Sapphire HD 5570 1GB Reviewjlqrb - February 8, 2010
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For an entry-level graphics card the HD 5570 did an exceptional job. It achieved playable FPS across most of the games tested and put up good scores during the DX 10 Futuremark benchmarking program. This by itself isn't that impressive, but when you add the fact that the HD 5570 is a low profile card with a maximum board power of 43 watts and will cost under $100, the larger picture really begins to take shape. The low profile design of the card will appeal to the HTPC crowd, which is looking for low wattage, small card that can smoothly run their demanding HD content. The low price, will benefit gamers on a tight budget that just can't afford the more expensive gear and even some mid-range gamers looking for a nice budget solution. There is however, a much wider audience than the HTPC and entry to mid-range do-it-yourself computer builders though. This group consists of people that bought a small pre-built system from their local computer center that will only support low profile graphics cards. In these instances, regardless of what you spent on the computer, it usually comes with either an integrated graphics processor or an under-performing, low-profile graphics card. So, for the under-powered pre-built owner out there, the Sapphire HD 5570 can open up a whole new world of possibilities and you will now be able to take that system and turn it into a entry-level gaming machine or a nice multi-media center. This group will have no issues running the graphics card at stock speeds.
For the rest of us, overclocking is where it's at, and luckily in this regard, the 5570 doesn't disappoint. The overclocking potential is due to the GPU processor being built on a 40nm die that is easily cooled by the passive heatsink on the card. After some tweaking, I was able to adjust the core clock by 251MHz and the memory speeds were able to be increase by 200MHz. Once I reached these final overclocking speeds, the HD 5570 really started to perform better and in many instances it was equal to or just shy of its older (and more expensive) brother, the HD 5670. On top of this, you get all of ATI's current technologies such as CrossFireX, ATI Stream Technology and Eyefinity, which greatly add to the value and versatility of the card. With Eyefinity support, this card can support up to three monitors with resolutions up to 5670 x 1200. Now, we all know you are going to need more power than the HD 5570 has to game in this manner, but it would be more than enough power to setup a multiple monitor workstation.
The only complaints I can really level against the HD 5570 is that it would have been nice to get some more accessories with the card and that the active cooling solution could bother some sensitive HTPC users. These are extremely small problems and in fact the fan speed did not start to get noticeable until the fan was spinning at around 60%. It wasn't until around 75% and up that it started to get loud. If you are bothered by fan noise though, the HD 5570 runs cool and it should have no issues switching to a passive heatsink, to eliminate any noise. So, with the HD 5570, you get a very versatile graphics card that is very capable of playing most games on the market, smoothly runs HD content, effortlessly edits image/video, fits into just about any case regardless of size, and only comes with a few flaws. All of these make the card very much worth the price and if you are in the market to replace an integrated GPU or an older graphics card, I say go for it - you won't be disappointed.
- Low profile
- Overclocks well
- Low power requirement
- DX 11
- ATI Eyefinity Technology
- ATI Stream Technology
- Limited accessories
- Fan noise could bother sensitive HTPC users