It would be interesting to know the strategy behind ATI and their decision to release the HD 5400 series before the HD 5500. Considering the samples arrived only days apart, we doubt it was because one was ready and not the other. They could've almost released both cards at the same time; maybe they just wanted to spread it out a bit so they received more coverage instead of having one review / article on two models. Now they end up with two.
Ultimately, though, why they've done it this way doesn't really matter. While you might think you have a bit of an idea on how this model will perform, the chances are you're wrong, because while we know how the HD 5600 series performs and the HD 5400 performs, we don't know if ATI are going to release more models in those categories; something like a HD 5650 or HD 5470.
The big question that needs to be answered today is whether or not the HD 5570 performs closer to the HD 5670 or closer to the HD 5450. For the simple fact that we like performance, we hope that it leans towards the HD 5670, but we're really not sure. Before we find out just how it does perform, let's take a closer look at the package and the card itself.
Sitting in the lower end mid-range market, as always, there's not a whole lot to look at when it comes to the package. The most standout point would have to be the low profile brackets which were something we saw in the HD 5450 bundle from Sapphire as well.
If you hadn't already guessed it by the inclusion of a couple of low profile brackets, the card is of course a low profile model. The big difference between this model and the HD 5450 is the decision to go with active cooling on the model.
There's not a whole lot to look at. The small fan we know is going to cause a little bit of noise due to the nature of the size and high RPM. Like the HD 5600 series above it, the model lacks a need for an extra power connector which is always nice.
Due to the low profile nature of the model, we've got ourselves a VGA port alongside the DisplayPort and Dual-Link DVI connector. While we do have support for Eyefinity, it's worth noting that like the HD 5450, one of the connections are going to have to be via VGA which means you're going to have a screen that is connected via an analogue connection instead of a digital one. This will in turn slightly affect the image quality of that one monitor.
The first standout point for the model would be the fact that like the HD 5450 we see the use of GDDR3 memory instead of GDDR5 which we've seen on the HD 5600 series and above. This is what we think will cause the biggest difference in performance and make it lean more towards the HD 5450 than the HD 5600.
As for the clocks, we see a 650MHz core which is the same as the HD 5450. As for the 1GB of GDDR3 memory, that comes in at 1800MHz DDR which is 200MHz DDR higher than the HD 5450. The big difference between the two models is the HD 5570 uses a 128-bit memory bus instead of a 64-bit one as well as offering twice the amount of ROPs at 16 and 400 Unified Shaders instead of the 8 seen on the HD 5450.
While the clocks don't look amazing, the numbers outside of them look a lot nicer. Let's check out the test system before getting into the results.
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 Redwood Beta, ATI Catalyst Cedar Beta
Figuring out what to add in our graphs today was easy. We've added the newly released HD 5450 which isn't really a gamers card, but more so an office one. On the other side we've got the HD 5670 which is what we consider an entry level gamers card offering playable game play at 1680 x 1050 when in game settings are low.
So the question we're asking today is, does the HD 5570 lean more towards the gaming orientated HD 5670 or more towards the office aimed HD 5450? - Our initial thoughts are the HD 5450 due to the decision to use GDDR3 and also looking at the low profile nature of the card.
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.
Straight away we can see that looks are deceiving. Even though the model is low profile and carries with it GDDR3 memory, it's clearly a lot closer to the HD 5670 than the HD 5450.
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 again see the numbers are significantly closer to the HD 5670 than you may have thought with the model performing considerably faster than the HD 5450 when it comes to gaming.
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).
While the performance under CINEBENCH on the HD 5450 had dropped well below that 10k mark which we've been seeing for ages from ATI; the HD 5570 pushes the performance back up to where we've come to expect from the company and series.
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.
Looking at Resident Evil 5, we can see we've got more than double the performance of the HD 5450. Unfortunately we're only a bit over half way to that 60 FPS average we want to see. A detail drop isn't going to get the number we want; you're going to want to move down in resolution to something like 1280 x 1024 at medium detail.
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.
Looking at the minimum, we can see we're still far from the 30 FPS number we need to see. Again, while a detail drop won't get us that, moving to 1280 x 1024 with detail set at medium will get us the number we need.
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.
We continue to see a strong performance increase from the HD 5570 when compared to the HD 5450. Again, though, we're far away from that 30 FPS minimum and a detail drop isn't going to get it. Moving the resolution with a drop to medium will get us the numbers we need to make game playable.
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.
If one of our games were going to break the 30 FPS minimum at 1680 x 1050, it was going to be Batman AA. And as you can see, it happened. Compared to the HD 5450, you're looking at numbers that put it three times faster than the latest entry level monitor.
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 extremely intensive and you can see today that all three cards struggle to be anywhere near that 60 FPS average. The results show the same pattern, though, a big performance jump over the HD 5450 with it leaning a lot more towards the HD 5670 than the HD 5450.
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.
Active cooling and a core that's not working as hard as the HD 5670 means that the core runs at a fairly good temperature level.
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).
The small fan means that it's going to be louder than bigger cards with bigger fans, but the numbers aren't too bad; it could be worse.
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 on the HD 5570 is almost identical to the HD 5670. While idle is a little lower, you can see both hit 270 watt at load.
It was surprising to see the numbers the HD 5570 put out when compared to the HD 5450. The low profile nature of the card and decision to go GDDR3 over GDDR5 really gave us the feeling that the card would be a overpowered office card rather than something that could game.
Looking at the numbers, though, it's clear that looks can be deceiving. Across the board we see good performance numbers from the model. Now, while you're not going to be gaming at 1680 x 1050 on any new games minus the exception that is Batman AA, you're going to be able to play at 1280 x 1024.
On the topic of the age of games, if you're into older games then this model is a good option. You really shouldn't have a problem playing some good classics at 1680 x 1050, even if you do have to drop the detail.
Let's have a look at what we're dealing with here. You're talking about a model that will have an RRP of $79 - $85US, it offers support for Eyefinity and gaming on the model isn't crap. I love this card, and I love it because it's better than what I thought it would be.
Games like Sims 3, Counter Strike, Left 4 Dead and Batman AA are just a few of the games that this card would be great at when playing at lower resolutions. If you've got one of those pre-built, low profile machines that isn't able to play games these days, this is a fantastic option.
The HD 5570 is ultimately a wolf in sheep's clothing. You're not going to be playing the latest games at 1680 x 1050, you're not going to be playing games across three 24" monitors, but you are going to get some great performance at 1280 x 1024 with newer games or 1680 x 1050 with older games.
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