|by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig | February 24, 2010|
Sapphire Radeon HD 5830 1GB Review
Sapphire Radeon HD 5830 1GB GDDR5 Review
Product Number: 11169-00-51R
Price:Approx $250 USD / $280 CAD
ATI has been attacking the DX11 market from every single price point as of late and they finally have what appears to be a full deck of cards which appeal to literally every market niche. They have released an astonishing nine cards in the last six months with a few more to come while the competition seems to be doing nothing but spinning their wheels and respinning chips. Even though NVIDIA’s March 26th launch of their GF100 parts is just around the corner, ATI isn’t by any means sitting back and watching the world pass them by considering they are actively working on refreshing their lineup in addition to releasing new products. This in itself is no small feat and it really shows how far this company has come since AMD stepped in to purchase them.
In what probably seems to be a wet dream for many people looking to upgrade their GPUs and a reoccurring nightmare for reviewers, ATI is releasing yet another GPU today: the “Cypress LE” or HD 5830 1GB as it will be commonly referred to. ATI’s HD 5000 series lineup does span almost every price bracket but they felt that there was a big enough performance gap between the higher-end HD 5850 and decidedly more mainstream HD 5770 to warrant a product that would bridge the gap between the two. Previously, this spot was taken up by the HD 4890 1GB which was retailing for around $200 USD before getting the axe in preparation for the HD 5830 launch. With the HD 5850 currently sitting in what many consider to be the leading price / performance spot at around $315 USD and some HD 5770s retailing for less than $170, there was plenty of room to play with.
For all intents and purposes, this is a bit of a “freak” since what we are looking at is a card which is based off of GPU cores that weren’t able to meet the binning requirements for use in the HD 5850. This translates into an identical die size and transistor count as the HD 5850 but in a product that is significantly less powerful. This is a great move from a cost savings standpoint since the cores that were going unused can now be recycled into a competitive product. To make matters even more interesting, ATI is supposedly not giving their board partners a set reference design for them to base their products off of. As such, at launch you will likely see all manner of HD 5830s; some based off of HD 5850 PCBs while others will be using slightly lower-end starting points and more cooler designs than you can shake a finger at.
When it comes to a card like the HD 5830, price is everything and when we reached out to our retailer contacts they came back with answers. Basically, expect launch prices for this card to go all the way up to (and maybe even slightly over) $275 CAD / $245 USD depending on the accessory and game packages. This puts ATI’s new card in an interesting position at $70 USD less than a HD 5850 and about $70 more than a HD 5770 we’re really talking about the middle ground here. As has been tradition with ATI launches these days, stock will also be a bit tight for the first few days at some locations but should improve quickly following that.
In this particular review we will be looking at the Sapphire HD 5830 1GB which makes use of a cooler that is akin to the one used on the HD 5850 Vapor-X and is based off of that card’s PCB. This should give it some incredible temperatures but will also make it significantly longer than the HD 5770. That being said, without further ado let’s get on with this review.
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