ASUS EAH5750 Formula Review
Reviewed by: gotdamojo06
Reviewed on: January 6, 2010
Have you been looking for a new video card for your system? If you are not demanding the most bleeding edge technology that is going to cost you an arm and a leg, but is still going to be able to deliver you some pretty amazing looking graphics in your favorite games, you may want to check out the new ASUS EAH5750. The EAH5750 is going to utilize the new core from ATI, but put it in on a card that is not going to break the bank. Is the EAH5750 going to be able to give enough of a performance boost to justify replacing your aging HD3850 or HD4870? We will find out the answer to that by the time we finish looking at the card, so let's get started!
The packaging for the ASUS EAH5750 Forumula is very busy. The front of the box is where you are going to find a picture of a race car that has been edited to have graphics showing it driving extremely fast. Right next to the image of the car driving, you'll see "13% Cooler" printed in a blue and white text, letting you know that ASUS has used its own custom cooler on the card to help battle the biggest battle any overclocker faces, high temperatures. The top left hand corner is where you are going to find the ASUS logo with the slogan "Inspiring Innovation * Persistent Perfection" printed below it. The EAH5750 Formula logo printed at the bottom of the front is where you are going to see all the badges that the card holds, such as the 1GB of GDDR5 memory, HDMI support, DirectX 11 support, and ASUS Xtreme Design. The back of the package is where you will find a list of the "Powerful Features" the card possesses, as well as what ASUS Exclusive Innovation products are included with the card and details explaining them. When you open up the front of the package, you are going to get a peak at the card, which has the cooler in the shape of a race car, and a few pointers about the performance, safety, and reliability of the card.
Pulling the card out of the packaging, you'll see that ASUS has protected the EAH5750 by placing it inside a black Styrofoam enclosure inside a cardboard box. ASUS has included one crossfire bridge, a HDMI to DVI dongle, and a 4-pin Molex to a 6-pin PCI-E power adapter. Under the Styrofoam enclosure, ASUS has stashed the VGA drivers CD, the Multi-language Manual, and the SpeedSetup booklet.
Now that we know how the ASUS EAH5750 comes packaged and what kind of goodies come with along with it, it's time to take a good look at the card itself.
Taking a look at the card outside of the packaging, we are able to see that it is quite a bit shorter than the newer HD57xx series, however it does not skimp on the cooler that is installed on the card. ASUS has added its own personal touch to its EAH5750 by adding a cooler that is designed like a race car, which just by the looks of it is going to provide a good way to cool your card. There is a large fan in the middle of the cooler that sits on top of a heatsink with the plastic casing of the fan to help keep the air going where it needs to go to cool the components on the card. The back of the card looks just about the same as any other card out on the market. There is no backing plate for the cooler, meaning that it cannot be too heavy to bend the PCB.
There are quite a few display adapters on the card, which is going to allow you to have just about any kind of monitor you own connected to the card, including the aging analog monitors, without requiring an analog to DVI dongle. The EAH5750 does provide support without using any dongles for HDMI, which is always a great addition to any card. The standard PCI-E 2.0 slot interface is at the bottom of the card with the notches to make sure you do not install it in the wrong slot and to keep it in place. At the top of the card, you are going to find the single 6-pin PCI-E power adapter to provide the necessary power to the card, while in the opposite corner you will find the two crossfire adapters to add a second or third card for maximum performance.
When we take the cooler off of the heatsink to see how the fan and the plastic casing around it looks, you will notice that it is very lightweight and does have very nice grooves in the casing to direct the air to where it needs to go. The fan is a AFB0812HHB from Delta, with dimensions of 80x80x15mm. It only weighs 58g and has ball bearings. It is rated at 12VDC and operates between 7.0 and 13.8VDCs with a .16 Amp load. The maximum speed of the fan is 3400RPM and can push 35.67CFM while operating at 37.0 dBA.
The black heatsink that is used on the core and extends over the memory and the voltage regulators covers almost the entire card. It is very thick at the center of the heatsink above the base where it contacts the GPU, then has a sun-ray like design to maximize surface area. Taking a closer look at the "rays" of the heatsink, you will notice that there are small gooves in each of them to again add more surface area to the heatsink that will allow for air to pass over and cool more of the heat and expell it into the surrounding air.
