Games & Gear Guide

ATI Radeon HD 5970 (Reference Card) review

ATI Radeon HD 5970 - The King Returns

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The Extreme Graphics Card

Overall, there can be no doubting the power and speed of the new Radeon HD 5970. It is simply blazing fast, and as far as single graphics cards go, nothing in the market comes close. The previous speed king, the GeForce GTX 295, has been utterly outclassed by ATI's newest dual-GPU offering.

What's more, it does so by offering very impressive levels of power efficiency. In our tests, it easily overpowered the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 and was on average about 20% faster. Despite that, it also managed to achieve markedly lower power consumption figures. This is testament to the new Evergreen chips' efficiency and is certainly amazing, to say the least.

While it may be an adept graphics cruncher, there are other considerations that work against it. For one, its immense size necessitates an equally gargantuan and high-end casing for it to fit. So unless you have a similarly large casing to begin with, or are prepared to upgrade, the Radeon HD 5970 may not be for you. There are other options yet like a CrossFire pair of Radeon HD 5870 graphics cards, which is actually the current speed champ configuration to beat.

And then there is its massive launch price, a wallet-busting US$599 (S$830). This is US$200 more than a Radeon HD 5870, and is enough to buy two Radeon HD 5850 cards with change to spare. The old adage, "you pay for what you get", certainly holds true here.

To add on, the HIS Radeon HD 5970 we have here retails for US$599.99 but comes bundled with a redeemable copy of Dirt 2 and also comes with a handy multi-purpose screwdriver.

At the end of the day, the King has returned for there's no denying the sheer brute power of the Radeon HD 5970. But with its colossal dimensions and steep asking price, this is ultimately still one for the extremists.