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HD5870 / HD5850 Reviews and Discussion

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a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 7:25:27 AM

So that we don't get 500 threads asking the same thing and posting links to a single review, try to keep discussion in this temporary sticky (which I will unsticky once the new hardware frenzy dies down).

To clarify: you are free to post other threads, but by having most info here it will (hopefully) reduce the number of other threads asking for the same info or posting links to reviews over and over. "Should I buy a HD5870" - type posts should be in their own thread.

Scabbed this list from XS, credit goes to onethreehill and the others that posted the links.
http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=783
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=858
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ATI/Radeon_HD_5870/
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_5870_PCI-Express_Scaling/
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/23415-sapphire-radeon-hd-5870-1gb-gddr5-review.html
http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=20289
http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=20354
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2009/09/22/amds_ati_radeon_hd_5870_video_card_review
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2009/09/23/ait-radeon-hd-5870-1gb-review/1
http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-5870-review-test/
http://anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3643
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5870,2422.html
http://www.computerbase.de/artikel/hardware/grafikkarten/2009/test_ati_radeon_hd_5870/
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/2933/sapphire_radeon_hd_5870_1gb_graphics_card/index.html
http://www.pcgameshardware.com/aid,695689/Radeon-HD-5870-Review-of-the-first-DirectX-11-graphics-card/Reviews/
http://www.sweclockers.com/articles_show.php?id=6195&page=9
http://lab501.ro/placi-video/ati-radeon-hd-5870-vs-nvidia-gtx-295
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1080/1/
http://techreport.com/articles.x/17618
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-h...
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/ati_radeon_hd_5870_...
http://pclab.pl/art38674-8.html
September 23, 2009 7:45:18 AM

5850 is at 1900x1200 only 87% of 5870
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 7:46:34 AM

The 5870 looks very nice, and looks correctly priced from at least a manufacturer's point of view. From a consumer point of view, they didn't gouge like nVidia did, but it could have been a bit lower.

I suppose my disappointment is a bit unfair. My understanding was this card was supposed to beat the 295. Its obviously a better choice, but it doesn't win - at least with current drivers.

So I decided to hold off buying a couple to see what unfolds.
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 7:47:57 AM

It does beat the 295 in several titles. The difference in price/performance is what makes it more attractive though. The 295 is far too expensive for the few titles it wins in.
September 23, 2009 7:50:40 AM

5850 is the best high end card out there. only a little slower than 5870 but 100 dollars or euros here less. I was gonna get a samsung jet, but turns out phenom 955 and 5850 is going to cost me the same price in china :D 
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 7:50:57 AM

No disputing that - but it doesn't beat the 295. That was the expectation AMD set in my mind.

That doesn't diminish the card, only my impulse to HAVE IT NOW.
September 23, 2009 7:52:39 AM

BTW im gonna wait for the more silent editions from sapphire or his. Maybe ASUS to?
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 7:53:30 AM

The drivers need improving (EyeFinity doesn't work in Crossfire) and remember that it's a single GPU taking on 2. Put them in crossfire and the 295 falls apart.
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 7:56:14 AM

Again, undisputed. But not as expected.
a c 130 U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 7:58:25 AM

I have a suggestion for you and toms randomiser, well two actually.
Firstly i think it would help with stickys if the links in the forum were a totally different colour so we noticed them more, just being in capitals and a slightly darker shade of blue doesn't make them stand out nearly enough.
And secondly a launch day sticky on all boards on all technology CPU/GPU/OS etc, to which dedicated Mods such as yourself can add reviews.
That way there wont be threads that get locked mid discussion for no reason.
I understand what you are doing and think it a good idea but lets get it going properly in future.

Mactronix :) 
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 8:04:19 AM

I have suggested the colour change many times but it seems badges are more important. I don't fully understand what you're getting at with the second point though. PM to clarify to keep this on topic.
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 8:05:10 AM

The cards are exactly how i expected them to be, with the 5850 the clear price/performance winner. Beating the 285 almost all the time that is the card i will get to replace my 4870.
a c 169 U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 8:34:23 AM

5870 looks a good choice,a single card that performs like 4870X2(beating it in some games and losing in some other games by a minimal margin)it looks a great card with good price too.
Same for 5850 great price/performance
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 8:40:58 AM

I would get the 5870, except it doesnt fit in my A+ mid tower :o  , but no matter I will OC the #### out of the 5850.
a c 169 U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 8:50:58 AM

