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GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5770 Silent Cell 1GB Video Card

The HD 5770 joins the Silent Cell family. We check out what this whisper quiet model does for us.

Published Thu, Sep 9 2010 10:43 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:02 PM CST
Rating: 91%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Introduction and Package


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The HD 5770 has no doubt had a good run this year. The question on everyone's mind is, can the model still survive with the new GTX 460 and the GTS 450 that's due just around the corner?

To be honest, the GTX 460 isn't all that much competition to the HD 5770. Yes, the GTX 460 is a phenomenal card that offers fantastic performance out of the box and when overclocked, but it does this for sometimes over $60 more than the HD 5770. The HD 5770 is designed for people who want to spend less than $200; an area that NVIDIA hasn't got tied up, yet.

While I thought that our HD 5770 samples would've stopped coming in, we saw the SOC version from GIGABYTE recently and today we're looking at the Silent Cell model. Sticking under that $200 price, GIGABYTE want to offer performance to those who demand silence.

Let's check out the package and see what's going on before we look at the card, its specifications and of course its performance.

The Package

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It comes as no surprise that there's little going on in the bundle. Apart from the manual and driver CD we've got a CF connector, DVI to VGA connector and Dual-Molex to 6-Pin PCI-E connector.

Card and Specifications

The Card

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The Silent Cell series is all about the cooler and this card carries with it a massive one. It hangs out well over the back of the card and hovers well over the top of it. This is something that really needs to be considered before you buy the model; the last thing you would want to do is get home and not be able to fit the card in your small silent system.

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As soon as I flipped the card over I instantly thought I was going to run into problems. To be honest, though, as awkward as it looks to install a PCI-E power connector into the back of the card, the task was relatively easy; the same goes for removing it. GIGABYTE has at least left a bit of room for us with fuller fingers.

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As for the rest of the card, we've got a CF connector at the top of the card and connectivity comes in the shape of a Dual-Link DVI connector, HDMI port and DisplayPort giving us the ability to run Eyefinity.


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Being a silent model, it comes as no surprise that GIGABYTE opted to use the default HD 5770 clocks. This means we've got a core of 850MHz while the 1GB of GDDR5 memory comes in at 4800MHz QDR.

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, Mittoni, Noctua and Corsair.

Since we've made some changes to our testbed, we haven't got a back log of results like recent reviews. For that reason we've only included the ECS Black GTX 460 1GB in the graphs. The main thing we'll be looking at is the performance of the HD 5770 Silent Cell and what levels we're able to get playable frame rates at.

In the past we've also separated the amount of benchmarks we do for mid range and lower cards verses higher end ones. Today, though, we'll be using the same benchmarks that are included in our Total Performance Rating and Total Value Rating so all models are combined on the same scale. As time goes on you'll be able to directly compare models like the HD 5770 to the highest end models.

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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We tend to just use Vantage to help set a bit of a baseline number of how a card will perform. Being a synthetic test, though, it's one of the less important benchmarks in the lineup today.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 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.

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Heaven is going to become more useful in the next generation of AMD cards which are said to have improved Tessellation performance. For now we can see it's an area NVIDIA shine in.

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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Looking at the average FPS we're dealing with, we've got good numbers at 1920 x 1200 and below. Why we do fall a little behind that 60 FPS average we need at 2560 x 1600, a bit of a detail drop would get the numbers to a level we need.

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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Like Resident Evil 5 we again see the HD 5770 Silent Cell doesn't have any problems handling itself at 1920 x 1200 and below. It does struggle at 2560 x 1600, though.

Benchmarks - Mafia II

Mafia II

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.2kczech.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.mafia2game.com/
Buy It Here

Mafia II is a third-person action-adventure video game, the sequel to Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven. It is developed by 2K Czech, previously known as Illusion Softworks, and is published by 2K Games. The game is set from 1943 to 1951 in Empire Bay (the name is a reference to New York's state nickname "The Empire State"), a fictional city based on San Francisco and New York City, with influences from Chicago and Detroit. The game features a completely open-ended game map of 10 square miles. No restrictions are included from the start of the game. There are around 50 vehicles in the game, as well as licensed music from the era.