Now that we know what the card looks like, it's time to take a look at the drivers and the software that came packaged with it.
When you pop in the installation CD supplied with the EAH5750, you will get a prompt that gives you three main buttons; VGA Drivers, Utilities, and ASUS Contact Info. The first button that we are going to press is the VGA Drivers to get the Catalyst Control Center and the necessary drivers installed, so we can get the most out of the EAH5750. Once you push it you will get a prompt letting you know that you are about to insall the drivers - you need to press the next button. Then you get another screen letting you know that you are about to begin the installation - you need to press the Install button to continue. Once you do, you get the normal ATI Catalyst Install Manager screen to install the drivers.
Once the installation is complete, you get the screen letting you know, if you wish to view the installation log you may, or you can just press the Finish button. Once you click the finish button, you will get the prompt that lets you know that you need to restart your computer for the changes to take place. You have two radio buttons, one to restart now and the other to restart later, I will choose later so that I can get the rest of the software installed. When you click the Utilities button, you get the same prompts as before, letting you know that you are going to install the Utilities - click the next button to continue. Then you have the choice to perform the complete installation or a custom installation. I was curious exactly what software was going to be installed, so I clicked the custom install.
When you click the next button, you are going to see that the install manager wants to install ASUS GamerOSD, ASUS SmartDoctor, and ASUS VideoSecurity. Once you click the next button, the installation proces will begin and the next prompt that you will get is the one letting you know that you need to restart your computer with the same two radio buttons as before. Since all the software has been installed, I will go ahead and restart now.
The ASUS SmartDoctor screen is going to give you a low down on your graphics card and give you some simple and important information about its current activities, You are going to be able to see the current temperature of your GPU in both °C and °F, you are also going to be able to see the current clocks in the upper right hand corner of the screen. At the bottom of the screen you are given two slider bars that will allow you to overclock the Engine or GPU clock and the other one for your Memory clocks.
Clicking the settings button, you are going to get a screen that pops up for the main settings. Under the main settings screen, you are able to change the poling timer interval, enable the overheat protection, disable the warning when 3D games are running, minimize SmartDoctor after running 3D games, and minimize it at next reboot. The Monitor tab is where you are going to set the Temperature Alarm Settings. The default is 100°C, which seems a little high, but fairly reasonable. The Fan Control tab is where you can change the speed of the fan. You can leave it on Auto Fan Control, enable Manual Mode, or enable SmartCooling, which changes the fan speed based on the GPU's temperature. The final tab is for HyperDrive. This is where you are able to allow the software to overclock your card based on the 3D game mode, the CPU usage mode, or the Temperature mode.
ASUS GamerOSD is a piece of software that is going to allow you to capture a movie or a screen shot while you are playing a game. You can even broadcast the video that you are currently capturing to allow others to watch you kick some butt in your favorite game. You can change the HotKeys that allow you to either view the GamerOSD while in the game, Record Movie, or capture a Screen Shot. Under the Advanced Settings menu, you are able to change the Video Capture Size, the Video Capture Frame Rate, the Sound Capture Device, the Broadcast Port, and the Movie Format.
Now that we have all the software installed, it's time to take a look at what software we just got done installing and configure it all.
Catalyst Control Center:
When you first open up the Catalyst Control Center, you are going to get the welcome screen. This is where you are going to have links to check for driver updates, contact customer care, send AMD your feedback, visit amd.com, or join its Folding@Home team. The Information screen is going to be where we are going to find out some important information about the actual hardware we have just installed in the computer, such as the graphics card manufacturer, the card's BIOS information, the memory size/type installed on the card, etc. The Desktops & Displays section is where we are going to be able to change the resolution and the viewing angle, as well as manage multiple displays if they are connected. You are able to view this information more in depth on the Desktop Properties screen as well, under the Mode tab.
Under the Desktop Properties screen's Color tab, you are going to have the options to change the color correction curve - you can change the Gamma, the Brightness and/or the Contrast. The Display Options screen is where you are going to be able to change how Catalyst Control Center detects new displays that are attached to your computer - the default option is to use manual detection only, meaning you must click the detect displays button in CCC for it to find a new monitor. The 3D screen is where you are going to be able to set all your settings for gaming and graphics displays on the monitor. You have control over the AA, the AAMode, the AF, the AI and the Minimap, as well as a tab to change all the settings.
