PowerColor HD5770 Review

gotdamojo06 - 2009-10-07 18:29:53 in Video Cards
Category: Video Cards
Reviewed by: gotdamojo06   
Reviewed on: October 12, 2009
Price: $159.99


Are you just like every other computer enthusiast out there, waiting to see some numbers on release day of the HD5770? Well, you have come to the right place. ATI has finally released one of its newest cards, and we had the opportunity to take the first look at the PowerColor HD5770. This card is built on the R780 core, comes clocked in at 850MHz for the core clock and the GDDR5 memory comes clocked in at a 1200MHz speed! ATI has taken the time to throw a whole bunch of features into its latest card, including the 40nm processing technology that is going to allow for higher clocks at a lower power consumption. I am very anxious to see exactly how the card is going to perform, so without further ado it's time to take the first look at the PowerColor HD5770.

Closer Look:

Taking a look at the front of the packaging for the PowerColor HD5770, you are going to see a warrior wearing battle armor with a picture of a castle in the background and a gold-ish yellow lightning storm going on in the background, which might signify the power that the card is going to be able to yield. The top left hand corner is where you are going to find the PowerColor logo with the company's slogan, "Unleash the Gaming Power" printed just below it. There are the 1GB GDDR5 and Dual DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort logos on the front of the package, allowing you to see a glimpse of the features the new card is going to hold. When you take a look at the back of the package, you are going to see a whole bunch of information about the card and all of its new features that are included, such as the ATI Eyefinity Technology, ATI Stream Technology, Microsoft DirectX 11, and much, much more! On the sides of the package you are going to find the power & system requirements; PowerColor only requires you to have a 450 Watt power supply with a 75 Watt 6-pin PCI Express power connector.










When you open up the package, you are going to find a separate brown box inside the outer sleeve; this box is where the HD5770 card and all of the accessories are housed. The PowerColor HD5770 card itself is wrapped in an anti-static bag and fitted into an opening to make sure that it is not going to move around and become damaged during the shipping process.

Inside the package you are going to find not only the HD5770 but also an installation manual that will help you install the video card if you are unfamiliar with the installation process. PowerColor has also packaged a driver CD with the card to make your life a little easier so that you are not looking all over the place and waiting for the download to finish up, but instead you can start using your new card right away. There is a CrossfireX bridge included as well as a DVI to Analog dongle to hook up your analog monitors to the card.


Now that we know how the PowerColor HD5770 comes packaged, it's time to take a look at the most important part of the package, the card itself!


Closer Look:

As we all know, the PowerColor HD5770 is the newest card that has been released by ATI, following the HD5870. This card comes packaged with a full coverage fan casing, which is going to allow the fan to suck in fresh air from outside the card's casing and blow it over not only the core, but the memory and all of the other components, such as the voltage regulators, as well. The overall color scheme of the HD5770 from PowerColor is black with some red accents like the fan and the racing stripe that runs down the center of the card. Taking a look at the back of the card, you are going to see that even the GPU retention bracket has a black color to it. The top of the card is where you are going to see more air vent holes to allow the air to flow freely in and out of card's covering; the vents are surrounded in a red plastic covering.














The front of the card is where you are going to find all of the connections you may use to connect a display. You can do this via either one of the two DVI ports, the HDMI port, or the DisplayPort that is included on the card. All of the ports do come with a "smoked" plastic covering to help keep dust out of the inside of the connection. There is an exhaust vent at the front of the card to expel some of the hot air from inside of the card. At the rear of the card is where you are going to find more vents increasing airflow within the card; the rear vents have a red accent coloring around the openings.



The PowerColor HD5770 has two Crossfire ports at the top of the card, this is going to allow you to place a second, or a third, HD5770 card into your computer and create a Crossfire or CrossfireX setup that is going to increase the performance of your machine. Hiding inside the top air vent is the 6-pin PCI Express power adapter.



Now that we know exactly what the card looks like, let's take a look at the specifications and then we are off to see how well this thing is going to be able to perform!



