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PostPosted: 11 Jan 2018, 17:26 
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Joined: 13 Oct 2003, 05:00
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ATI divides its products into segments based on price, power requirements and performance. The complete breakdown is as follows:

  • Ultra Enthusiast: 5970, Eyefinity 6 and CrossFireX
  • Enthusiast: 5870, 5850, 5830
  • Performance: 5770, 5750
  • Mainstream: 5670, 5550, 5450

ATI considers the original HD 5870 to be in the Enthusiast market, but I feel it straddles the line between the two. In my previous reviews of the original HD 5870 and the HD 5870 Eyefinity6 (which also included updated benchmarks for the original 5870), I benchmarked the 5970, 5870, Eyefinity6 and Eyefinity6 in CrossFireX. Thus, the WSGF has reviewed everything in the Ultra Enthusiast segment.

I am now going to conclude my reviews and benchmarking of the ATI 5000-series. Rather than take each card individually, I am going to review each segment as a whole. This review will cover the 5850 and the 5350.

Are the 5850 or 5830 truly suitable for Eyefinity? Or, do you truly need a 5870 for an enjoyable Eyefinity experience. Are the 5800 cards overkill for gaming on a single widescreen?

We hope to answer all these questions (and more) over the course of this review. I will also include information and benchmarks from the 5870 and the 5770, to provide "bookends" to the data. This will allow you to see how performance improves if you "step up" to the 5870, or "step down" into the Performance tier.

Architecture & Specs

The main differentiator within the Ultra Enthusiast segment is clock speed (per GPU). The 5870, Eyefinity6 and 5970 all carry the same number of shaders (per GPU). The Enthusiast segment has variances in clock speed, but also begins reducing the number of Unified Shaders on the GPU.

Below is a spec block with comparing outlining the 5870 through the 5770:

Card GPUs Transistors Max Memory Shaders Clock (MHz) TDP (Watts) MSRP*
Core Mem Idle Max
ATI Radeon HD 5870 1 2.15B 1GB 1600 850 1200 27 188 $399
ATI Radeon HD 5850 1 2.15B 1GB 1440 725 1000 27 151 $324
ATI Radeon HD 5830 1 2.15B 1GB 1120 800 1000 25 175 $249
ATI Radeon HD 5770 1 1.04B 1GB 800 850 1200 18 108 $174
As these cards have been on the market some time, price is based on current average

Based on the stat block you can see the variation within the 5800 family. Each step down from the 5870 reduces the number of Unified Shaders, and has a reduced clock speed. Note that the 5830 is actually clocked higher than the 5850, even though it has fewer shaders. And, the 5770 is clocked exactly the same as the 5870, however with significantly reduced number of shaders.

A Tale of Two Markets

The 5800-series does show characteristics of serving two markets - single screen and Eyefinity. There is surely a point within the 5000-series where a card that performs well in Eyefinity becomes overkill for a single screen. Is that point within the 5800 family? We'll see...


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