The HIS Radeon HD 5830 is a graphics card that offers solid all-round performance, but it's not much cheaper than the vastly superior 5850, DirectX 11 potential not quite as good as on more expensive cards.

The 5850 and 5870 are marketed at hardened gamers, but as the cheapest of the ATI 58xx graphics cards, the HIS Radeon HD 5830 is the better value choice.

It’s a chunky card that’ll need a reasonable amount of space. Adorned with HDMI, DisplayPort and a pair of DVI connectors, the HIS Radeon HD 5830 is very much ready for EyeFinity. Two 6-pin connectors are needed to power this card, yet the 5830 is relatively quiet in use. Don't be fooled by the lack of noise, though: there's plenty of power being produced here.

In fact, in many areas, the HIS Radeon HD 5830 appears a more powerful beast than the 5850. It offers 1GB of GDDR5 - a handsome complement of high-calibre memory - while the 840MHz core clock speed is a full 115MHz faster than the pricier 5850 card's. The memory clock of 1.1GHz (which jumps to 4.4GHz when the quadrupling effect of GDDR5 is taken into account) again betters the achievements of the typical 5850. Better yet, the memory interface, so often a reason for the on-paper figures of graphics cards to turn to dust, is a 256bit version – just like the 5850’s. And the memory bandwidth of 140.8GBps – a sizeable 12.8GBps up on the 5850 – is impressive.

However, it’s not all good news. The HIS Radeon HD 5830 still lurks in its bigger sibling's shadows. This card's 1,120 stream processors are a fraction of those offered by the 5850 and leave it short-changed when it comes to floating point operations at more than 0.2teraflops behind the 5850. Is texture and ROP units are considerably inferior too.

For all this, the HIS Radeon HD 5830 approaches the games performances of the 5850, coming in just 5 or 6fps behind on Crysis and Stalker, for instance. On the Heaven benchmark, the 5850’s lead sits at around 10-14fps at the lower resolutions, falling to 5-6fps at 1,920x1,200. BattleForge sees 8-11fps leads, while in Aliens vs Predators the gap is around 3-5fps (increasing as the resolutions fall). As with the 5850, the 5830 holds its performance less well than the top cards when switching from DirectX 10 to 11. Its DX11 frame rates are very playable, but even more demanding games will probably benefit from you backing off from the absolute maximum settings.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

See also: Group test: what's the best graphics card?

See also: Group test: what's the best budget graphics card?

HIS Radeon HD 5830: Specs

  • ATI Radeon HD 5830 graphics processor
  • 1GB GDDR5 RAM
  • memory interface: 256bit
  • memory clock: 1.1GHz (DDR Effective: 4.4GHz)
  • core clock: 840MHz
  • stream processors: 1120
  • texture units: 56
  • ROP units: 16
  • memory bandwidth: 140.8 GBytes/sec
  • Fill rate: 47.0 GTexels/sec
  • floating point performance: 1.88 TFlops
  • Maximum board power: 175W
  • Idel board power: 25W
  • power connectors: 2 x 6pin
  • interface: PCI Express
  • DirectX 11
  • Digital interface: DVI, HDMI, DP
  • ATI Radeon HD 5830 graphics processor
  • 1GB GDDR5 RAM
  • memory interface: 256bit
  • memory clock: 1.1GHz (DDR Effective: 4.4GHz)
  • core clock: 840MHz
  • stream processors: 1120
  • texture units: 56
  • ROP units: 16
  • memory bandwidth: 140.8 GBytes/sec
  • Fill rate: 47.0 GTexels/sec
  • floating point performance: 1.88 TFlops
  • Maximum board power: 175W
  • Idel board power: 25W
  • power connectors: 2 x 6pin
  • interface: PCI Express
  • DirectX 11
  • Digital interface: DVI, HDMI, DP

OUR VERDICT

Unfortunately, the HIS Radeon HD 5830 is too close in price to the 5850 to distinguish itself from that excellent graphics card. Anyone looking for a card approaching this kind of money would be foolish not to shell out the £20 more required for the 5850 instead.

Find the best price