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The Radeon HD 5830 Architecture

ATI Radeon HD 5830: Bridging The 5700- And 5800- Price Gap
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There are a lot of graphics cards from AMD in and surrounding the new Radeon HD 5830's price point, so let's have a look at the relevant players:


Radeon HD 5850
Radeon HD 5830
Radeon HD 5770
Radeon HD 4890
Shader Processors:
1,440
1,120
800
800
Texture Units:
72
56
40
40
Color ROPs:
32
16
16
16
Core Clock:
725 MHz
800 MHz
850 MHz
850 MHz
GDDR5 Memory Clock:
1,000 MHz
1,000 MHz
1,200 MHz
975 MHz
Memory Bus:
256-bit
256-bit
128-bit
256-bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/s):
128
128
76.8
124.8
Compute Power (TFLOPs):
2.09
1.79
1.36
1.6
Transistors (billion):
2.15
2.15
1.04
0.959
Maximum Power:
151W
175W
108W
190W
Idle Power:
27W
25W
18W
60W


There's so much information to process here. At first glance, the new Radeon HD 5830 seems to completely outclass the Radeon HD 5770 with far higher memory bandwidth and almost a third more shader cores. Indeed, the new card looks comparable to the powerful Radeon HD 5850. Yes, there's a 22% reduction in shader cores, but there's also a 10% increase in GPU core clock speed to help offset the deficit.

Things look exceptionally positive for the new Radeon HD 5830 until you notice its Achilles heel: a lack of ROPs compared to the Radeon HD 5850. And we thought we were so very close to having Radeon HD 5850-class performance at $240! Of course, this is precisely the reason AMD cut the number of render back-ends in half compared to the Radeon HD 5870 and 5850. To put things in perspective, the Radeon HD 5830 might be able to execute shader operations almost as fast as the 5850, but its ability to render pixels to the screen has been crippled to the same specification as the Radeon HD 5770. We can expect the new Radeon HD 5830 to perform between the Radeons HD 5770 and 5850, but probably closer to the 5770 or Radeon HD 4890.

Speaking of the 4890, the Radeon HD 5830 looks to outclass it on all fronts, except the ROP count. Remember though, the Radeon HD 4000-series have been repeatedly proven to demonstrate a sizable shader-versus-shader performance advantage over the Radeon HD 5000-series when it comes to raw game performance. As a result, we'd expect the new card to demonstrate performance comparable to the Radeon HD 4890.

A Familiar Graphics Processor

The Radeon HD 5830 does not sport a new GPU, it simply employs the Radeon HD 5870 "Cypress" processor, crippled to the new specification and dubbed Cypress LE. In fact, AMD's power usage specifications suggest that the Radeon HD 5830 will be based on the high-end Radeon HD 5870 card instead of the smaller 5850. And our reference card was built on a full-sized Radeon HD 5870 PCB, though we'll go into that in more depth on the next page. For now, here is a Radeon HD 5870 block diagram that shows how much of the GPU has been disabled.

We've been through the Radeon HD 5000-series architecture in detail in our Radeon HD 5870 launch article so I won't rehash the minutia. We will look at the differences in the new Radeon HD 5830 though: as you can see, the new Radeon HD 5830 has 14 SIMD engines, compared to the 5870's 20, but only half of the render back-ends. We can definitely see where the performance bottleneck will lie. Each of the 14 SIMD engines hosts four texture units and 16 stream processors, and each stream processor with five ALUs (AMD calls these stream cores). As a result, this GPU boasts 1,120 stream cores and 56 texture units.

Note that the GPU retains its four 64-bit memory controllers, even though the number of render back-ends has been halved from four to two. Each render back-end contains eight color ROP units, resulting in a total of 16 ROPs and a 256-bit memory interface.

As with the rest of the Radeon HD 5000 family, AMD dedicated a lot of its transistor budget to features like DirectX 11 and Eyefinity. Of course, all of these features carry over to the Radeon HD 5830. With the aforementioned launches this month, we've covered them ad infinitum, so to read more about these features please check the other Radeon HD 5000-series stories linked to at the end of this piece.

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Top Comments
  • 21 Hide
    intelx , February 25, 2010 3:39 AM
    im a little disappointed about this one, i mean 239 and yet the 4890 is $40 cheaper and beats it in some new games, i was really hoping for better performance form the 5830, now after reading this, im leaning towards either 5770 in crossfire or single 5850.

    man ati is kicking Nvidia in every corner right now, all the way from low end to the high end 5970!
  • 14 Hide
    flyinfinni , February 25, 2010 3:34 AM
    seems more like a 5790 than a 5830 to me... Still- they are filling in the line quite well, and its gonna be interesting to see how Nvidia's new line will compare.
  • 13 Hide
    Fortunex , February 25, 2010 6:14 AM
    WarraWarraNO SALE. NO SALE $80.00 video card for $200 ????Will rather get a 4890 or wait for the 5850 basic entry level laptop video card for a desktop to be $175 that it should be.5830 is supposed to be the upgrade of the 4830 server video card and can not even use it in a server heat noise power ect. = NO SALE.Don't care for DX11 or the junk software that runs it Win7 Vista = not gamer friendly / user friendly software. DX11 = slow and useless / not really supported and would be maybe 5 years before there is a decent playable DX11 game if ever at the current rate of games / disasters for the PC. OpenCL / Ati Stream would be useful if working and general user usable not geeks / science freak usable only. Load balance single threaded on a quad core or gpgpu software please = Immediate Sale of a 5970 or 4x 5850's .


