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Budget graphics cards Reviews
15,670 Reviews

HIS ATI Radeon HD 5770 review

£127 inc VAT

Manufacturer: HIS

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The HIS ATI HD Radeon 5770 takes much of the technology of the new 5800 series cards, but makes it available a lower price. Updated 12 August 2010.

The HIS ATI HD Radeon 5770 take much of the technology of the 5800 series cards, and makes it available a lower price. Updated 12 August 2010.

Almost a hundred pounds cheaper than the next most expensive card, the Radeon HD 5770 is priced to appeal to the mainstream PC user rather than the committed gamer. We liked the fact that this relatively compact card isn’t as gargantuan as some of the cards in the £200-plus category. The single six-pin power connector is enough to keep the card whirring nicely, and its power requirements seem relatively modest – just 108W is consumed under load. The 5770 is double-width, and offers DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort ports.

In essence a scaled-down version of the 5800-series cards, the 5770 has a lot in common with the 5870. It’s not surprising to see the 5770 packing 1GB GDDR5 RAM, and it matches the 5870’s 850MHz core clock speed and its 1.2GHz memory clock (4.8GHz effective). But some of the other specifications are less predictable.

The compromise comes in the form of the memory interface. The 128bit restriction clips the 5770’s wings dramatically when it comes to real-world performance – the memory bandwidth is a mere 76.8GBps, in comparison to the 153.6GBps of the 5870. And the relatively modest number of stream processors results in floating-point capabilities just half those offered of the 5870.

The modest performance of the 5770 came as no surprise. In Hawx it notched up 32fps less than the 5870 at the lowest resolutions, and remained 20fps away even at higher levels. In our Heaven tests, the lead varied from 6fps at 1680x1050 to almost 9fps at lower resolutions. Aliens vs Predator saw the 5870’s lead increase – 10 to 14fps at 1680x1050 and below. Our DirectX 11.0 tests showed that this card’s framerates simply aren’t good enough to support sophisticated games. It struggled to get above even 30fps – the absolute minimum required for a satisfying gaming experience.

However, we’re confident that this good-value card will find plenty of fans by dint of its high clock speed and memory allocation and its ability to run less demanding games with aplomb.

Pros: Offers good value and a decent level of performance for its price; relatively low power needs
Cons: DirectX 11.0 and complex games won’t run particularly well

NEXT PAGE: Our expert verdict >>

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

HIS ATI Radeon HD 5770 Expert Verdict »

ATI Radeon HD 5770
850MHz Core Clock
1200MHz Memory Clock (4800MHz DDR effective)
400MHz Ramdac
128-bit memory interface
800 stream processors
PCI-E Interface
2 x 6-pin power connectors
DirectX 11.0
2-year warranty
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 7 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

ATI’s HD 5850 is an undoubted triumph. The 5770, not quite so. Indeed, the manufacturer’s own HD 4870 knocks it for six. But ATI’s unlikely to shoot itself in the foot for too long, and we can imagine the 4870 will disappear from the shelves in the near future. That means prices will be falling dramatically on the 4870 in the coming months, and given that it’s already faster than the 5770, that makes the 4870 a fantastic deal if you can snap one up for less than £125. As for the 5770 itself, in a few months it’ll probably be the stand-out card at its price point. The wise consumer, though, will know that the older technology represents the best deal. And knowing how good the 5850 and 5870 are, that makes the 5770 something of a disappointment.

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