1.04 Billion
Engine Clock
Stream Processors
Compute performance
1.36 TeraFLOPS
Texture Units
Texture Fillrate
34.0 GTexel/s
Pixel Fillrate
13.6 GPixel/s
54.4 GSamples/s
Memory Type
Memory Clock
Memory Data Rate
4.8 Gbps
Memory bandwidth
76.8 GB/s
Naximum Board Power
Idle Board Power




Testing the Powercolor HD5770 will consist of running the card through the OverclockersClub suite of games and synthetic benchmarks to test the performance of the HD5870 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. 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.


Comparison Video Cards:



Overclocked settings:

When it came down to overclocking the PowerColor HD5770, I was able to achieve a whopping 960MHz on the core and 1450MHz on the memory, though these settings were not stable for benchmarking. Once I started to play around with the overclock a little, I was able to get a stable clock of 950MHz on the core and 1400MHz on the memory. That's an 11.75% increase on the core and an increase of 16.66% on the memory, which is nothing to take lightly! I was very surprised that these settings were able to make it through the rigorous testing that I put the card through. The overclocking tool that I usually use for my video card, AMD GPU Tool, was unable to work with the new card; however, MSI Afterburner, a new videocard overclocking tool, was able to work with the HD5770 and got me the clock speeds that I was able to work with.


  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



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 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 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.












Wow, the PowerColor HD5770 was able to just about tie with the ASUS ENGTX260 card and when it was overclocked, it was able to trail right behind the ASUS ENGTX275!



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 HD5770 was able to match up quite well with the GTX260 in this benchmark, being only a few frames away from each other.



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


Performance was lower than the HD 4890 even though the 5770 kept up with the GTX 260.


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. 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 the performance of these video cards.












The PowerColor HD5770 was able to gain comparable results to the ASUS ENGT260 and beat it when it was overclocked.



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.













The results in this benchmark were pretty much equal across the board; the GTX285 had very similar results as the HD5770 did.



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 rein the Joker back in and restore order. This game makes use of PhysX technology to create a rich environment for you to apply your trade.

Game Settings:












The 5770 falls into last place in this benchmark.



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:











The HD5770, at both stock and overclocked settings, the 5770 fell into last place.


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!












The results in this benchmark show that the HD5770 was about 15-20 FPS under the GTX260.



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.













At stock speeds, the PowerColor HD5770 was able to beat out the GTX260 and when it was overclocked had very similar scores as the GTX285.



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.













The HD5770 gives the GTX260 a tough time in this benchmark, as it was once again beaten out by the card; however, this time it was close, and it was even closer when it was overclocked, almost a photo finish.



What is there to say about the PowerColor HD5770 card other than "WOW!"? When you take a look at the numbers that the PowerColor HD5770 was able to produce and compare them to the numbers of other cards, you are going to see that about 80% of the time, the HD5770 was able to give the GTX260 a run for its money. I was surprised when I was able to get the core to clock all the way up to 950MHz and the memory to clock all the way up to 1400MHz! With all of this performance priced under $160 at release, which is about $30 cheaper than a majority of the GTX260 cards that are still for sale on Newegg.com, you are going to be able to see exactly how well ATI has planned not only the release of the card but also how much time and effort the company has put into the development of the card. The HD5xxx series is the first series to be launched with DX11 support; even though there are currently no DX11 titles available, we should start to see some of them popping up as early as the fourth quarter of 2009, such as DIRT 2 and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat. Aliens vs. Predator and Lord of the Rings Online are scheduled for release during the first quarter of 2010 and there are even more titles in the works that are scheduled to be released later in 2010.

The other impressive part of the PowerColor HD5770 is the fact that it uses such a small amount of power; the maximum board rating is 108 Watts at the 850MHz core clock and the 1200MHz memory clock, however, when it is sitting idle, you are going to be seeing as low as 18 Watts being used by the card! This is impressive and going to be a huge turn on for those of you who are looking to lower your power bills. If you are looking for a new video card to get you ready for DX11 and give you some great results, I would take a serious look at the PowerColor HD5770.