Diamond Radeon HD 5750 Review

ccokeman - 2009-07-15 18:31:23 in Video Cards
Category: Video Cards
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: December 22, 2009
Price: $151.99

Introduction:

The roll out of ATI's 5 series video cards have put Nvidia on notice that they are going to compete for both performance and price points. The HD 5870 and HD 5970 were a one-two punch that showed just how well they did there homework. Currently there is not a response from the green team that compares on a like for like basis. While the high end is taken care of the lower end(Mid Range) has not suffered either as the HD5770 and HD 5750 deliver enough horsepower to play today's games. The Diamond HD 5750 that I will be looking at carries part number 5750PE51G. What this gets you is an HD 5750 that has been outfitted with a cooler from Arctic Cooling for improved cooling of the 40nm Juniper core on top of the regular HD 5750 specifications of a 700MHz core clock, 1150MHz memory clock on the GDDR5 memory, 720 stream processors, 36 texture units and 16 ROPs. All this combines to deliver just over 1 Tflop of compute performance. The HD 5750 much like its bigger brothers in the 5800 series this card is one of the first generation of video cards that support DX11. As more games become available the Diamond HD 5750 will be poised to take advantage of this capability. Dirt 2 has just been released as well as Battleforge being patched for DX11 means you can enjoy this ability right now if those games suit your tastes. The slogans being touted for this generation of cards is to "Expand" with ATI's Eyefinity Multi Monitor technology, "Accelerate" with Stream and to "Dominate" with DX11. So far the HD 58xx series have done just that. Lets see what this revision of the HD 5750 from Diamond has to offer.

Closer Look:

The packaging of the Diamond HD 5750 plays up the Dirt 2 reference with a picture of one of the rally cars used in the game. The front highlights include the mention of the Arctic Cooling used on this card, the Dirt 2 reference, Direct X 11, and the 1GB of memory used on the card. The rear panel expands on the benefits of the three slogans Expand, Accelerate and Dominate. On the right side of the rear panel you get an idea of what Eyefinity is and what it brings to the table. Along the bottom is a small label that states "California Lead free" so it looks like Diamond is doing their part for the environment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you open up the package you get a box inside the outer sleeve that holds the Diamond HD 5750 and the bundle of accessories. The card sits on layer of foam with the documentation envelope on top of it. The rest of the accessories are between two layers of foam for protection.

 

 

 

The bundle that came with the Diamond HD 5750 is actually pretty slim.You get a Crossfire bridge connection, DVI to VGA adapter and the documentation. The documentation consists of the driver disk, Manual, a couple warning sheets that inform you to a) not take the product back to the place of purchase for problems and how to hook up the power to the HD 5750. An added bonus is the coupon for 35 free songs from eMusic. One thing I was surprised to see was that with the Dirt 2 theme on the packaging that a copy of the game was not included. That and the lack of a PCIe power cable adapter make the bundle not quite as sweet as others I have seen.

 

 

Lets see if the fast image portrayed on the advertising results in increased performance.

 

Closer Look:

The Diamond Radeon HD 5750 is built upon the 40nm Juniper core and comes with 720 stream processors, 36 texture units and 16 ROPS. The Juniper core has a transistor count of 1.04 Billion transistors that equates to 1.008 Tflops worth of compute performance. The card comes with a red PCB unlike the reference card and is equipped with an aftermarket heatsink from Artic Cooling that covers most of the front of the PCB. The rear of the card has 4 of the Hynix memory modules attached. The cooler is rectangular instead of the round style seen on most of the reference cards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For connectivity you get a total of four ports to choose from. There are 2 Dual Link DVI ports, A single native HDMI port that supports up to HDMI 1.3 and a single DisplayPort. This combination of ports allows you to connect to 3 monitors to run an Eyefinity multi monitor configuration. The rear of the card houses the 6 pin PCIe connector and not much else. The power circuit resides under the heatsink fins. The fan for the heatsink is plugged into a header on the top edge of the card. This card is Crossfire X capable and can be paired with 2 or 3 more cards if your motherboard will support it.

 

 

The heatsink used on the Diamond HD 5750 is supplied by Arctic Cooling. It differs significantly from the heatsink used on the reference and Sapphire versions I have looked at. Instead of a round heatsink the one used on this card is rectangular and is slightly larger with the fins running parallel to the PCB. The main body of the heatsink is aluminum . The contact surface is full of machining marks that can be felt when you run a fingernail over it but seems to do the job since this card really does not really heat up that much. The fan used is an eleven blade design that is pretty close to silent when running.

