS minimum we need at both resolutions which is great. Again, the Vapor-X OC gets a small bump in FPS numbers, but nothing that's going to make your game experience any better or worse.
Benchmarks - Darkest of Days
Darkest of Days
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.phantomefx.com
Product Homepage: http://www.darkestofdays.com
Darkest of Days takes the player through time into historic battles in an effort to save key individuals from certain death. The battles range from Custer's Last Stand at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876 to fighting in Pompeii as ash and fire rain down from an erupting Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Other locations include the battles of Antietam and Tannenberg, and a German World War II P.O.W. camp. There are different missions in every time period and the game takes about 4 hours to complete.
The game features over twenty weapons, both from the original time period as well as those brought back from the future. In addition, there are artillery weapons from different time periods to assist in battle.
Note: With the PhysX set to Medium or High, Darkest of Days takes advantage of the NVIDIA PhysX abilities. For that reason we will test ATI cards at the Low preset, while NVIDIA based cards will be tested at Low and High.
PhysX set to Low
We can see that the extra few MHz on offer from the Vapor-X helps push our average over 60 FPS at 1920 x 1200 which is what we're looking for when we don't have a minimum.
Benchmarks - BattleForge
Version and / or Patch Used: Auto Patched at Load
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.ea.com
Product Homepage: http://www.battleforge.com
The Gods have disappeared and the old sun has died, letting a vile twilight engulf the world of Nyn. In exchange for all treasures the mortals possessed, the evil giants agreed to forge a new sun and hurl it into the sky.
But the deal was betrayed, the treasure stolen and now the mortals flee the wrath of the giants. Under the light of a new sun the mortals stumble into a world changed and twisted by an age of twilight. The long journey home has become a conquest of survival.
Note: Supporting DirectX 11, we have separated the graphs for NVIDIA and ATI cards. While the numbers between the two brands can be compared, you have to make note that ATI based HD 5000 series cards are running DirectX 11.
DirectX 11 (ATI HD 5000 Series Only)
BattleForge is quite intensive and we can see that the averages are around the 40 - 45FPS mark for both cards, which is probably a bit too low for our liking. As for the performance between the two cards, the Vapor-X OC model from Sapphire again has a very small jump on the stock model.
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.
Checking out the temperature of the core, we can see the Vapor-X model from Sapphire comes in a good 3c cooler than the stock model with its stock cooler.
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 on the Vapor-X model are also slightly lower which is great to see; there isn't much more we could ask for from a cooler.
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.
Power draw between the two cards is pretty similar. The Vapor-X manages to suck a little bit more, but nothing that is worth being concerned about.
As we said in the introduction, you're simply not going to get the same "WOW" factor out of the HD 5750 version of the Vapor-X model for the simple reason being that it's a mid range card. No matter what a company does to these mid range cards, it's hard to get the same excitement from it when compared to something higher end like the HD 5870.
In saying that, however, the HD 5750 Vapor-X is hardly a bad card. Already impressed with what the stock model was capable of, it's good to see a small bump in performance when comparing outright FPS while at the same time getting better numbers off both the core and temperature thanks to the fan.
If you're thinking that the HD 5750 is for you and you don't mind spending the extra dollars, the Vapor-X version might be a better option. The extra few MHz on the core and memory give a small but consistent performance increase, while the new fan does an excellent job of cooling and also looking the part.
The Vapor-X series really is aimed at a different user group. While I find myself liking the ATOMIC series of video cards from Sapphire which bring with them a bigger increase in performance with similar noise and temperature levels to a standard model, others simply find themselves content with the out of the box performance of the stock models, whilst preferring to have a card that runs a little cooler and quieter.
If you're the latter, the Vapor-X series is for you. And look on the bright side; Sapphire even take the time to give us a small bump in performance. Having looked at both Vapor-X models from Sapphire, we find at the moment there's a clear hole in the middle. Hopefully the HD 5770 and HD 5850 get the Vapor-X treatment in the near future.
Dirt 2, new cooling, a small increase in performance and just an all round good card make the Vapor-X OC HD 5750 a card worth looking at. If you want even more performance now, you can at least know that you're buying a card that is giving you better cooling than a stock model and the ability to attack the clock speeds yourself.
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