The Avivo Video screen is where you are going to be able to change all the color and quality settings for video displays on the computer - the default setting for this screen is to allow the application to choose the settings, which is what most people will leave it at. The next screen that we come to is the ATI Overdrive screen. Everything is grayed out on this screen until you click the button that has a picture of a key on it. This button is going to unlock the software to allow for overclocking using the CCC's built-in overclocking utility. When you click the button, you will have a popup message display that lets you know all the warnings of overclocking. Once you have unlocked the software, you are able to change the GPU Clock, the Memory clock, manually control the fan speed, or you could even use the Auto-Tune feature and allow the software to overclock the GPU and Memory automatically.
Now that the software we installed is configured, it's time to take a look at the specifications of the card, then get onto the testing to see how she does!
4.6GHz (1150MHz GDDR5)
|PCI-E 2.0 x16 @ 16 2.0|
- Microsoft DirectX 11 & OpenGL support
- Microsoft Windows 7 Ready
- Dual DVI Support
- ATI CRossFire Support
- 13% Cooler than generic Radeon HD5750
- Areodynamic Cover Design
- Micro Surface Treatment Technology
- Durable Dust-proff Fan Design
- ASUS Gamer OSD
- ASUS SmartDoctor
- ASUS Splendid
Information courtesy of ASUS @ http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=T5tftcrUAEzDZlFK&templete=2
Testing the ASUS EAH5750 Formula will consist of running the card through the OverclockersClub suite of games and synthetic benchmarks to test the performance of the EAH5750 against many popular competitors to gauge its performance. The games used are some of today's popular titles to give you an idea on how the cards perform relative to each other. The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustment will be made to the respective control panels during the testing with the exception of the 3DMark Vantage testing, where PhysX will be disabled in the nVidia control panel. Clock speeds on each card are left at stock speeds. I will test the Sapphire HD5870 at both stock speeds and then overclocked to see how much additional performance is available when you choose to overclock the card to see if it this card can unseat the current single GPU fastest card on the market. We have also recently changed up the benchmark suite to include some of the newest titles in the market, including Batman: Arkham Asylum, Resident Evil 5 and Darkest of Days.
- Processor: Intel Core I7 920 150x20
- Motherboard: MSI X58 Eclipse SLI
- Memory: Mushkin HP3 12800 7-7-7-20
- Video Card: ASUS EAH5750 Formula
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800 watt Modular power supply
- Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 1TB SATA
- Optical Drive: Lite-on DVD-RW
- OS: Windows Vista Ultimate Edition SP2 64-bit
- Case: NZXT Beta Evo
Comparison Video Cards:
- Powercolor HD5770
- Sapphire HD5870
- Nvidia GTX295
- Sapphire HD4870x2
- ASUS GTX285 MATRIX
- ASUS ENGTX275
- Asus GTX 260 Matrix
- Sapphire HD 4890 Vapor-X 1GB
- ASUS EAH5750 Formula 860/1230
When it came down to overclocking the ASUS EAH5750, I decided to run the Auto Tune in the Catalyst Control Center to see what the maximum clocks that automatic overclocking utlility would be able to find. CCC found 860MHz on the core and 1210MHz on the memory as the maximum clocks. I had a nice base for where to start overclocking. I began by increasing the clocks by 10MHz on the core and found that the 860MHz was the highest benchmark-stable speed. When it came down to the memory, I was able to push it an extra 20MHz.