 

 

Finally the heart of the HD 5750. The GPU core is equipped with 1.04 billion transistors, 720 shader cores, 36 Texture units and 16 ROPs. The memory for this card is supplied by Hynix and is rated to run at 5Gbps or 1250Mhz running through a 128 bit bus. The core clock speed on the Diamond HD 5750 is 700MHz on the 40nm Juniper core and 1150Mhz on the Hynix GDDR5 memory or reference specification.

 

 

Lets get this thing installed and see what its got under the Arctic Cooling heatsink.


 

Closer Look:

Before you start getting the gaming jones you have to get the card installed and set up. First, you have to install the drivers so that you don't sit there utterly disappointed by the graphics performance of this shiny new card. Like most manufacturers Diamond has included a disc to get you started although the manufacturer or ATI websites are a great alternative to get the latest drivers. I will browse through the disc to see what is included.

After you pop in the driver disk and it completes the auto run process you are greeted with the Diamond Installation GUI. Here you have several options. The first is install Software. In this section you choose the driver package for your particular operating system. The second, Read Documentation lets you browse through the disk and read up on installation and quick start guides. The third option is to visit Diamond's website and the fourth is to browse the disk much the same way you did in the read documentation section.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you choose to install the drivers from the disc just move forward through the process and check the options best suited for your needs. You have two options, you can choose either the Express install that manages the whole process for you or the Custom Install that allows you to choose what software you will install from a list. Agree to the EULA and let the wizard finish and do the customary reboot to finish the installation.

 

 

 

 

One of the big knocks on the 5 series cards is the fact that there were really no games available at launch to showcase the DX 11 technology. Fast forward 3 months and you have a few games to play. Dirt 2 was just released and Battle Forge has been out and patched for DX 11. Sadly neither of these games are included as part of the bundle.

 


 

Closer Look:

The ATI Catalyst Control Center got a new look with the introduction of the 9.7 drivers so it's about time to take an in-depth look at the options and the interface to see how well the GUI is set up and how easy it is to navigate through. Since the basic view is well, basic, I will look through the Advanced panel. The first page to open with ATI Catalyst Control Center is the Welcome page, which has quick hyperlinks to check for driver updates, get in contact with customer care, to give feedback, visit the AMD website, or to join the Folding@Home cause. The next page is the Information Center, which is split into two tabs, one for Graphics Software information and the other for Graphics Hardware information. These two tabs can be very handy for troubleshooting any problems that crop up while using the Diamond HD 5750 video card.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
  

 

 

 

The Graphics Hardware tab of the Information Center contains information about the Diamond 5750, including BIOS version and date, chipset, memory, vendor code, and so on. Most people shouldn’t need the Graphics Hardware and Software information, but it's definitely handy when a problem may occur. The next page is the Desktops & Displays page – this page is for the basic settings of the monitor(s) and desktop. Users can figure out which monitor is which and rotate the outputted image. Clicking the properties or moving along brings us to the Desktop Properties page.

 

 

The Desktop Properties page has much more control over the desktop with settings such as desktop area, color quality, refresh rate, and again, rotation. The next tab in the Desktop Properties page adjusts the color, contrast, brightness, and gamma output. This can be handy on monitors that need some help putting out the appropriate colors – back when I used a CRT a long time ago it helped keep the colors closer to true when the monitor would get aged and get a gray or yellowish tint.

 

 

The Display Options page is very short and is used just for one option – Display Detection Option. The options are automatic or manual detection of displays. The 3D page has several tabs that allow users the ability to define a custom scheme for their games. There are previews for the effects or users can power through all of the settings on the 'All' tab at the end.

 

 

The Avivo Video page has five tabs dedicated to performance and quality adjustments for video output. A preview is included of a woman with flowers and fruit. Again, just as with the 3D page, there is an 'All' tab that can adjust all of the settings for the Avivo Video at once.

 

 

The last page on the graphics menu is the ATI Overdrive. To use this feature users must first click the "lock" to unlock the program after then agreeing to some terms. The software is capable of automatically overclocking the video card through Auto-Tune, but I prefer using the manual settings. Users can test their settings using the Test Custom Clocks button. Fan speed control is relatively new to ATI Overdrive and allows users to define what speed the fan or blower runs at. Underneath and to the right of this are gauges and readouts of some of the more important data for this card – temperature, usage activity, fan speed, GPU clock speed, and memory clock speed. The test feature brings up a full screen image that is pretty basic – greenish reddish with an AMD logo in the bottom left.

