ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB GDDR5 Preview


So it's finally that time of year when after a significant amount of time of what seems as though a stagnant market we're presented with something new and hopefully very special. What exactly do you hope to see? Substantial performance increases from the previous top end of graphics card? An improvement in visuals and eye candy and/or just all out bang per buck? Honestly, we welcome change of any sort so long as it's change for the good.
Today we had the opportunity to try out AMD's new killer GPU, the HD 5870 for a limited set of benchmark runs. Loosely based on the successful RV770 (HD 4800 series) architecutre, it is hammed up and tweaked into a mammoth 2.1 billion transistor, DX11 compliant creature aimed squarely at nVidia's excellent but steadily ageing arsenal of GTX 2xx Graphics Cards. So what makes this graphics card so great? Comparison table, here we come
  nVidia GeForce GTX 285 ATi Radeon HD 4890 ATi Radeon HD 5870
55nm 55nm 40nm
DirectX  10 10.1 11
Memory Interface 512bit GDDR3 256bit GDDR5 256bit GDDR5
Stream Processor
240 800 1600
Core Clock 648 850MHz 850MHz
Memory Clock 1242 975MHz 1200MHz
TMU Count 80 40 80
ROP Count 32 16
Would you like the long story or the short story? In a nutshell the ATI Radeon HD 5870 features everything that the HD 4800 series could offer but more. Everything has seen an improvement. The shrink to 40nm and retaining the smaller 256bit interface allows for a less complex and smaller GPU core, driving the costs right down, but without the performance loss thanks to the faster GDDR5 memory. TMU/ROP count and subsequently Stream Processor count has also doubled, which means a theoretical “doubling” of bandwith. On paper, it would seem as though ATi has a rather good chance of pipping the GTX 285 as well. Understatement of the century? Maybe, maybe not. Let's have a physical look at ATi's latest gem.
First of all, it should be noted that this is ATI's longest single GPU graphics card. Measuring in at around 10.5", this graphics card will fit in any case that previously fitted a Radeon HD 3870/4870X2, GTX 2xx or GeForce 8800GTX/Ultra. The cooling solution consists of a multi-heatpipe cooler, with a full length shroud that will direct cool air across it's internal fins and out of the case via vents to the rear. I can happily report that the graphics card is whisper quiet at idle and surprisingly tolerable under load conditions as well. Towards the rear of the card, we see a rather interesting cluster of video inputs. This Radeon HD 5870 sports two Dual Link DVI, one HDMI and one Display port input, allowing for maximum flexibility. Do note that while there are four inputs available, only three can be used at once. Did I say only three? What I meant is that this graphics card just made your Matrox Triple Head2Go redundant. Enough chit chat though, it's results time! 
«Prev 1 2 Next»

Most Recent Comments

23-09-2009, 08:31:24

looks like ghosties keeping his 4890 Quote

23-09-2009, 10:47:51

Some nice initial figures there.

This card won't be aimed at the GTX285 tho, the cards are both a different generation, different audience and different api, particularly Dx11.

This card can only really be aimed at the "GTX375" or whatever it turns out to be.

Comparing different generations is building up hopes.Quote

23-09-2009, 10:59:25

I Hunta x
im suprised one ones been wondering how they fold. ima decide if i wana go 5k or gt300 when there is decent comparisons about and i have a bit more money, for now good old 4850, unless the 4890's get a price drop soonQuote

23-09-2009, 11:51:09

They will fold the same as the old ones untill Stanford redo the client to work with the new architecture I would have thought dudeQuote

23-09-2009, 12:46:49

I Hunta x
probably woulda hoped for 25%~ more ppd tbh, ill look out for results and get report back if i see anyQuote

Register for the OC3D Newsletter

Subscribing to the OC3D newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest technology reviews, competitions and goings-on at Overclock3D. We won't share your email address with ANYONE, and we will only email you with updates on site news, reviews, and competitions and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Simply enter your name and email address into the box below and be sure to click on the links in the confirmation emails that will arrive in your e-mail shortly after to complete the registration.

If you run into any problems, just drop us a message on the forums.