Sapphire HD5770 Crossfire Review

Test Setup and Overclocking

Sapphire HD5770   Crossfire

Test Setup

When testing a GPU it's always important to make sure that you have a setup capable of delivering all the data the cards can cope with. CPU limitation is difficult to overcome as you start having plentiful cards, but we're confident our i7 920 overclocked should be able to handle the pressure.

Motherboard : ASUS Rampage II Extreme
CPU : Intel i7 920 @ 3.6GHz
RAM : 6GB Corsair Platinum @1333mhz
PSU : OCZ 1000w Gold PSU
HDD : 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F1
Monitor : Samsung 2433 24" @ 1920x1200
OS : Windows 7 Ultimate 64
GPU : Sapphire HD5770 x2, ATI HD5850, ATI HD5870

We're putting the HD5770 Crossfire setup against its two main rivals. On cost terms it is the HD5850, and from our experience with the HD4870 we're including a HD5870 for performance testing. That's a steep challenge indeed as the HD5870 is an exceptional card.


The standard Sapphire HD5770 comes with a core speed of 850MHz and a GDDR5 speed of 1200MHz (4800MHz effective). Of course we always enjoy testing the product you can purchase and play without mucking about, but we're hardware nuts first and foremost so we're also going to see if the HD5770 can overclock as well as the HD5850 does.

The most important thing to remember about overclocking is that pure numbers are meaningless if the heat generated is too much, or if we run into stability issues. Because the Sapphire HD5770 already nearly maxes the overclocking sliders on the Catalyst Control Center, we turned to MSI Kombuster for our overclocking and stability testing. This is a neat combination of RivaTuner and Furmark, in that we can increase speeds, check temperatures and stability, obtain a benchmark and go again, all within a single program.

Firstly we wanted to see what temperatures we had at stock and therefore how much headroom the cooler allowed us in our quest for absolute performance. Running the test at 1900x1200 with no anti-aliasing gave us 71°C maximum, which should give us quite a bit of room to play with. Upping the anti-aliasing to 8xMSAA and we still obtained 71­°C. Nice.

Sapphire HD5770 Crossfire     Sapphire HD5770 Crossfire  

By using the tried and tested method of upping the core speed a little at a time and endlessly testing until we reached breaking point, we got to 960MHz core clock and the GPU was still only producing 75°C in the very demanding benchmark regardless of if we had no AA or 8xMSAA.

Sapphire HD5770 Crossfire     Sapphire HD5770 Crossfire

We'd love to have gone on further but sadly that's as far as our slider goes. Nonetheless 110MHz should see a nice little performance boost. We then turned our attention to the GDDR5 and managed an increase from 1200MHz to 1400MHz before we started to get artifacting. Normally manufacturers run the RAM as hard as they can get away with, so it was great to see Sapphire giving us so much headroom.

Does all this power equate to good value?

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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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