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ATI Radeon HD 5570: Reasonable Gaming Performance For $80?

Radeon HD 5570: The Reference Card

The Radeon HD 5570 certainly doesn't look like a card sporting 400 shaders--likely a side-effect of a move to 40nm manufacturing, cutting back on die size and thermal output, thereby requiring a more conservative cooler and smaller PCB. Frankly, it looks more like the entry-level Radeon HD 4550 with an active cooler. But we mean that with all due respect; fitting this into a microATX (or even mini-ITX) HTPC enclosure in the living room is a real win.

The Radeon HD 5570 doesn't need a dedicated power connector, which is no surprise since the more powerful Radeon HD 5670 doesn't either. Of course, we do expect this card's idle and load power consumption numbers to be even lower. That's another bit of good news since, again, the Radeon HD 5670 already demonstrates impressive results in this regard.

Notice how small the reference cooler is. The impressive part is that is does a great job keeping temperatures in check, as we will demonstrate in the benchmarks.

Our Radeon HD 5570 lacks a CrossFire bridge, but AMD let us know that these low-end Radeons will work quite well in CrossFire without the bridge connector; in fact, it's one of those designs able to enable CrossFire operation over the PCI Express bus. The thing is, with 400 shader cores per card, it is difficult to imagine a scenario where dual Radeon HD 5570s would make sense. The Radeon HD 5770 costs less than two Radeon HD 5570s, but sports 800 shader cores and comes with faster GDDR5 memory. This is one of those scenarios where a single board is a better value than two less-expensive derivatives.

The card's small size allows for a half-height output bezel swap, as long as you're willing to give up the analog VGA connector. This is interesting because half-height versions of respectable gaming cards, such as the GeForce 9600 GT, are usually accompanied by notable price increases, since they are often custom-designed by board vendors. The Radeon HD 5570 should give half-height card buyers access to some low-cost hardware capable of decent gaming.

This reference model came with VGA, DVI, and HDMI outputs. This is a little perplexing because DisplayPort output is necessary for triple-monitor Eyefinity use. Thus, our sample is not triple-monitor capable. As with most of the 5000-series card, each manufacturer has some flexibility as to the output options it wishes to include, so a version with DisplayPort should not be a difficult find post-launch.

The memory on this reference card is Samsung K4W1G1646E-HC11, rated for 900 MHz operation. We found it was willing to go a lot farther than that in our overclocking tests. Of course, the memory on retail boards will vary based on what each manufacturer decides to use.

Looks a lot like the Radeon HD 5670 GPU, doesn't it? That would make sense, since it's the same thing.

  • johnbilicki
    Because someone who is going to consider buying a 5570 is so going to pair it with a socket 1366 which makes up for a massive 1% of all CPU's Intel is selling. This is the kind of card someone's parent is going to wonder to the store and pick up so their daughter can play The Sims. 50+ FPS in Crysis? >__>
    Reply
  • xaira
    i thought this would be cheaper, cant wait for fermi to come and reduce amds horrible pricing of the low end lineup, the 5670 shudve had 640 stream processors!!!
    Reply
  • megamanx00
    I would have liked to have seen how this stacks up against the GT240 with GDDR3 as the 5670 already knocked the GT240 with GDDR5 off its perch.
    Reply
  • johnbilicki
    xairai thought this would be cheaper, cant wait for fermi to come and reduce amds horrible pricing of the low end lineup, the 5670 shudve had 640 stream processors!!!
    AMD/ATI set the MSRP to $320 for the 5870, blame the retailers for jacking the prices up since nVidia hasn't yet put anything out to compete with.
    Reply
  • megamanx00
    Anyway, still a good budget card. I bet this card is made so that AMD can afford to sell it a little less than what even the Radeon 4650 is currently going for, while the 5670 may even fall below the $64 the cheapest 4670s are going for.
    Reply
  • burnley14
    Disappointing performance increase considering it's supposed to be replacing a card from over a year ago. I would have thought they could have mustered something better.
    Reply
  • skora
    I like it,that power draw had me fall out of my chair. Definitely a HTPC with limited gaming option.
    Reply
  • notty22
    Well people with a 'old' 9600gt won't be up?grading to this for a 20% loss of performance. Something for everyone I guess.
    Reply
  • acasel
    where is the crossfire mode?
    Reply
  • ta152h
    The paper clip is poor as a size reference point, since paper clips are not all the same size. Because of that, it's impossible to know the actual size of the die, since we don't know the size of the paper clip.
    Reply