For me i think i will wait a little longer,i currently have a 4870X2 :D  so i think i will wait more for the 5870X2 to see how it performs :) 
September 23, 2009 9:17:28 AM

What I would want to see is how does 2 x 5870 perform on P55 8x and X58 x16. That would really finalise my decision as to which chipset to go for.....
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 9:17:44 AM

Btw, AMD didn't make reviewing this card easy when they released the drivers just over a week ago. That's alot of work for one week!
September 23, 2009 9:39:47 AM

Guru3D used Beta drivers and still the results were impressive.
September 23, 2009 9:56:56 AM

dam its like looking at a steak when im hungry :love:  my month is watering
feed me seymore aragggggghhhhhhh
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 10:12:19 AM

"We're sure that NVIDIA have something special up their sleeves and we don't doubt they’re benchmarking the HD 5870 in single, CrossFire and CrossFire X form so they have a better idea of what they're dealing with"
Nvidia still has the fastest card at at moment gtx 295, nvidia know knows what 5870 has performance and they will have in short period of time gt 300 series cards
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 10:27:02 AM

heh, love that low power usage with 2 cards

Will be ordering at least 1 once prices have settled down a little

later maybe a 2nd one if 1 can't handle games well enough in Tripple 1920x1200 :) 
September 23, 2009 10:47:12 AM

Anandtech confuses me. They say the 5870 can't touch the GTX 295, but their benchmarks prove otherwise. They should know as well as anyone else on this forum that multi-GPU solutions don't play as well as they bench, low min. FPS and high max. FPS. The 5870 should play as smooth and likely smoother than the GTX 295. Yeah it might not hit 80 FPS for a few seconds here and there in Crysis, but 50-60 with 30-40 being much more consistent makes for a better gaming experience.

I'm sorry, but the 5870 = GTX 295, if you think otherwise you are missing a very important principle of multi GPUs. Just going by HardOCP I tested my rig with the exact same settings as a single 5870 and I could get close the min. FPS, but not match it. Compared to 3 4890s that is insane.
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 11:03:00 AM

Quote:
Nvidia still has the fastest card at at moment gtx 295,

Which is alot more expensive and performs, at best, marginally better with 2 GPUs, not 1.

Quote:
nvidia know knows what 5870 has performance and they will have in short period of time gt 300 series cards

You mean 8800GTX Rev 4?
September 23, 2009 11:29:41 AM

Rev4 or 24,that card plays music !!!
a c 169 U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 11:42:29 AM

killtacular said:
What I would want to see is how does 2 x 5870 perform on P55 8x and X58 x16. That would really finalise my decision as to which chipset to go for.....

hmm u better read this article :)  its for 48xx series its the same for 58xx series too :) 
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crossfire-pci-expre...
September 23, 2009 11:45:48 AM

The most amazing thing for me is the $260 price tag for 5850! Yay that makes the price/perf even BETTER. I am going for this card most probably as with 5870 I will be cpu limited anyway.

Presuming that it will overclock better than 5870 I think paying 50% more money for 10% more perf is not so money clever except if you are pursuing the BEST possible performance out of single card
September 23, 2009 12:08:10 PM

Twoboxer said:
No disputing that - but it doesn't beat the 295. That was the expectation AMD set in my mind.

That doesn't diminish the card, only my impulse to HAVE IT NOW.

To be fair, on highest resolution with 8x AA 5870 does beat GTX295 more often than not. But since most have 24" LCD or smaller, 295 is slightly faster (lets not forget 5870 with beta-drivers, plus new games with DX11 will blow away old gen cards in any case).
September 23, 2009 12:28:20 PM

To speak frankly i don't see much people pay more than $350-360 for a GTX 295. Here are the following reasons:

1. GTX 295 is about equal to 5870 except 2560x1600 4xAA 16xAF (where its about 10-15% faster)
2. GTX 295 is dual card solution. Microstutering, HEAT, noise, POWER, scalling issues ocasionally and dependent on drivers.
3. GTX 295 lacking DX 10.1 and DX 11 capability
4. 27W at idle - WOW, thats hard to beat and a BIG reason for many OEM builders to choose 5870. It does what a GPU is supposed to be doing. USING POWER ONLY WHEN ITS USED. Thats the holy grail of power consumption and ATI achieved it.
September 23, 2009 12:30:28 PM

with the new 5850 I also suspect the GTX 285 to hover around $200-$220 mark. This is the biggest hit to nVidia as far as I see until GT300 comes. At these prices they are losing lot of money on each card. They better come with GT300 before cristmas or they will loose that selling pig bank also.
September 23, 2009 12:42:26 PM

What is wrong with people? Refer to my above post, the 5870 never had to totally destroy the GTX 295 in benchmarks, just come close. The 5870 will give, atleast, the same if not a better experience because it produces higher min. FPS whereas a dual GPU solution like a GTX 295 suffers in the min. FPS department, where it matters most. Don't forget the card is still on Beta drivers and will only get better in the coming months. From all the reviews I have read and the testing I have done comparing my result with 3 4890s, the 5870 = or > than the GTX 295.

