We needed the HD 5830 for the simple reason that the HD 5770 comes in at around $150 US while the HD 5850 carries a $300 - $330 US price tag. For under $250 the HD 5830 is going to fill a gap that ATI have left open. The problem is that I don't think ATI really knew how they wanted the model to perform.
Too close to the HD 5850 and it would hurt the sales of the more expensive model. Too close to the HD 5770 in the performance department with the $250 US price tag and it would kill the value for money the card offers.
Clearly ATI intended to release the model with a 4600MHz QDR memory clock. While the extra performance is no doubt nice, I think it's safe to say that it could've been a bit too close to the HD 5850.
Who would buy this product outside of someone who has around $250 US to spend and no more? I've said many times that casual 1920 x 1200 gamers can buy a HD 5770 and have the ability to play most games these days. Casual 2560 x 1600 gamers would be better off with a HD 5850. This model as it is now lacks the grunt to play the latter, but also doesn't offer a game changing experience at 1920 x 1200 thanks to the HD 5770 being very playable at this resolution.
This is the negative side of it. But if you really think about it, there are plenty of people who would benefit from this card such as 1920 x 1200 users who want to dabble with a little bit of AA, something like 2x. It's clear that 4x AA and 16x AF is a struggle for the model, but that's fine at this resolution. Move down to 1680 x 1050 and you can really start moving those details up.
Also compared to the HD 5770, you get that extra bit of future proofing when it comes to future more intensive games. Sure the HD 5770 handles a lot of today's games at 1920 x 1200, but what about tomorrows?
The other thing is if you look at the card when the memory is overclocked, we see some really nice performance gains. I think here is where we'll see the model really shine. In saying that, we'll keep overclocking tests away until we have a retail sample on hand just to make sure we can achieve the same memory clock or higher.
The HD 5830 was a very tough model for ATI. While the pricing was easy enough to figure out, it was no doubt going to be hard to figure out exactly how much performance they should give the model. Having tested it at 4000MHz QDR and 4600MHz QDR, I think that 4200MHz QDR probably would've have been a nice number. It would've given us just a bit more bump in performance, moved it a little further away from the HD 5770 and not placed it too close to the HD 5850.
When you think about it, if retail cards can achieve a 4600MHz QDR memory clock and then get another 75MHz - 100MHz out of the core, it's going to be a real force to be reckoned with and the big overclock achieved could make the model stand out more than ATI could've hoped.
What we need to ask is; could the HD 5830 have been better? The answer in a word is Yes. BUT! It could've been better in the same way that every video card on the market could be better. Out of the box it could've been faster and the price could be cheaper. The same goes for the HD 5850, HD 5870 and every other model. What we really want to know is if ATI found the right balance for a card that's going to sit in the mid $200 range? For this question I feel myself a bit in the middle. In saying that, though, I am leaning more towards yes, they did find the balance side.
Finding the balance in a model is extremely tough. Sure the HD 5870 is easy; you make it as fast as possible. The HD 5850 which followed needs to be cheaper and perform not as well, but at the same time offering the majority of gamers a good experience. The HD 5770 was a new series but that needed to perform well enough so that it was only a series down from the HD 5800, but not perform so well that you would just buy it instead of a HD 5850.
The HD 5830 is all about finding the balance of price and performance. If you're looking at taking your 1680 x 1050 gaming experience to the next level or want to cover yourself for future game releases at 1920 x 1200, the HD 5830 is the model you want to buy, assuming that you want to spend around $250.
What we need to find out in the coming days is how do two go together and what is overclocking like on a retail sample.
The HD 5830 has a market and while it might not be as cut and dry as the HD 5770, HD 5850, HD 5870 and HD 5970, it's clearly there. You just have to look past the simple resolution table and start looking at not only what resolution you're gaming at, but what kind of detail you want.
The HD 5830 is going to be a popular model; the price is good, it lets people say they own a HD 5800 series card without spending $300 and we get the feeling there's going to be some decent OC potential here as well.
The release of this model really lets us know how much ATI love to spoil us and no doubt there are plenty of people who have got their money ready to buy this model.
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