- Far Cry 2
- Crysis Warhead
- Darkest of Days
- Call of Duty: World at War
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II
- Batman: Arkham Asylum
- Resident Evil 5
- Left 4 Dead
- 3DMark 06 Professional
- 3DMark Vantage
Far Cry 2:
Featuring a new game engine named Dunia, this game looks to be another one to stress your video card. Built specially for Far Cry 2, this engine allows for real-time effects and damage. This next generation first-person shooter comes to us from Ubisoft, surprisingly - not from Crytek. The game is set in a war-torn region of Africa where there is a non-existent central government and the chaos that surrounds this type of social environment. If you have seen the movie Blood Diamond, you know the setting. Ubisoft puts the main storyline of the game into focus with these statements: "Caught between two rival factions in war-torn Africa, you are sent to take out "The Jackal," a mysterious character who has rekindled the conflict between the warlords, jeopardizing thousands of lives. In order to fulfill your mission you will have to play the factions against each other, identify and exploit their weaknesses, and neutralize their superior numbers and firepower with surprise, subversion, cunning and, of course, brute force." In this Far Cry game, you don't have the beautiful water, but instead the beauty and harshness of the African continent to contend with. Most games give you a set area that can be played through, while Ubisoft has given the gamer the equivalent of 50km2 of the vast African continent to explore while in pursuit of your goals. The settings used are just a few steps below the maximum in-game settings and offer a good blend of performance vs. visual quality.
- Anti-Aliasing: x2
- Game Settings: Very High
- VSync: Off
What a start to the benchmarking suite - the EAH5750 was able to peform quite well when it was put up against the current top dogs on the market. It was able to keep up with the HD5770 at stock speeds and beat it out when it was overclocked.
Crysis Warhead is a standalone expansion pack situated in time with the storyline of the original Crysis. As Sergeant "Psycho" Sykes, you have a secret mission to accomplish on the far side of the island. Along the way there are EMP blasts and Aliens to contend with, as you hunt down the KPA chief. This game uses an enhanced version of the CryEngine 2.
- Anti-Aliasing: x2
- Game Settings: Enthusiast
The EAH5750 was unable to beat any of the cards it was put up against, both at stock and overclocked settings. However, when it was overclocked, it was able to hang with the HD5770 and the ENGTX260 Matrix and only lost by a frame or two.
What would testing be if you did not show both sides of the fence? In this test, PhysX was set to low, while leaving the remaining settings intact. You have seen time and again where the ATI cards suffer when PhysX is enabled. Mirror's Edge and Cryostasis are two prime examples. Darkest of Days is no different. What happens in this test shows that, although the game can be played by cards from the red team, the video effects and quality are diminished.
- 4x Anti-Aliasing
- 16x Anisotrophic Filtering
- PhysX: Low
- Ambient Occlusion: On
- Quality: High
- Resolution: 1280x1024 - 1920x1200
Higher is Better
During the overclocked settings, the EAH5750 was able to beat out the HD5770 and the ENGTX260 Matrix.
Activision's Call of Duty: World at War goes right back to the bread and butter of the franchise - WWII FPS action. In this rendition, you start off in the South Pacific and move through a series of missions that flip back and forth between the Russian front and the island hopping advance toward the Imperial Japanese homeland. Included is a mission on Peliliu Island, arguably one of the more difficult and costly battles in the Pacific theater. The gameplay in the single player mode is rather short, but the game makes up for this shortcoming in online gameplay. If you thought COD4 looked nice, this game is amazing with the graphics maxed out playing at a large resolution. This game just may be my reason to move to a 30-inch monitor. I will use Fraps to measure a section of gameplay in the Semper Fi map on Makin Island to compare performance of these video cards.
- Game Settings: Maximum
- FPS measured via Fraps
The ASUS EAH5750 was able to beat the Powercolor HD5770 at the highest resolution tested when it was both overclocked and at stock speeds, and was just a few frames behind the ENGTX260.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II is a real-time strategy game that is significantly different than its predecessor, with improved AI and an improved physics engine. You can play either as single player in campaign mode, or in a multiplayer game where Microsoft's Live ranking system can be used.
- Vsync: Off
- Ultra Preset
- Game Settings: Maximum
The EAH5750 was unable to keep up with any of the other cards during this test - it was almost 10 frames behind all the cards at both stock and overclocked settings.
Batman: Arkham Asylum is a new game that brings together two bitter rivals, the Joker and Batman. The Joker has taken over Arkham Asylum, Gotham's home for the criminally insane. Your task is to rein the Joker back in and restore order. This game makes use of PhysX technology to create a rich environment for you to become the Dark Knight.
- 4x Anti-Aliasing
- PhysX: Off
- Ambient Occlusion: On
- Quality: High
- Resolution: 1280x1024 - 1920x1200
The EAH5750 was able to stick with its counterpart, the HD5770, in this benchmark, but was unable to do well overall.