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Mafia II is brand new and very intensive. Across the board you can see we're not able to get that 60 FPS average. The good news is that our in game settings are really maxed out here, so we've got a lot of room to move when it comes to detail.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2

Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Test A Scene 1
Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.lostplanet2game.com/

Lost Planet 2 is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition which is also made by Capcom, taking place ten years after the events of the first game, on the same fictional planet. The story takes place back on E.D.N. III 10 years after the events of the first game. The snow has melted to reveal jungles and more tropical areas that have taken the place of more frozen regions. The plot begins with Mercenaries fighting against Jungle Pirates. After destroying a mine, the Mercenaries continue on to evacuate the area, in which a Category-G Akrid appears and attacks them. After being rescued, they find out their evacuation point (Where the Category-G appeared) was a set-up and no pick up team awaited them. The last words imply possible DLC additions to the game, "There's nothing to be gained by wiping out snow pirates... unless you had some kind of grudge."

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The ECS Black GTX 460 1GB struggled under Lost Planet 2 and the HD 5770 struggles even more. We're looking at very low numbers across the board.

Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator

Aliens vs. Predator

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.rebellion.co.uk/
Product Homepage: http://www.sega.com/games/aliens-vs-predator/

Aliens vs. Predator is a science fiction first-person shooter video game, developed by Rebellion Developments, the team behind the 1999 original PC game, and published by Sega for Microsoft Windows, the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. The game is based on the Alien vs. Predator franchise, a combination of the characters and creatures of the Alien franchise and the Predator franchise. There are three campaigns in the game, one for each race/faction (the Predators, the Aliens and the Colonial Marines), that, while separate in terms of individual plot and gameplay, form one overarching storyline.

Following the storyline of the campaign modes comes the multiplayer aspect of the game. In this Multiplayer section of the game, players face off in various different gametypes in various different ways.

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Like Lost Planet 2 we see the card again really struggle under these newer eye candy driven games. You're really going to have to drop the detail at the lower resolutions to get the FPS up to a playable level.

Benchmarks - Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Elezen (Male)
Developer Homepage: http://www.square-enix.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.finalfantasyxiv.com/

Final Fantasy XIV, also known as Final Fantasy XIV Online, is the fourteenth installment in the Final Fantasy series. The game is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game and is developed and published by Square Enix. The game takes place in a land called Hydaelyn, mainly in a region named Eorzea, which will have a contemporaneously aesthetic blend of science fiction and classic fantasy elements.

The battle and job systems will be different from the one previously used in Final Fantasy XI, which utilized experience points and level-based progression. Final Fantasy XIV is being designed to utilize a skill-based progression[15] system similar to that of Final Fantasy II. Character races will resemble and allow players to create avatars similar to ones in Final Fantasy XI. Group play has been de-emphasized, and now solo and group play have been balanced. Weapon use will alter "character development".

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Just looking at the Final Fantasy XIV benchmark, our understanding is that you want a score of at least 2000. Fortunately we're above that at even the higher 1920 x 1080 resolution.

Benchmarks - Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter IV

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.streetfighter.com/

While Street Fighter IV features models and backgrounds rendered in 3D, the gameplay remains on a traditional 2D plane, with the camera having freedom to move in 3D at certain times during fights, for dramatic effect. Producer Yoshinori Ono has stated that he wanted to keep the game closer to Street Fighter II. A new system called "Focus Attacks" ("Saving Attack" for the Japanese version) has been introduced, as well as Ultra moves. The traditional six-button control scheme returns, with new features and special moves integrated into the input system, mixing classic gameplay with additional innovations.

All the characters and environments in Street Fighter IV are rendered as 3D models with polygons, similar to the Street Fighter EX sub-series Capcom produced with Arika. However, there are a couple of key differences. Art director and character designer Daigo Ikeno, who previously worked on Street Fighter III 3rd Strike, opted for non-photorealistic rendering to give them a hand-drawn look, with visual effects accented in calligraphic strokes, ink smudges and ink sprays during the fights.

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Street Fighter IV as colorful and bright as it looks isn't the most intensive game and for that reason the high frame rates at all resolutions don't come as much of a surprise.