Remember when the GTX 280 came out and it was totally eclipsed by the 9800 GX2 (I'm not talking about a 10% performance difference I'm talking 20% or 30%), people then said to get the GTX 280 because of it's early drivers and it being a single card solution so that it would net a similar min. FPS score. The 5870 is SLIGHTLY behind the GTX 295 now and a lot of people are feining dissappointment? It's ridiculous. We aren't comparing a $500 GTX 280 to a $400 9800 GX2, and later as low as $200, we are comparing a $380 5870 to a $480 GTX 295.

Today a GTX 280 runs neck and neck with a 9800 GX2, but drivers won't make a difference right?

Fanboys need to stop it.

As for my opinion of the 5870, it is a good card. The price is alright and the performance is basically unmatched, especially in multi GPU settings. That said, $380 is still more than most people spend on a GPU, the 5850 will likely be a much more popular card if it can come close to the 5870 in performance, because, remember, 2 4870s can come close for the same price.
September 23, 2009 12:45:57 PM

rawsteel said:
To speak frankly i don't see much people pay more than $350-360 for a GTX 295. Here are the following reasons:

1. GTX 295 is about equal to 5870 except 2560x1600 4xAA 16xAF (where its about 10-15% faster)
2. GTX 295 is dual card solution. Microstutering, HEAT, noise, POWER, scalling issues ocasionally and dependent on drivers.
3. GTX 295 lacking DX 10.1 and DX 11 capability
4. 27W at idle - WOW, thats hard to beat and a BIG reason for many OEM builders to choose 5870. It does what a GPU is supposed to be doing. USING POWER ONLY WHEN ITS USED. Thats the holy grail of power consumption and ATI achieved it.


1. Refer to my posts, they are about the same.
2. And min. FPS. Though do note that microstuttering is a myth, its totally baseless. This was brought up in the GTX 280 vs 9800 GX2 debates too and it was false back then.
3. Exactly.
4. It really is about time, though I'll be curious how the idle draw is in crossfire.
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 12:46:03 PM

The drivers are new, and the benches are asking a dx11 card to run dx9 games mostly. Both of those will be fixed soon, the 5870 is only going to improve on what we've seen so far, put it that way.

Overall, it's a stunning card, and the eyefinity reviews on pcperspective make you realise that what we have here is game changing.

http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=783&type=expert&pi...

As usual however, rip-off Britain has godawful prices, that is if you can even get hold of one of these.
September 23, 2009 12:55:13 PM

The 5870 is exactly what I was hoping ATI would put out. Good Job ATI
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 1:05:13 PM

if gtx 295 is faster than 5870 than gt 380 or what ever will be a 5870 killer.
September 23, 2009 1:14:11 PM

The_Blood_Raven said:
What is wrong with people? Refer to my above post, the 5870 never had to totally destroy the GTX 295 in benchmarks, just come close. The 5870 will give, atleast, the same if not a better experience because it produces higher min. FPS whereas a dual GPU solution like a GTX 295 suffers in the min. FPS department, where it matters most. Don't forget the card is still on Beta drivers and will only get better in the coming months. From all the reviews I have read and the testing I have done comparing my result with 3 4890s, the 5870 = or > than the GTX 295.

Remember when the GTX 280 came out and it was totally eclipsed by the 9800 GX2 (I'm not talking about a 10% performance difference I'm talking 20% or 30%), people then said to get the GTX 280 because of it's early drivers and it being a single card solution so that it would net a similar min. FPS score. The 5870 is SLIGHTLY behind the GTX 295 now and a lot of people are feining dissappointment? It's ridiculous. We aren't comparing a $500 GTX 280 to a $400 9800 GX2, and later as low as $200, we are comparing a $380 5870 to a $480 GTX 295.

Today a GTX 280 runs neck and neck with a 9800 GX2, but drivers won't make a difference right?

Fanboys need to stop it.

