Sapphire HD 5770 and 5750 Reviewccokeman - October 13, 2009
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The Sapphire HD 5770 and 5750 are based upon the "Juniper" series GPU from ATI built upon a 40nm fabrication process. While the big dogs of the 5800 series carry a transistor count of 2.15 billion, the 5700 series carries just shy of half that number at 1.04 billion, about 5 to 6% more than the last generation top card from ATI, the HD 4890. The Sapphire HD 5770 is delivered with a core clock speed of 850MHz on its 800 streaming processors, while the HD 5750 comes in at 700MHz on its 720 stream processors, giving the cards 1.36 and 1.08 TFlops of computing power, respectively. The 5770 is equipped with 40 texture units, four more than the 5750 at 36, while both cards have 16 ROPs. Each card is equipped with 1GB of GDDR5 memory at clock speeds of 1200MHz (5770) and 1150MHz (5750) running on a 128-bit bus. Power consumption has been minimized so these cards only pull 18 and 16 watts respectively at idle. Just looking at the cards you can see that the cooling solutions are vastly different from one another. The HD 5770 has the sleek look achieved with the full cover shroud while the HD 5750 uses a circular cover for the heatsink much like the Vapor X models. The 5770 is noticeably larger when you put the two cards side by side. The back side carries four of the eight memory modules on each card and are not covered with any heatsinks.
The front end of both the HD 5750 and 5770 are equipped with the same connectivity, two Dual Link DVI ports, a single DisplayPort connection and a single HDMI port that supports HDMI 1.3. The reason for the wealth of connections is to enable you to enjoy features such as Eyefinity, a multi monitor display configuration that can be run from a single card at a resolution of 3x2560x1600. The power connection resides on the back end of the card on both the 5770 and 5750. The connection looks hidden up in the air intake and looks to make removing the power connector a pain in the behind but in all actuality it was no more difficult than removing the connector from an open card.
Both of these cards are CrossfireX capable and have dual bridge connections to run three or more cards in this configuration with a supporting motherboard that has the right number of x16 PCI-E slots available.
It's always a shame to rip apart a perfectly good video card but here you go, both the Sapphire HD 5770 and HD 5750 in all their naked glory. The differences between the two are pretty obvious, with the 5770 being the larger card with a black PCB, while the 5750 looks, for all intents and purposes, like a card from the Vapor-X lineup although I can assure you it is not.
The heatsink assembly used on the HD 5750 looks like what comes standard on Intel's Core i5 750 processor with the copper slug inserted in the center of the radiating aluminum fins. There are four rubber legs to keep the heatsink from rucking on the GPU core. The heatsink on the 5770, on the other hand, does make use of Sapphire's patented Vapor X vapor plate technology to cool down the 800 shader cores.
The GPU cores each carry 1.04 billion transistors but where the two cards differ is in the number of shader cores, texture units and ROPs. The memory used on both the 5770 and 5750 is supplied by Hynix and is rated to run at 5Gbps. Each one of these cards was able to exceed 1300MHz+ on the memory clock speeds, or 5.6Gbps. The 5770 was able to jump 150MHz higher than 1300MHz with a climb to 1450MHz, the highest video card memory clock I have reached to date.
Let's see what the two latest creations from Sapphire and ATI have to offer in terms of performance.