Sapphire HD 5770 FleX ReviewRHKCommander959 -
Category: Video Cards
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ATI has had their 5000 series graphics cards out for quite a while now, so vendors are continuously repacking and redesigning their cards that are already currently sold. Newer variants can be found with better cooling solutions that run quieter, take up less space, or cool the core and/or memory better. Some versions are overclocked beyond reference speeds and some even have voltage adjustments for overclocking. Finally, vendors also use offers of free video games or more connectivity options as sale points.
Sapphire has just come out with a new version of the ATI Radeon HD 5770 with the moniker FleX that can support up to four monitors in ATI Eyefinity. They accomplish this by using three DVI connections where one is a HDMI to DVI adapter. The card itself has two DVI connections: one has a single link output while the other has a dual link output. The rest of the graphics card is mostly reference with 1GB of GDDR5 and 800 stream processors both running at stock reference speeds of 850 MHz core and 1200 MHz memory.
The Sapphire rendition of what looks to be Ruby has come back on the new box art and this time around she's not scantily clad. The box is smooth and glossy and is of good quality. The FleX edition designation is explained at the top center, the video card can support three monitors with DVI connections out of the box and up to four monitors total. Some of the main features of the card are listed near the bottom, Microsoft DirectX 11, PCI Express 2.1, 1080P Full HD output, DisplayPort and HDMI output, and 7.1-channel HD surround sound. Rotating to the back of the box shows some more features and what to expect from the 5770 FleX. To summarize the expectations, it provides affordable performance with up to date technology support such as Windows 7 and DirectX 11, ATI Stream compute technology and Eyefinity multi-monitor output of up to four monitors. Output is fully HD capable. Included in the package are some cables, user manual, and driver CD. Many review awards are listed on the back with Sapphire claiming to have received over 2500 since 2002, the OCC award logo is the second from the top left.
The first side of the box has some specifications about the graphics card such as operating system support (Windows Media Center Edition 2005, XP, Vista, and 7), video outputs, and system requirements including 450 Watt power supply and an open PCI Express x16 slot. The UPC is also on this side with five different barcodes for different identifiers. The other sides are clean and only show Sapphire, ATI, and the model name FleX HD 5770.
Inside the package is a cardboard box that contains a tray with two separate containers, one has the video card with a driver disk and paperwork stacked on top and the other has the cables and adapters. Everything that could be needed to use the 5770 has been included as well as the special FleX cable which converts HDMI to DVI output (a much more common monitor connection) for easy triple monitor Eyefinity. A power cable adapter is included for users who have a power supply that does not have any available 6-pin power connections so all that is needed is a spare 4-pin Molex connection. A DVI to VGA adapter is also included for those who still use the older D-sub connection, and the CrossFire dongle allows for hardware CrossFireX installations.
Sapphire has an online system called the Sapphire Select Club where RMA servicing and updates are easy to process, and users are eligible for free promotions and contests for things such as games and software, video cards and other hardware. The driver disk, case badge, and installation guide haven't changed much over the years, the driver disk has a copy of the ATI drivers and when combined with the installation guide should make installation and setup a breeze for anyone fresh to hardware upgrades. The video card is protected by the standard low density polyethylene antistatic bag, this one has a large warning sticker attached that reminds people to connect the power supply to the video card.
Let's see what the Sapphire HD 5770 FleX looks like!