Sapphire HD5770 Crossfire Review


Sapphire HD5770 Crossfire


Value. If ever a word has a singular definition but multiple meanings it's value.

I can't imagine many of us would consider spending the price of a used car on an item of clothing, but when you consider the work that goes into a Saville Row suit, the quality of the cloth, the cut, the personalisation and how it will last a lifetime, suddenly it becomes "good value".

Alternatively it can be very pejorative. "Value Beans" doesn't tend to make us think we're in for a tasty treat.

By and large though, in PC Hardware terms, its mainly used to define something that gives unexpected performance at a sensible price point. It doesn't always mean it's the best available, merely that you wont be disappointed. When you're young you want nothing but the best regardless of cost. As you move into normal life with all the expenses and responsibilities that entails you tend to seek out those nuggets, that hardware that is good value.

Last generation the Radeon HD4870 was an exceptional card but for those who wanted blazing performance, at a price that wont leave them sleeping on the sofa, there was only one choice. A HD4770 Crossfire setup. It was cheap, fast, didn't cause the electric meter to generate its own gravity by spinning so fast and was, to continue the theme, exceptional value.

Now we're on the 5000 series, have ATI kept up this performance or nerfed it to get us to splash out on the main event?

Sapphire HD5770 Crossfire

Sapphire are probably best known for their amazing Vapor-X cooling solution. Probably the best graphics cooler available on an out-the-box GPU. They have got three different models of the HD5770 available. The HD5770 we're looking at today that uses the original reference cooler, the HD5770 New Edition that uses the modern ATI Reference cooler that expels air into the case rather than out the back, and the HD5770 Vapor-X.

Because we're looking at value we didn't want to look at a card that comes with a premium cooler, nor one that is already a little overclocked. We want to start at the absolute bargain basement HD5770 and see exactly how much performance can be tempted out of its silicon.

Technical Specifications

Graphics cards are fairly simple beasts and so we thankfully have only a small table today listing the specifications. Taken, as always, from the manufacturer website. The main thing of note is that the HD5770 supports Eyefinity and so has the requisite multiple display outputs.

Output2 x Dual-Link DVI
1 x HDMI
1 x DisplayPort
GPU850 MHz Core Clock
40 nm Process Technology
800 x Stream Processors
Memory1024 MB Size
128 -bit GDDR5
4800 Mbps Clock Effective
SoftwareDriver CD

Picture time.

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Most Recent Comments

29-03-2010, 04:17:55

Your wish is our command.... 5770 Crossfire? Suits you Sir!

Continue ReadingQuote

29-03-2010, 06:17:50

you mentioned the driver cd being used. Was it the 10.3 ATI CrossFireX Application Profiles if not it would be useful to know what effect this has across the boards.Quote

29-03-2010, 06:26:57

It was 10.2 dude 10.3 has only just been released.Quote

29-03-2010, 07:06:22

cheers, was wondering. just put spanner in works was intending to buy 5870 but not too sure now, not a lot of money and seems more bang for buck on crossfire. just never used crossfire.Quote

29-03-2010, 14:25:16

Lol this really makes me question my judgement. Was really thinking about a 5870 but this definitely makes me think twice about it if I can save £100 and get comparable performance if I do a bit of overclocking...

If funds weren't too much of an issue would it still be recommended to go with a 5870 instead?Quote

29-03-2010, 14:57:21

If funds aren't an issue and you enjoy the thought of upgrading in the future, then yes a 5870 would be a wise purchase.

If you plan on purchasing a setup and sticking with it until some future release, go 5770.Quote

29-03-2010, 20:02:36

A pair of these makes a great combination it seems. What I wonder is, how powerful a CPU do you need so that you're not bottlenecking this setup on most games? Is it the same as the single card? Also, what are the power requirements like under overclocked crossfire compared to the other cards? This seems to be something that comes up more and more nowadays.

And another question (more relating to my setup) - are two 8x PCI-E lanes sufficient? Would a better chipset than P45 be worth investing in to make the most from these cards?Quote

30-03-2010, 16:34:22

second that. if you're looking for value the powerdraw should be considered.

do you have stats on that? how does the dual 5770 compare?

