Radeon HD 5770 And 5750 Review: Gentlemen, Start Your HTPCs

Benchmark Results: Batman: Arkham Asylum

Despite the fact that it’s a very attractive game, Batman enables very playable performance numbers all the way through 2560x1600. The Radeon HD 4870 and GeForce GTX 260 nobly do battle, both outperforming the Radeon HD 5770. ATI’s Radeon HD 5750 is edged out by the GeForce GTS 250—hardly a surprise given this game’s TWIMTBP status.

But the real shocker happens when you enable PhysX in this one. All of the Radeon-based configurations are instantly kneecapped by the technology, while the Nvidia cards see performance roughly halved (though performance is still plenty playable).

I debated the impact of these results as I ran through Batman’s in-game benchmark. On one hand, it’s absolutely frustrating to see performance slow to a crawl in scenes where there is clearly zero benefit to having PhysX enabled. On the other, the use of physics effects in-game is much more compelling. Whether or not this is the future of hardware accelerated physics remains to be seen (if history has taught us anything, the answer is almost assuredly ‘no’). But this is the present. And at present, Batman is made tangibly better by PhysX effects and virtually impossible to play with those settings enabled on an ATI-based card.

Of course, the real value of Nvidia’s competitive advantage—again, at present—has to be weighed against ATI’s support for DirectX 11 (a negligible benefit, currently), Eyefinity (much more exciting for guys like me who run three displays), and bitstreaming HD audio in an HTPC (a reason to buy a second card for the living room).

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • Summer Leigh Castle
    Can we BOLD or change the color of the card that's being reviewed?
  • masterjaw
    Nice one, but the charts are a bit cluttered without giving emphasis on the featured cards (bold fonts, etc). A media card that could do games pretty good.

    I'm quite agree with the nvidia's G92 still hanging around but looking at their newly released cards (gt220, 210), I don't know what to say anymore. Hopefully, they're making the right choices at the right time.
  • megamanx00
    Looks to me like the 5770 really needs faster memory speeds, though that would defeat trying to make it cheaper, and perhaps a higher core clock. Perhaps we'll see some factory overclocked cards with memory that can reach a significantly higher speed.
  • JohnnyLucky
    Power consumption, temperature, and noise levels are very encouraging. I just finished reading other reviews where the 5700 cards are described as mid-level and mainstream cards.
  • buzznut
    If I was building today (htpc), I would still go with a HD4670. Who knows six months from now...
    Those other features are compelling. If I could afford 2 more monitors that is.
  • cangelini
    Summer Leigh CastleCan we BOLD or change the color of the card that's being reviewed?
    For sure--I've looked into this and would be happy to implement, but haven't had much luck. Any Excel gurus able to get only certain axis labels bolded without changing the entire series?
  • noob2222
    and bitstreaming HD audio in an HTPC (a reason to buy a second card for the living room).

    Personally I use my main computer as my HTPC, after all, I can't play games and watch movies from 2 different rooms at the same time, and all it takes is the HDMI cable (at least until they make it wireless.)
  • cangelini
    That works as well. But for someone with a triple-head setup *and* an HTPC, I can justify both usage models.
  • lashabane
    I'm looking to upgrade from my dated 3850 and was thinking that these would really impress me for the price. I'm thinking I'll just spend the bit extra and get the 5850 when the prices come down.

    Of course, I wouldn't have been able to make such an informed decision so early if it weren't for TH and columnists such as yourself.

    Thanks for another great article Chris.
  • ambientmf
    What's the benefit of DirectX 11 capabilities if the cards are worse performing than last gen cards in DX9/10 games? I'd rather get a 4800 series card, being a gamer myself, for slightly better framerates.
    I can see the other benefits for the hardcore HTPC crowd though.