As for my opinion of the 5870, it is a good card. The price is alright and the performance is basically unmatched, especially in multi GPU settings. That said, $380 is still more than most people spend on a GPU, the 5850 will likely be a much more popular card if it can come close to the 5870 in performance, because, remember, 2 4870s can come close for the same price.


Theres only one fanboy and that is YOU! :D 

LOL! Only joking! Nice write up, as always.

I somewhat missed the minimum framerate comparison so I will need to go re-read the reviews. I understand what you are saying. Some people get so hung up on getting max frame rates but little do they realise that these extra frames will most likely go unnoticed. However, it is the min framerate which makes all the difference and a more enjoyable gaming experience.
September 23, 2009 1:15:26 PM

Quote:
if gtx 295 is faster than 5870 than gt 380 or what ever will be a 5870 killer.


nVidia should worry about getting better yields first... :lol: 
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 1:16:07 PM

Quote:
if gtx 295 is faster than 5870 than gt 380 or what ever will be a 5870 killer.


Not necessarily. The 9800gx2 was faster than the original gtx280 in a lot of benchmarks when the sli drivers weren't so good as they are now.

What we are seeing right now is a combination of factors like beta drivers, lack of dx11 games and vastly improved crossfire/sli drivers on last series cards. The g380 will have to overcome all of that as well.

To truly get a measure of the 5890's performance, you have to compare it to a gtx285, which it simply walks all over. I think most reviews have it coming in at 40-45% faster overall. Remember we're talking about an 8-month old card in the gtx285.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 1:26:51 PM

just remember when ati 4870x2 was released nvidia has the answer in gtx 295, that will be the same thing with gt 300 series.
Nvidia now benchmarking the HD 5870
so they have a better idea of what they're dealing with.
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 1:29:51 PM

Sure they do, but it's not as simple as that.

In all honesty, Nvidia could bring out a card that is 50% faster than the 5870. I, and I'm guessing a lot of others too, couldn't care less *unless* it also has something very similar to eyefinity.

If you check out that link I posted above of the eyefinity review, can you honestly say that playing on one screen at 50% faster fps would even matter? For me it doesn't, I just cannot wait to be playing on three screens.

This is what Nvidia have to beat or at least match, not the fps totals that are already in the 100's in most cases.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 1:39:58 PM

but nvidia has also cuda and physx that is very important
September 23, 2009 1:44:50 PM

I like this:

We've yet to test it for ourselves on AMD's latest cards, but the figures we're being quoted are impressive. According to ASUS, its Radeon HD 5870 can have its voltage raised from 1,15V to 1,35V, resulting in a GPU clock speed bump from 850MHz to 1,035MHz and a rise in memory speed from 4,800MHz to 5,200MHz. That's essentially the fastest single-GPU graphics card made faster, and we reckon those figures may give an indication of Radeon HD 5890 performance.

For those wanting to save a few pennies, ASUS' Voltage Tweak-packing Radeon HD 5850 can raise voltage from 1.088V to 1.4V. That'll increase GPU clock speed from 725MHz to 1,050MHz and memory clock speed from 4,000MHz to 5,200MHz.

We'll have to take ASUS' word for it, but those are impressive figures - and we're told the Voltage Tweak'd Radeon HD 5870 provides a 38 per cent boost in 3DMark Vantage.

As with most other Radeon HD 5000-series cards, ASUS' offerings will ship with a coupon for Colin McRae: DiRT 2. That coupon should prove to be useful when the PC version of the game launches sometime later this year.
September 23, 2009 1:48:24 PM

Quote:
but nvidia has also cuda and physx that is very important



Ahhhh.... NO! If there were no other competing solutions to Cuda and Physx then maybe. But there are out there.

Anything to compete with eyefinity???????
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 1:53:27 PM

what about nvidia 3d vision
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 1:57:08 PM

Remember that the GTX295 only has 896MB RAM per GPU, that's why it kicks the bucket at high res and AA.
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2009 2:03:36 PM

Quote:
but nvidia has also cuda and physx that is very important

Very important to who? A few decent CUDA applications exist but OpenCL and/or DirectCompute will kill CUDA because of its propriety nature.

Quote:
what about nvidia 3d vision


Nobody uses that...
September 23, 2009 2:05:25 PM

5870 2gb will beat GTX295. and 5890 won't come if GTX380 doesn't woop atis ass. There is no way Nvidia can beat the price and the power consumption of RV800. ATI is gonna win this generation.
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