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MSI Radeon HD 5830 1GB Twin FrozrII Video Card

MSI upgrade the HD 5830 with some new cooling and throw us Afterburner in the package for good measure. How's the card clock? Let's find out.

Published Apr 16, 2010 12:30 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:02 PM CST
Manufacturer: MSI


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MSI are hitting us hard and fast with new models that have been standing out compared to the competition. No doubt this is the joys of working with both NVIDIA and ATI, though, because it seems that in the near future we'll get upgraded versions of the new GTX 400 series cards from the company, too.

Today however, we're looking at something not quite as high end; a bit of a love it, hate it kind of card, depending on how you look at it. The HD 5830 to some is a model that is spot on to their budget; to others it's too expensive and they think a HD 5850 is a better option. Maybe a HD 5850 is a better option, but if your budget is your budget then it doesn't matter and there's no denying it's faster than the HD 5770.

We've already looked at the HD 5830 a few times including on our new testbed setup, so today we'll be giving the HD 5830 from MSI some love with Afterburner and see how this bad boy overclocks. We'll compare it against the stock HD 5830 and a stock HD 5850 to see how the model compares. For now, though, let's take the time to look at the bundle and the card itself.

The Package

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Inside the package you don't see anything you haven't really seen before with some paperwork and a CD which includes Afterburner and drivers. Of course, we recommend you head on over to the ATI website and grab the latest drivers.

The Card and Specifications

The Card

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Looking at the card itself, there's nothing that you haven't seen before with the Twin FrozrII cooler being used on a few of the recent MSI cards we've looked at. The biggest difference with this card compared to other HD 5830s is the decision for MSI to drop the second Dual-Link DVI connector. Of course Eyefinity is still supported, but instead of using two DVI monitors you'll have to use HDMI connectivity or buy an inexpensive HDMI to DVI adapter.


Out of the box the HD 5830 from MSI carries the default clocks; this means we've got an 800MHz core and the 1GB of GDDR5 memory coming in at an even 4000MHz QDR.

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Spending a bit of time in Afterburner, we moved the core up 75MHz to 875MHz and the memory clock from the standard 4000MHz QDR to a very impressive 4760MHz QDR.

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Some nice increases indeed which should hopefully give us a bit of extra punch when it comes to performance in our benchmarks today.

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage

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We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASRock, Kingston, Western Digital, Noctua and Thermaltake.

As we mentioned earlier in the introduction, we'll be looking at the HD 5830 Twin FrozrII when overclocked to 875MHz / 4760MHz QDR against a stock HD 5830 and also a stock HD 5850.

Just because we can, we've also included the GTX 470 in the benchmark graphs. Remember, though; the model is significantly more expensive than the HD 5830.

Let's get started!

3DMark Vantage

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.

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Under Vantage we can see the extra MHz clearly shows a gain in performance. Really, though, it's quite a small difference. Hopefully we see some more significant jumps in our real world testing.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 1 and 2
Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com
Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//

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 DirectX10 results.

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Under Heaven which is again a synthetic benchmark we see a small bump in performance. Nothing to get excited about here, though.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH


Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10 and Release 11.5
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).

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CINEBENCH performance under the R10 release is where it should be on the MSI HD 5830. For some reason on the GIGABYTE card it did lag behind, as we mentioned in the review of that card.

As for the R11 release, performance is similar between the two, though again we see a small bump in performance with the overclocked MSI.

Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5

Version and / or Patch Used: Demo Benchmark
Developer Homepage: www.residentevil.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.

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Starting at the bottom, we get a couple of FPS bump and while we do see a bump at the highest resolution, it's only 1 FPS.

Benchmarks - BattleForge


Version and / or Patch Used: Auto Patched at Load
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.battleforge.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 seperated 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.

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We see a small bump in performance at 1920 x 1200 and below, while 2560 x 1600 performance is identical.

Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/UK/default.aspx
Product Homepage: http://www.hawxgame.com/

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X is an arcade-style flight simulator video game developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and iPhone OS.

The fundamental gameplay mechanics are similar to those of other console-based flight series. Players take on enemies with over 50 aircraft available. Each mission is at real world locations in environments created with commercial satellite data. A cockpit, first person, and third person view are selectable. The third person view gives the player an external view of both their plane and the target.

Set above the skies of a near-future world, increasingly dependent on private military companies with elite mercenaries who have a relaxed view on the law. As these non-governmental organizations gain power, global conflict erupts with one powerful PMC attacking the United States.

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Under H.A.W.X. we can see that the HD 5830 Twin FrozrII when overclocked performs a good 5 FPS better, which is a nice gain.

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.darkestofdays.com/index.php
Product Homepage: http://www.darkestofdays.com/index.php

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 take advantage of the NVIDIA PhysX abilities. For that reason we will test ATI cards at the Low preset, NVIDIA based cards though will be tested at Low and High.

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Darkest of Days isn't the best benchmark when it comes to overclocked cards. As you can see, at 2560 x 1600 it does fall behind slightly. At the lower resolutions, however, we see that few FPS bump again.

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.

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Far Cry 2 sees some very impressive gains. Most importantly, though, the card becomes playable at 2560 x 1600 thanks to a minimum FPS of 30. This is a big 6 FPS jump over the stock clocked HD 5830 which is a gain of over 20%.

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.batmanarkhamasylum.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, ATI cards will be tested with the technology off due to it not being supported on their cards.

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Across the board we see that we've got a minimum FPS bump with the overclocked card again.