So much for driving round a track. Can we shoot people in the head now?

I lol'd Quote

31-03-2010, 06:45:50

will be good to run same benches with 10.3b ^^, CF goes up every driver release XD

It's so pleasing to see these reviews, after buying these cards 4 months ago, only because we can't find a 5850 at a reasonable price...Quote

07-06-2010, 21:31:40

Power draw is very low when not gaming. The second card simply down clocks to hardly anything and sits dormant.Quote

07-06-2010, 21:32:52

Originally Posted by name='alexhull24'
A pair of these makes a great combination it seems. What I wonder is, how powerful a CPU do you need so that you're not bottlenecking this setup on most games?
Good question. I read a different review (a really super long winded one) and it said that due to CPU bottlenecking in some instances the Crossfired 5770s performed as well as a 5970.Quote

08-06-2010, 03:41:57

No mate thats completely inaccurate unless the CPU was a single core celeron.Quote

09-06-2010, 06:36:23

Originally Posted by name='tinytomlogan'
No mate thats completely inaccurate unless the CPU was a single core celeron.
IIRC it was in a super powerful machine but only really occured at ridiculous resolutions. I'll have to do some digging later and see if I can find it Quote

09-06-2010, 06:39:16

BTW I remembered I did this last night during the transition from single to Crossfire.

Here is a shot with everything maxed on one card in the menu.

And the same menu about twenty minutes later with the second card fitted.

I had a gap between getting one card and the other because the second was an RMA exchange for my dead 280GTXQuote

09-06-2010, 12:18:11

Cool, I'm making the same transition as you, from GTX280 to 5770CF. I'm just about to start running benchmarks with the GTX280 and a single 5770, should have results up this week if anyone's interested. I've got DiRT 2, so that'll be tested, if there's any other games people would particularly like to see I can see if I can bench them. Don't have BC2 I'm afraid!Quote

09-06-2010, 12:25:12

Start a thread fella, always good to see individual resultsQuote

09-06-2010, 17:02:16

Originally Posted by name='tinytomlogan'
Start a thread fella, always good to see individual results
Will do. I'm planning on doing GTX280, 5770, 5770CF. The first two now, the latter once I've sold my GTX280. I've got a few benchmarking programs and plenty of games. There'll also be some nice photos!Quote

09-06-2010, 17:12:03

Sounds good !Quote

14-06-2010, 15:49:27

Originally Posted by name='alexhull24'

And another question (more relating to my setup) - are two 8x PCI-E lanes sufficient? Would a better chipset than P45 be worth investing in to make the most from these cards?
Sorry Alex I only just realised you had posted that.

I too have a board that shares the bandwidth into 2 x 8xPCIE. I read for about a week before deciding that it would be fine. In my 3dvantage I scored 14,400 or so on 3dmarks. The test system used for the review here probably cost 2-3 times what mine did. My motherboard was £30 and my CPU will not touch an I7 (Phenom 2 940).

So yes, the particular set up used here scored 3000 more 3dmarks than mine did and it probably allowed the 5770s to stretch their legs more but 14,400 is still a very respectable score for a system like mine.

I did read somewhere that putting the same system into a motherboard with twin 16X PCIE slots gained about 1000 points more than the system with 2 x 8X PCIE slots.

Also consider that your 280 will score about what mine did in Vantage - about 9000 3dmarks. So to sum it up if you already have a system with 2 x 8x PCIE slots then it would be financial suicide for the levels of performance you will gain (hardly any tbh).Quote

21-06-2010, 10:05:49

Hurrah. Just managed to push over 15k marks in Vantage using a gentle OC.

GPU @ 875 (XXX speed, now you can see why paying £35 for this paltry OC is brainless) and ram at 1350 (XFX XXX @ 1300).

21-06-2010, 10:31:24

Last one for me. 900/1350.

I'm not going to push them any harder as I don't need them going wrong. It's also doing a Nelly (getting hot in here) and I don't fancy taking off all my clothes.Quote

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