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

Power And Noise

ATI rates the Radeon HD 5770 for 18W of power consumption at idle and 108W maximum board power at load. The Radeon HD 5750 is even lower at 16W idle and 86W under load. The delta there checks out almost exactly, as our Radeon HD 5750 sample used two watts less than our 5770 at idle, and 22W less (instead of the expected 21W) with FurMark running at full tilt.

The only card in this lineup able to use less power at load is the Radeon HD 4770—though it consumes more power at idle than either of the 5700-series boards.

Nvidia’s G92-based GeForce GTS 250 and GT200b-based GeForce GTX 260 lay down impressive idle numbers, given the fact they’re manufactured using 55nm technology. They can’t compete with the power savings of ATI’s 40nm boards under load, though (the exception being the power-hungry 5850).

We were much more concerned with noise last month. The flagship cards push the envelope, generating the most heat under duress. When the same technology is derived down into the mid-range, it’s rarely as hot or loud.

Indeed, all of these boards are able to idle along fairly quietly with complete systems generating less than 40 decibels. With a FurMark stress test running, fans are forced to keep temperatures under control, but never really need to operate at full tilt. All of ATI’s 40nm GPUs turn in fairly similar results, and even the CrossFire configurations aren’t intrusively obnoxious under load.

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.