 

 

The latest additional menu is the HydraVision menu. The first page is the HydraGrid page, which allows users to define a grid-like component to lock applications to a certain chunk of desktop real estate. Options such as showing the grids when moving a window and showing an icon in the tray are settable at the bottom while adjusting the grid is near the top. The grid can be previewed as the default layout is seen with white bars representing the grids. Users can customize the grid layout to whatever they desire and the keyboard shortcuts are listed out in the image while the red bar means it is the selected grid component to be adjusted.

 

 

The next page is the Desktop Manager, which does exactly what the name implies – it manages the desktop. The desktop manager can keep track of application position and size, and allow spanning across multiple displays. The last page is the Multi Desktop. This name is also suggestive to its use – this program allows users to have multiple desktops ranging from two up to nine. Users can rotate between desktops with the scroll wheel, preserve display settings, and enable another tray icon. This can be useful for those who have a ton of desktop icons as a means to separate them out – one could for instance even make a desktop for each category of their own choosing even – gaming, work, school, and whatever else.

 

 

Now that the Catalyst Control Center has been configured we can get to some gaming or take a rest and let the Diamond HD 5750 do some crunching for a cure!


 

Specifications:

 

Model
HD 5750
Process
40nm
Transistors
1.04 Billion
Engine Clock
700 MHz
Stream Processors
720
Compute Performance
1.008 TFLOPS
Texture Units
36
Texture Fillrate
25.2 GTexels/s
ROPs
16
Pixel Fillrate
11.2 Gpixel/s
Z/Stencil
44.8 GSamples/s
Memory Type
GDDR5
Memory Clock
1150 MHz
Memory Data Rate
4.6 Gbps
Memory Bandwidth
73.6 GB/s
Maximum Board Power
86W
Idle Board Power
16W

 

Features:

 

 

 

 

 

All information courtesy of Diamond Multimedia @ http://www.diamondmm.com/5750PE51GXOC.php

Testing:

Testing the Diamond HD 5750 will consist of running the card through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks to test the performance of the 5700 series cards 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. I will test the card at stock speeds and then overclocked to see how much additional performance is available, to see if it can run with or faster than the current fastest single GPU cards on the market. I have also changed up the benchmark suite to include some of the newest titles to market including Batman: Arkham Asylum, Resident Evil 5 and Darkest of Days. Of course, all settings are left at defaults in the control panels of each respective manufacturer except where noted. I will be using the latest drivers from each manufacturer at the time of this review. Catalyst 9.11 for all ATI cards save the 5800 and 5700 series, which require the 8.66 RC, and 191.07 for the nVidia cards

 

Comparison Video Cards:

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

The first thing you want to do if you plan on trying for clock speeds in excess of the limits in the Catalyst control Center you should download AMD GPU Clock tool and MSI AfterBurner to make sure you get all the functionality you can. The reason for the two utility approach is that when you set the clock speeds in AMD GPU Clock Tool and apply the setting you default the fan speed to auto. If you go back into the CCC to change the fan speed you lose the clock speeds you set in the GPU Clock Tool. Goofy, but it's what happens. Enter MSI Afterburner - this application was written by the same person responsible for Riva Tuner over at Guru3d and is an easy to use interface that is already able to work with the latest cards from ATI and their partners like Diamond. One thing to note before talking more about the overclocking is that this card shows a 20MHz bump on the memory and GPU core when measured with GPUz. On the manufacturers specification page for this model of the Diamond HD 5750 shows the clock speeds as 700/1150Mhz. This will provide a slight advantage in the benchmarking.

Overclocking the Diamond HD 5750 was a little disappointing. After much trial and error with combination's of GPU clock speed and memory speeds I was only able to get to a GPU core clock speed of 800MHz and a memory clock speed of 1295MHz. I could go up to 810/1305 depending on the test and resolution but no further. By comparison the clocks reached on this card were lower than either of the HD5750s I have looked at previously by about 60Mhz on the core and 45 to 50MHz on the memory. The card ran cool during the testing and did not factor into the lower clock speeds. Sometimes you get lucky sometimes you don't and the only guarantee is that the card will run at stock speeds. Anything else is a bonus. The bonus on this card is 100Mhz on the core or a 12.5% increase while the memory increase was 145Mhz or about a 13% increase. These increases did bring an increase in performance so it was definitely worth the time and effort to get the additional clocks.

 

 

  1. Far Cry 2
  2. Crysis Warhead
  3. Darkest of Days
  4. Call of Duty World at War
  5. Warhammer 40,000 DOW II
  6. Batman: Arkham Asylum
  7. Resident Evil 5
  8. Left 4 Dead
  9. 3DMark 06 Professional
  10. 3DMark Vantage

Testing:

Far Cry 2:

Featuring a new game engine named Dunia, this game looks to be another one to stress your video card. Built especially 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 story line 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 version of the 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.