Benchmarks - Dark Void

Dark Void

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.airtightgames.com
Product Homepage: http://www.darkvoidgame.com/

The game's story takes place during World War II and centers around a cargo pilot named William Augustus Grey (voiced by Nolan North) who is teleported to another world while flying through the Bermuda Triangle. In this world, known as the 'Void', Will encounters an alien race as well as other humans, which are known as the Watchers and the Survivors respectively.

Will reluctantly joins the Survivors who are engaged in a feud with the alien race to satisfy his desire to return to Earth. While aiding the Survivors, Will discovers that the Void is a middle ground that connects both the Watchers homeworld and Earth. It also becomes apparent that the Watchers are supplying the Axis powers with various supplies for reasons unknown. With the help of Nikola Tesla, Will utilizes retrofited Watcher technology to combat the Watchers and eventually find a way to escape the Void.

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We can see at 2560 x 1600 the HD 5830 Twin FrozrII minimum did drop slightly, but the average is up a fair bit. Across the other resolutions we see the big jumps in average FPS performance as well.

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

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The HD 5850 struggles in Far Cry 2 with AA on, so it comes as no surprise that the HD 5830 has the same issue. The overclocked card here, though, again from MSI does offer us a boost in performance.

Resident Evil 5

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Under RE5 we see that both cards sit perfectly in line with each other at 39 FPS.

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

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H.A.W.X. sees another 1 FPS bump, but nothing that you're going to get excited about.

Benchmarks - Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor

Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.51
Timedemo or Level Used: Sample File
Developer Homepage: http://www.elcomsoft.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.elcomsoft.com/ewsa.html

ElcomSoft has pioneered many software innovations that have made it easier to recover passwords protecting various types of resources. For the first time in the industry, the company's patent-pending GPU acceleration makes its way into Wi-Fi password recovery, reducing the time required to recover Wi-Fi passwords up to a hundred times.

Supporting up to four NVIDIA boards such as GeForce 8, 9, and 200, as well as ATI video cards such as RADEON HD 4000 Series and up, Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor allows building servers with supercomputer performance at a fraction of the price.

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The extra grunt on offer from the extra MHz means it performs slightly better under WSA.

Temperature and Sound Tests

Temperature 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.

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The MSI card does run a little warmer than the GIGABYTE one, but you can see when compared to the other cards we've got here its temperatures are much lower.

Sound Tests

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).

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As for noise levels, while its load noise is similar to the GIGABYTE, its idle noise is significantly lower.

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.

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Power draw is where you would expect. Its idle is significantly lower than the GIGABYTE, though; this due to the fact that the GIGABYTE card doesn't go into 2D clocks when running around in Windows. It's something that is clearly worth noting.

Total Performance Rating (TPR)

Total Performance Rating

The TPR graph is a combination of all our benchmarks in which NVIDIA and ATI are on an even playing field. This includes benchmarks where PhysX can be forced off like Dark Void and Batman: Arkham Asylum, but not Darkest of Days.

The TPR number is a combination of:

3DMark Vantage, Heaven Benchmark V2, CINEBENCH R11.5, Resident Evil 5, BattleForge, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., Far Cry 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum (PhysX Off), Dark Void (PhysX Off) and our three High Quality tests which include Far Cry 2, Resident Evil 5 and Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

All of the benchmark results achieved are then combined into a single number. As this graph will grow over time and cards won't be re-tested, next to each model you'll find the driver version that was used when the card was benchmarked.

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It comes as no surprise that across the board the HD 5830 from MSI when overclocked offers us more performance than the standard HD 5830.

Total Value Rating (TVR)

Total Value Rating

The TVR graph is the TPR score divided by the price of the video card. The price of the video card is based on the list price of the model on Newegg.com. In the event the card isn't listed, it will be based on the U.S. $ MSRP given to us by the manufacturer.

In the event we can't source a price from either, the product will not receive a TVR rating. As with our TPR graph, the amount of video cards on the list will grow over time and the price of the model won't change from what it was when first reviewed. For this reason the U.S. $ price that the card is based off will be included next to the name of the model.

In the event you want to find the TVR rating yourself based on the current price, all you have to do is simply divide the TPR number by the list price.

TVR numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number; 100.3 will be 100; 100.8 will be 101 and 100.5 will be rounded down to 100.

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While not shown here for the simple reason being that we didn't benchmark the card at its stock clocks, it's safe to assume that its numbers would be almost identical to the GIGABYTE model at stock clocks. That means the rating on the card would be a 107 due to the higher price of $269.99 over at Newegg. When overclocked, that figure is pushed to 109 which can be seen in the above graph thanks to the extra performance with the card costing no more.

The heavy focus on Afterburner from MSI means that overclocking has to clearly be taken into account.

Final Thoughts

Compared to the GIGABYTE HD 5830 the card clearly stands out in some areas and not in others. The extra price might be an issue for some, but the high quality cooler of the MSI card could be a clear standout reason to spend the extra money.

The other ability with the card while not shown here is the ability to adjust the voltage of the core. This would yield even higher performance gains and while not available on the sample we got which was part of an early revision, we may end up with another one in the near future to look at which has the ability.

The voltage adjustment for some is priceless and means that the value of the product is increased even more. You can actually see over at Newegg.com that the card is listed with a note saying "OverVoltage Support by using latest AfterBurner 1.5.1".

The HD 5830 I personally feel is a good valued product and when you throw in the fact that it overclocks well when using a nice cooler like the Twin FrozrII one from MSI, its value is increased even more.

If you're looking for something that stands out from the pack when it comes to the HD 5830, this is one worth looking at; especially if you're interested in looking more into AfterBurner and its voltage adjustment ability.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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