Sapphire HD5770 Crossfire Review


Sapphire HD5770      Crossfire


Wow. That almost left us breathless.

Back at the start we wondered if the speed to which the community latched on to the performance that a HD4770 Crossfire setup had, would ATI deliberately detune the HD5770 so that the HD5870 still was the weapon of choice for extreme framerates.

Clearly, and comprehensively, they didn't.

Sapphire have produced a card that gave us enough headroom for a 110MHz core and 200MHz GDDR5 overclock. Probably the most surprising aspect is that the little HD5770 easily kept up with its bigger brothers even in standard trim. Once they were run in an overclocked state it sprang into the lead and, barring one test, never relinquished it.

Given the relative performance levels of the £350 HD5870 and £250 HD5850 in our HD5000 series roundup, we expected that two HD5770s, costing around £250 for the pair, would give us around HD5850 performance or maybe a little more. How foolish preconceptions can appear in hindsight.

So at the start we set out to see if a good value choice was still a HD5850 or if a pair of HD5770s in Crossfire could soothe your gaming ache without upsetting your significant other. And the answer has to be neither. HD5770s in Crossfire aren't merely a good value choice, they are a great performance choice regardless of budget.

Sure if you've won the lottery, are the Chairmen of a bank or maybe even Bernie Ecclestone then for bleeding edge performance you still have to splash the cash on a couple of HD5870s.

For us mere mortals we can get 5870 performance, for 5850 money. And that definitely is good value, in the best meaning of the term and for this reason we have no qualms about giving it our Editors Choice award.

Editors    Choice    

Many thanks to Sapphire for providing the HD5770s for todays review. Discuss in our forums.

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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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