Introducing the Cards
The ASUS EAH5770 CuCore
Our first contender is the ASUS EAH5770 CuCore. As its name suggests, the card uses copper extensively in its custom-design cooler. As the photos below show, the core of the cooler heatsink is a big block of copper, which is in turn surrounded by an elaborate aluminum heatsink. ASUS says such a design will allow heat to be transferred quicker from the GPU core to the heatsink, resulting in lower operating temperatures.
While the cooler's design seem sound, in theory at least, the specifications of the card disappoint mainly because it retains ATI's reference clock speeds, which means 850MHz at the core and 4800MHz DDR. Here's a reference card from PowerColor to measure up against the ASUS card:-
The Gigabyte HD 5770 Super Overclock
Bolstering Gigabyte's latest Super Overclock line of customized and overclocked graphics cards is the HD 5770 Super Overclock. This card stands out from the rest mainly because of its clock speeds, 900MHz at the core and 4800MHz DDR, which happens to be the highest of trio.
What's also interesting is that chips that go into making the HD 5770 Super Overclock are cherry-picked using a process Gigabyte calls “GPU Gauntlet”. According to Gigabyte, it is a stringent selection process where each chip is specifically selected to offer not only the highest overclocking performance, but also highest level of power efficiency.
That aside, the card also gets the Ultra Durable VGA label that signifies quality components being used. And this includes additional copper in the PCB for better power and thermal efficiency, top-quality memory chips from Samsung/Hynix, Japanese-made solid capacitors and ferrite core based chokes.
The HIS HD 5770 IceQ 5 Turbo
HIS' revered IceQ cooler makes its comeback in the company's latest Radeon HD 5770 card. Already in its fifth edition, the IceQ 5 cooler on this card looks remarkably similar to older IceQ coolers we've seen. However, HIS states that minor tweaks have been made to make the card run cooler.
And as the “Turbo” in the name indicates, the card comes factory-overclocked - 875MHz at the core and 4800MHz DDR at the memory. It's not as aggressive as the Gigabyte HD 5770 Super Overclock, but we should see some improvement in performance over a bone stock reference Radeon HD 5770 and the ASUS EAH5770 CuCore.