Graphics Cards Guide

ATI Radeon HD 5830 - Plugging The Performance Gap, Again

ATI Radeon HD 5830 - Plugging The Performance Gap, Again



Another Gap to Fill

Another Gap to Fill

Another gap to fill? Sounds like a familiar story. Back when ATI released their Radeon 4000 series, they had the awesome Radeon HD 4870 and HD 4850, both of which provided excellent performance for their price. A rung below the Radeon HD 4850 was the HD 4670 (the HD 4770 only came later), which meant there was a big gulf in performance for ATI to fill. Enter, then, the Radeon HD 4830, and subsequently, HD 4770.

This time round, ATI is suffering from the same problem they did with their previous generation graphics cards. While there's no doubting the tremendous graphics horsepower of the top tier Radeon 5800 series, the Radeon HD 5700 series, on the other hand, is a little underwhelming. In our tests, we found that the Radeon HD 5770 had problems keeping up with the older Radeon HD 4890, leading us to believe that it was the HD 5770's narrower 128-bit wide memory bus that was the culprit. Because of the Radeon HD 5770's performance, or lack thereof, it created a big price and performance gap between itself and the Radeon HD 5850.

So now to plug this price and performance gap, ATI has introduced yet another member to the Evergreen family, and it is the Radeon HD 5830.

Introduced in late February this year, the Radeon HD 5830 is closely related to both the Radeon HD 5870 and HD 5850, as it uses a stripped down version of the Cypress chip. Instead of the 1600 and 1440 stream processors found on the Radeon HD 5870 and HD 5850 respectively, the new Radeon HD 5830 instead has only 1120. And compared to the Radeon HD 5850, it also has lesser texture mapping units - 56 vs. 72.

However, it will continue to use ultra-fast GDDR5 memory and memory clock speeds will remain the same at 4000MHz DDR. And to make up for the reduction in stream processors, the Radeon HD 5830's core clock speeds will be bumped up to 800MHz - 75MHz higher than the Radeon HD 5850. Therefore, it'll be interesting to see how these changes will affect the Radeon HD 5830's performance.

Here's a quick look at how it measures up against its closest rivals.

 
ATI Radeon HD 5830 and competitive SKUs compared
Model ATI Radeon HD 5830 1GB GDDR5 ATI Radeon HD 5850 1GB GDDR5 ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 465 1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 1GB GDDR3
Core Code Cypress LE Cypress Pro Juniper XT GF100 GF100 GT200
Transistor Count 2150 million 2150 million 1040 million 3200 million 3200 million 1400 million
Manufacturing Process 40nm 40nm 40nm 40nm 40nm 55nm
Core Clock 800MHz 725MHz 800MHz 607MHz 607MHz 648MHz
Stream Processors 1120 Stream Processing Units 1440 Stream processing units 800 Stream Processing Units 352 Stream Processors 448 Stream Processors 240 Stream Processors
Stream Processor Clock 800MHz 725MHz 800MHz 1215MHz 1215MHz 1476MHz
Texture Mapping Units (TMU) or Texture Filtering (TF) units 56 72 40 44 56 80
Raster Operator units (ROP) 16 32 16 32 40 32
Memory Clock 4000MHz GDDR5 4000MHz GDDR5 4800MHz GDDR5 3206MHz GDDR5 3348MHz GDDR5 2484MHz GDDR3
DDR Memory Bus 256-bit 256-bit 128-bit 256-bit 320-bit 512-bit
Memory Bandwidth 128GB/s 128GB/s 76.8GB/s 102.6GB/s 133.9GB/s 159.0GB/s
PCI Express Interface PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16 PCIe ver 2.0 x16
Molex Power Connectors 2 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin 1 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin 2 x 6-pin
Multi GPU Technology CrossFireX CrossFireX CrossFireX SLI SLI SLI
DVI Output Support 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link 2 x Dual-Link
HDCP Output Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Street Price ~US$220 ~US$300 ~US$160 ~US$279 ~US$349 ~US$350