    What? The amount of stupid in this post is astounding.
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    jomofro39 , February 25, 2010 3:10 AM
    I love my 4890. I am sad they are disappearing, because I planned on getting a x-fire thing going in the next few months, and now I have to just try and get two 5770s and sell the 4890 I have now, obviously, so I can grab some DX11! Hurray for progress!
  • 11 Hide
    meluvcookies , February 25, 2010 3:18 AM
    I was hoping this would be just a bit cheaper such that the 5850 could finally come down nearer it's original MSRP. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like we'll see those adjustments until closer to the summer.
  • 3 Hide
    4745454b , February 25, 2010 3:27 AM
    To much money for such little card. Performance wise its just a really expensive 4890. A good buy at $200, but $240 is to much. Might as well pony up the extra $60 and get the 5850. 5810 is a bit more like it.
  • 14 Hide
    flyinfinni , February 25, 2010 3:34 AM
    seems more like a 5790 than a 5830 to me... Still- they are filling in the line quite well, and its gonna be interesting to see how Nvidia's new line will compare.
  • 21 Hide
    intelx , February 25, 2010 3:39 AM
    im a little disappointed about this one, i mean 239 and yet the 4890 is $40 cheaper and beats it in some new games, i was really hoping for better performance form the 5830, now after reading this, im leaning towards either 5770 in crossfire or single 5850.

    man ati is kicking Nvidia in every corner right now, all the way from low end to the high end 5970!
  • 10 Hide
    acasel , February 25, 2010 3:42 AM
    Where is the overclocking portion? If this thing overclocks good then it might be a worthy purchase..
  • 0 Hide
    Aircraft123 , February 25, 2010 3:55 AM
    This article definitely made me feel better about my dual XFX 4890 CrossFire setup. Performance is theoretically around a GTX295 for less money than a single 5870!!!

    if the 5830 can come down to ~$200 and offer good crossfire performance perhaps with good overclocking potential I can see this card do very well.
  • 0 Hide
    notty22 , February 25, 2010 4:15 AM
    ATI managed to cripple all the magic out of a 5850 with this thing.
    A gtx260 beats it in places and its only 10% faster than a 5770, thats 70 dollars cheaper ? Thanks , but NO Thanks.
  • 4 Hide
    porksmuggler , February 25, 2010 4:19 AM
    I've been waiting for this review, thanks Don. With the 4890 and 4850X2 still floating around for sale, this one isn't appealing even at $200. Performance is just too close to the 5770...
  • 2 Hide
    tacoslave , February 25, 2010 4:34 AM
    damn it nvidia can't wait for fermi to launch!!! i'm waiting for my $300 5870. Even if nvidia releases a better card (lol) i'll be buying the 5870!
  • 2 Hide
    juncwil , February 25, 2010 4:36 AM
    Yea I can't wait to see the results for unlocking and overclocking it. We might see the real value then.
  • 7 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , February 25, 2010 4:49 AM
    They're backtracking but at a high price. Somehow that doesn't seem right.
  • 2 Hide
    micky_lund , February 25, 2010 4:53 AM
    hmmm...as they said: same release price as the 4890, so its all well and good...don't buy it until a few months in, and it'll bemuch cheaper, and less driver issues
  • 5 Hide
    sincreator , February 25, 2010 4:53 AM
    What would happen if this card was flashed to a 5870's Bios I wonder? Another unlockable(maybe)product from AMD, like the dual and tripple core Phenom II's? Or was this stuff shut down because it was a faulty 5870 originally. Would be nice to unlock it and get a fully functioning 5870 for 240$. lol
  • 6 Hide
    MCMunroe , February 25, 2010 4:55 AM
    Every time I read one of these reviews and then the gripe about the 5870 costing way over the MSRP price, I have a huge grin.
    I got mine in early October and at $375 new. No shortage or price gouging here. One happy happy man and every review since has made me happier.

    On topic:
    The 5770 seems a better value than the 5830 for a cost limited gamer to me.
  • 1 Hide
    noob2222 , February 25, 2010 4:59 AM
    seeing as these are just binned defective 5870 processors, I wonder if we will ever see a video card with a socket for swapping gpus. Keep the memory during upgrades. Of course this would mean standardizing the cards to be compatible with each other, and companies would fight this to the end.

    As for unlocking it, its probably possible, but the results would be unpredictable.
  • -6 Hide
    cinergy , February 25, 2010 5:09 AM
    notty22ATI managed to cripple all the magic out of a 5850 with this thing.A gtx260 beats it in places and its only 10% faster than a 5770, thats 70 dollars cheaper ? Thanks , but NO Thanks.


    notty, you are total nvidia a**hole. Stop trolling to every ATI related articles already. Thanks.
  • 1 Hide
    anamaniac , February 25, 2010 5:15 AM
    HWhat ruined the 5xxx for many Canadians (myself included), is that Sapphire is the only vendor to sell active DP to DVI adaptors in Canada, in extremely short supply and $150 a peice.

    ATi, just let me use two damned 5770's at once for my third display,. or allow us to use a damned passive adaptor!

    Screw the 5830.
    The 5870 x6 should come with 6 miniDP to DVI adaptors, for free (an adaptor worth $5 or whatever, but stores like to sell them for $50).

    ArticleOf course, it will be interesting to see how upcoming DirectX 11-class games change the story. Aliens Vs. Predator, for instance, is a title we'll be reviewing in the near future. This one one promises to showcase tessellation, and we're anxious to see what that does to performance.

    Two issues, AVP is so buggy many people are forced to run it on DX9 (myself included, DX11 load), and it doesn't play nicely with x64 OS's.
    You should wait til they come out with a major patch first...
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