XFX Radeon 5830 ReviewGeekspeak411 - April 1, 2010
Category: Video Cards
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For any rig to be considered above entry level at this point, it has to have dedicated graphics. Sure there are the Intel solutions and the integrated solutions from ATI and nVidia, but when it comes down to performance numbers in both professional and enthusiast applications, graphics cards matter. In the past few years, the number of applications using dedicated cards beyond pure graphics processing duties has skyrocketed. The stream processing method used in current GPUs offers a few benefits that current CPUs just can’t touch. Highly threaded workloads found in programs within the Adobe suite and within an increasing number of video encoders thrive in the parallel processing environment provided by these new generations of graphics beasts.
XFX is relatively new to the ATI side of the field, with the 5830 they have filled the budget spectrum with regards to the 5800 series. This card is built around ATI’s 40nm process and features 1GB of GDDR5 RAM to act as a frame buffer for up to three displays utilizing the new Eyefinity technology. All of the standard features are seen here such as OpenGL support and ATI Stream technology. You can throw this card into CrossFireX and add on to it’s plethora of ports to include dual DVI adapters, a HDMI connector and a DisplayPort connector. Will this card push enough pixels for a low enough price to be on your wish list? Let’s find out!
I have always been a fan of the XFX design team. To me, this box is just as visually pleasing. Featuring a distressed steel X with Radeon HD 5830 in the center, the front of the box has a bold appearance. Along the bottom are the blips for some of this card’s included features, including a free copy of Aliens vs. Predator. Spin the box around and you see more feature blips around the border and a key features pane along the left side. On the right side the words Expand. Accelerate. Dominate. catch your eye leading you to a paragraph listin the various selling points of the card. To get to the card, you have to open two boxes, the retail box, and the packing box. XFX decorates both painting the inner box a very sleek black and grey gradient with the XFX logo and website printed on. Looks great!
Opening the inner box the design style continues, the upper box contains all the included accessories and has a separate compartment housing the adapters to prevent movement. Once lifted, the card itself is displayed surrounded by an antistatic bag, and enclosed in a bright green cardboard container. All of packaging follows the color scheme, and the end result is some excellent packaging.
The accessory bundle here is enough to get you started. The Radeon HD 5830 comes with both a Quick Install Guide illustrating the basic installation procedure, and the Installation Manual going into greater detail and containing some more discrete information about your card. Of course there is an Installation disk to get you started, although If you have Internet access, you will probably be getting the most recent drivers online. On top of the CrossFire adapter, there are two Molex to PCI-E 6-pin adapters, as well as a DVI to VGA adapter to make sure everyone can hook up their cards. As mentioned before, Aliens vs. Predator is included with the card and it is installed via Steam. The pamphlet with the activation code is found here, and finally, what is as far as I know unique to XFX, you get a “Do Not Disturb, I’m Gaming” door card which, while cool, is quite useful as well. On the back of the door card, they have put your card’s S/N and other unique info meaning you have access to it without removing the card! Nice.
Enough with the packaging, now let’s check out the card.