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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Like we've seen a fair bit today, the HD 5770 Silent Cell doesn't have any problems handling itself at 1920 x 1200. Really, only when we move to 2560 x 1600 does the card begin to struggle.

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.

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Batman AA has shown us for a while that you can have a good looking game that doesn't require a $500 video card to run well. Here we see across the board the HD 5770 Silent Cell does a good job handling the game.

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.

Mafia II

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Aliens vs. Predator

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Street Fighter IV

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Far Cry 2

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AA really isn't an option for under $200 cards and while we can see a little bit of light under something like Street Fighter IV, these tests are ultimately included to help keep our TPR and TVR ratings 100% even across all models we test.

Temperature Test

Temperature Tests

The temperature of the core is pulled from MSI Afterburner with the max reading used after a completed run off 3DMark Vantage and the Performance preset.

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Being a card that uses a passive cooling solution, it doesn't come as a surprise that it runs on the warmer side of things. With that said, 62c is still a very good number, so clearly the heatsink design GIGABYTE has opted for is working.

Sound Test

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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You can see the noise levels of our testbed system with the card installed. This also just helps give us an idea of noise levels when we start looking at actively cooled 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 SSD hard drive is used with a single CD ROM and minimal 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 comes as no surprise. Just about any power supply is going to run the HD 5770 Silent Cell without any issues.

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.

The TPR number is a combination of:

3DMark Vantage, Heaven Benchmark V2, Resident Evil 5, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., Mafia 2 (PhysX Off), Lost Planet 2, Aliens vs. Predator, Final Fantasy XIV, Street Fighter IV, Far Cry 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum (PhysX Off) and our four High Quality tests which include Mafia 2, Aliens vs. Predator, Street Fighter IV and Far Cry 2.

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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With still a limited amount of cards in our new layout, it's hard to compare against a lot of other models. Compared to the GTX 460, though, the position doesn't really surprise us.

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 the value isn't quite as strong as the GTX 460, it's very, very close; especially considering just how good the GTX 460 is in the value department.

Final Thoughts

While the TVR graph on the previous page paints a picture of very good value for the HD 5770 Silent Cell, the bottom line is if you're looking for a fast, silent video card then the value on this product is going to be even higher again.

What's great about the HD 5770 and what's always been great about it is the performance it's able to offer at 1920 x 1200 and while it does struggle in very recent games with the detail maxed out, that's something we can easily work around. Sure the game's not going to look as good from a pure eye candy point of view, but it will run smooth which is ultimately what you want.

There's so many nice little markets for the HD 5770 Silent Cell. First you've got the home theater people who want a silent card in the PC but want something with a bit of grunt, too. Honestly, you could do a bit of gaming with no real drama on that 50"+ Full HD TV from the comfort of your lounge.

The other area are people who don't have big budgets and have their PCs in the bedroom. You could get a nice little SSD which is silent, a extremely quiet heatsink/fan for the CPU or possibly a passive one depending on what you're running along with a case with no fans and you would have a silent machine that could game. And while the card would run a bit hotter under that environment, the cooler that GIGABYTE are using is fantastic and to be honest, we expected nothing less; the Silent Cell series of cards have always been fantastic quality.

There are very few negatives about the product. Yes, the bundle is a little light, but honestly, which video card bundle isn't these days? The cooler is large, but this is the cost of admission when it comes to passive cooling on silent cards; it's something you'll really need to make note of. The PCI-E 6-Pin connector is in a bit of a weird position as well, but as I mentioned earlier, I didn't have any trouble getting the connector in and while getting it out was slightly harder, it's not going to be an issue for most.

If you're gaming at 2560 x 1600, no offence, but you could probably afford something a little more expensive and faster. If you're gaming at 1920 x 1200, you're going to be able to game well with detail set anywhere from medium to very high depending on the engine and age of the game. If you're looking at 1680 x 1050, you'll be able to run most games on the higher end of that scale when it comes to detail.

All in all the HD 5770 Silent Cell is a winner of a card for people who want a card that can pull out some decent FPS and is whisper quiet. The $170 US price tag is very reasonable and while there are models like the GTX 460 taking a lot of the lime light at the moment, if staying under $200 US is your goal, the HD 5770 remains one of the best options.

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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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