 

Settings:

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Diamond HD 5750 delivered performance that compares with the Sapphire version and just a few FPS below the GTX260. Overclocking still paid dividends through each resolution.

Testing:

Crysis Warhead is a standalone expansion pack situated in time with the story line 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.

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Diamond offering is just a hair faster through this benchmark! When overclocked it is as fast as the GTX 260 through all four resolutions.

Testing:

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.

Game Settings:

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher is Better

 

The HD 5750 runs a bit slower than the GTX 260. The comparison of the two HD 5750s shows similar performance with a slight benefit from ovrclocking.

Testing:

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 high resolution. I will use Fraps to measure a section of gameplay in the Semper Fi map on Makin Island to compare the performance of these video cards.

Settings:

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The performance in Call of Duty World at War shows that you can get your game on all the way up to 2560x1600 with the settings used in this test. You can up the FPS by reducing some of the settings for faster performance.

Testing:

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 a single player in campaign mode, or in a multiplayer game where Microsoft's Live ranking system can be used.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This game is playable up to 1920x1200 with the Diamond HD 5750. Overclocking this card still does not bring playable frame rates at 2560x1600.

Testing:

Batman: Arkham Asylum is a new game that brings together two bitter foes, the Joker and Batman. The Joker has taken over Arkham Asylum, Gotham's home for the criminally insane. Your task is to reign the Joker back in and restore order. This game makes use of PhysX technology to create a rich environment for you to play your trade.

Game Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At 2560x1600, the Diamong HD 5750 can not provide playable framerates at these particular settings. It seems to have an edge over the other HD 5750 though.

Testing:

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 a Co-Op gaming style.

Game Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the HD 5750 is pretty much the slowest card in this test you do get 30 FPS with the stock clocks and 34 when overclocked at 2560x1600. The other resolutions scale upwards in performance with decent frame rates at 1920x1200.

Testing:

Left 4 Dead is a new release 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. You goal is to make it to a rescue point, all the 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 zombie. These zombies are quick and work with the pack mentality. Your job: survival!

Settings:

 

  

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

There is not a single resolution in which the Diamond HD 5750 is not playable. If zombie killin' is your game the HD 5750 will let you go at it all the way to 2560x1600.

Testing:

3DMark06 is one of the benchmarks that always comes up when a bragging contest has begun. 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.

 

Settings:

 

 

 

 

 


 

  

 

 

 

 

The Diamond 5750 shows a slight advantage over the sapphire card. This could be the 20MHz increase in the GPU core and memory clocks measured in GPUz.

Testing:

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:

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again the Diamond comes out on top of the Sapphire card in the Futuremark testing.

Conclusion:

The big knock on the 5 series cards at launch was that there were no DX11 games out to show off the cards DX11 capabilities. Well now there is. The recent release of Dirt 2 had me itching to play and see what the cards could do as well as look at the visuals first hand. Its the little things that you notice that really make the visuals better. It would have been nice to see the game included as part of the bundle with the packaging artwork showing off a rally car as the predominant feature. Diamond has the game available on select 5 series cards, just not this one. Overclocking the Diamond HD 5750 yielded gains in performance across the board with increases of 100Mhz on the GPU core and 145Mhz on the GDDR5 memory. This equates to between a 12.5% and 13% increase on both clock speeds. Pretty decent numbers but less than the last two HD 5750 cards I looked at. Temperatures were not a problem with the Diamond card and did not hinder the overclocking in any way with temperatures in the high 60's Celsius. The Arctic Cooling heatsink did the job it was designed to do by keeping the silicon reasonably cool without a massive noise penalty that ATI cards seem to dish out with a reference cooler. This card just like all of the 5 series ATI cards is capable of using ATI's Eyefinity multi monitor technology to allow you to a greater level of immersion in the games you play. The obvious game choices to take advantage of this would be flight Sims and driving games where the frames of the monitors are not as distracting. The price point for the Diamond HD 5750 comes in at a cool 152 bucks. This puts it below the price point of the HD 4870, HD 4890 and GTX 260. But it also falls into the performance ladder right in the same spot. The Diamond HD 5750 delivers great midrange performance for your video card dollar. Sure the 5750 by comparison to the high end cards is not a barn burner but it is more than capable of running today's games at an acceptable frame rate with semi aggressive settings at resolutions most people enjoy playing their gaming at. The Diamond is a good performing, cool running video card that is up to the task of playing the latest games.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: