ATI Radeon HD 5570 Performance Preview
If you read our review of the Radeon HD 5450 last week and came away with the distinct impression that the card would be perfect for low-cost business PCs and HTPCs but not quite up to snuff in your next gaming rig, you may be more interested in todayís launch of the Radeon 5570.
The Radeon 5570 is ATIís answer for the $80-$90 graphics card market. Itís based on the same Redwood graphics core first launched with the Radeon 5670 last month. Surprisingly enough, the 5570 gets the full 400-shader configuration found in the 5670, only itís clocked at lower speeds and outfitted with DDR3 (instead of GDDR5) memory.
ATI will presumably be producing Radeon 5550 GPUs at some point as well with fewer stream processors and a sub-$80 price point, but that chip isnít launching today.
The 5570 should appeal to the gamer who wants a little more power than what the Radeon 5450 provides. With five times the shaders and a 2X wider memory interface, the 5570 is a much more capable gaming card than the 5450 is. At the same time though, the 5570 can still fit in tight enclosures: the reference board sports a low-profile form factor with single-slot, quiet cooling and 38W typical TDP. Thatís something that the more powerful 5670 canít boast.
Basically the Radeon 5570 is the card for the gamer who needs something thatís either smaller or more affordable than the 5670, but doesnít want to step all the way down to a 5450, which is intended as more of an upgrade for users who are coming from IGP graphics and donít necessarily need a card for any serious form of gaming. The Radeon 5570 can run Resident Evil 5 and Batman Arkham Asylum at 30+ fps at 1600x1200 with high settings and 4xAA in the case of RE5. Modern Warfare 2 runs at 25 fps at the same resolution with 4xAA.
Again, youíre not going to confuse a 5570 for a Radeon 5700 or Radeon 5800 series card, but if youíre a casual gamer who only plays the occasional FPS or cutting edge title, or perhaps youíre still addicted to older games like Counter-Strike and you only game at 1280x1024 or 1600x1200, the 5570 may be the card for you.
The following chart sums up how the 5570 compares to the rest of ATIís sub-$100 Radeon 5000 series lineup:
|ATI's sub-$100 Radeons|
|Radeon 5670||Radeon 5570||Radeon 5450|
|Graphics Core Clock Speed||775MHz||650MHz||650MHz|
|Compute Performance||620 GFLOPS||520 GFLOPS||104 GFLOPS|
|Texture Fill-rate||15.5 GigaTexels/sec||13 GigaTexels/sec||5.2 GigaTexels/sec|
|Pixel Fill-rate||6.2 Gigapixels/sec||5.2 Gigapixels/sec||2.6 Gigapixels/sec|
|Memory Clock Speed||1000MHz GDDR5 (4Gbps data rate)||900MHz DDR3 (1.8Gbps data rate)||Up to 800MHz DDR3|
|Memory Bandwidth||64GB/sec||28.8GB/sec||Up to 12.8GB/sec|
|Idle Board Power||70.04W||42.7W||19.1W|
|Max Board Power||14.95W||9.69W||6.4W|
Because it retains the same shader and texturing configuration as the Radeon 5670, the 5570 should perform decently in cases where it isnít bound by its available memory bandwidth, especially if you OC the graphics core. In other words, keep your screen resolution and anti-aliasing in check, as these are two factors that can sap your GPUís memory subsystem pretty quickly.
ATIís outfitting reference boards with 1GB of DDR3 memory clocked at 900MHz (1800MHz effective), while out back youíll find DVI, HDMI, and VGA outputs. By skipping DisplayPort, the card is probably more compatible with the displays most end users are running now, but as a result the reference board lacks Eyefinity support (remember, at least one DisplayPort connection is required for Eyefinity)
Donít get too fixated on the reference design though Ė once again ATI is giving their board partners lots of flexibility here and youíll see a wide variety of 5570 configurations as a result.
ATI says 5570 boards will initially sell for $79-$85 at retail; thatís priced awfully close to the Radeon 5670, not to mention previous generation cards like the Radeon 4670 and GeForce 9600 GT. Weíll be keeping an eye on this in the benchmarksÖ