Resident Evil 5 is the sequel to one of the best selling video games of all time. You play the game as Chris Redfield, a survivor of the events at Raccoon City, who now works for the BSAA. Sent to Africa to find the genesis of the latest Bio Organic agents, you meet up with another BSAA operative and work together to solve the problem. The game offers incredible 3D effects and co-op multiplayer.
- 4x Anti-Aliasing
- PhysX: Off
- Ambient Occlusion: Off
- Quality: High
- Resolution: 1280x1024 - 1920x1200
At the overclocked settings, the EAH5750 was able to beat out the HD5770, but at the stock settings fell just behind it.
Left 4 Dead is a first-person shooter from Valve that leaves you as part of a group of survivors in a world where an infection has rapidly turned the populace into a zombie horde. Your goal is to make it to a rescue point, all while fighting what seems like overwhelming odds. Along the way there are safe houses where you can replenish your weapons and health. The movie "I Am Legend" comes to mind to set the stage for this game. But unlike the movie, there are four characters and not just a lone gun and his faithful companion. The horde is not at all like the typical slow walking, foot shuffling zombies. These zombies are quick and work with pack mentality. You have but one job; survival!
- Anti-Aliasing: x4
- Anisotropic Filtering: x16
- Game Settings: Maximum
The EAH5750 was able to hang around with the HD5770 when it was overclocked, but was unable to perform well overall.
3DMark06 is one of the benchmarks that always comes up when a bragging contest begins. 3DMark06 presents a severe test for many of today's hardware components. Let's see how this setup fares. The settings we will use are listed below.
- SM2.0 Graphics Tests: GT1- Return to Proxycon, GT2- Firefly Forest
- CPU Tests: CPU1- Red Valley, CPU2- Red Valley
- HDR/SM3.0 Graphics Tests: HDR1- Canyon Flight, HDR2- Deep Freeze
The EAH5750 fell into last place at every resolution at every speed during this test, however at the overclocked settings, it came a little closer.
Featuring all-new game tests, this benchmark is for use with Vista-based systems. "There are two all-new CPU tests that have been designed around a new 'Physics and Artificial Intelligence-related computation.' CPU test two offers support for physics related hardware." There are four preset levels that correspond to specific resolutions. "Entry" is 1024x768 progressing to "Extreme" at 1920x1200. Of course, each preset can be modified to arrange any number of user designed testing. For our testing, I will use the four presets at all default settings.
- Settings (each preset): Default
- Entry: 1024x768
- Performance: 1280x1024
- High: 1680x1050
- Extreme: 1920x1200
The synthetic benchmarks are not playing nice with the EAH5750. It was close to the HD5770, but unable to beat it or tie it in any setting with the 3D Vantage testing.
The overall performance of the ASUS EAH5750 was quite impressive for such a small packaged card. It was able to compete with the HD5770 quite closely throughout the entire testing, even being able to beat it out once it was overclocked, as well as giving the GTX260 some competition while it was overclocked. The clock speeds that I was able to reach on the GPU and the memory of the card were also quite impressive - 860MHz and 1230MHz were just shy of what I was able to achieve with the HD5770. The software that ASUS decided to bundle with the card was also quite impressive - I really liked the GamerOSD, as you are able to easily record a video of the game you are playing and share it with friends. The SmarDoctor software was also nice as it gives you the ability to adjust the fan speed based on the temperature of the GPU, as well as being able to change the clock speed of the card based on the CPU usage or if you were playing a game, which could help reduce your power consumption. The temperatures of the card were also quite impressive, sitting at a cool 40°C while it was idle and I did not see it break 70°C during the benchmarking, which is going to help with the overall temperatures inside your case. The amount of ways you can connect a monitor to the card is going to add value to the card, as not everyone has a monitor with a DVI connector on it. Even though there are dongles to allow analog monitors to connect to the DVI port, you don't have to hunt down your dongle just to hook up a monitor. Even though there are not many DX11 games on the market yet, more are just around the corner and with the EAH5750, you will be ready for the launch of those titles. I would suggest this card to anyone who is building a new setup on a budget that is going to need a powerful graphics card, but does not want to pay the high premium for one of the power horses, such as the HD5970.
- Bundled software
- DX 11