Meet The 5770

We’ll start our look at today’s cards with the 5770. As we mentioned previously the 5770 is the full speed Juniper card, with all 10 SIMDs enabled, and clocked at 850MHz for the core and 1.2Ghz (4.8GHz data rate) GDDR5 for the RAM. As has become the current standard for just about every card over $100 these days, the card is equipped with 1GB of RAM. Attaching this RAM to the GPU is a 128-bit bus, giving the card 76.8GB/sec of memory bandwidth. The use of such fast RAM strikes our interest in particular, since it means vendors are spending just as much to equip a 5770 with RAM as they are a 5870.

For cooling, the 5770 uses the same general plastic shroud as the 5800 series cards, which AMD’s 5700 team told us is called the Phoenix. Here the shroud hangs over the rear of the card by just less than half an inch, making it more like the 5870 than the 5850 where the shroud stopped at the edge of the card. The length of the card is 8.25”, adding the shroud brings it to just shy of 8.75”.


5870, 5850, 5770

Interestingly enough, we’ve been told that the Phoenix shroud isn’t going to be sticking around for long. The first wave of cards launching today and for the near future will be using the shroud, but once AMD’s vendors begin using their own designs, AMD doesn’t expect most of the vendors to stick with the shroud. XFX has specifically been named as a party that will keep using the shroud on products, but anyone else is subject to change. With a TDP of only 108W, the Phoenix shroud is probably overbuilt and certainly more expensive than vendors would like, where mainstream products come with thinner margins. We would expect the vendors that do switch to move to more traditional dual-slot coolers, likely ones that aren’t shrouded at all and would not blow hot air outside of the case.

While we were fine with the shroud on the 5800 series, we do take slight issue with it on the 5770. Because the single 6-pin PCIe power connector on this card is on the rear of the card, the shroud is in the way of the PCIe power connector. This wasn’t an issue on the 5870 since the power connectors were on top, and on the 5850 the shroud stopped at the end of the card. But here the extra shroud makes it much harder to see what you’re doing when it comes to plugging in a PCIe power connector unless you’re looking at the rear of the card, and it makes it a bit harder to remove a PCIe power plug once placed.

AMD made it clear to us that they did consider this in the design of the 5770, and to their credit the shroud never makes inserting/removing a PCIe power plug impossible, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it. We would have liked to see the shroud go the same length as the card, so that it would be just as easy to use as the 5850.

At any rate, along with keeping the 5800 series shroud, the 5770 keeps the port configuration. 1 DisplayPort, 1 HDMI port, and 2 DVI ports make up the card’s output options. This is intentional on the part of AMD, as they want to push Eyefinity on these cards just as much as they do on their high-end products, which means they want to use the same ideal configuration. We wouldn’t be shocked to see this modified at the same time as vendors dropping the shroud though; 1 DVI, 1 HDMI, and 1 DisplayPort with a flexible HDMI->DVI adapter is a likely configuration.

The price of DisplayPort->DVI dongles rears its head once again here, and even more severely. DisplayPort monitors are still rare, so the most likely Eyefinity configuration is going to be 3x DVI, which is going to require a dongle. Those dongles are still going for $100+ right now, which is a significant fraction of the price of the card itself. We talked to AMD about this issue, but it’s something that’s out of their hands for the moment.

AMD is pricing this card at $159. This puts it in competition with the cheapest GTX 260s from NVIDIA, and AMD’s 4870, the latter of which tends to sell for only $10 less for the 1GB version. AMD wouldn’t give us a clear idea on how long they expect the 4870 to last, but it seems clear that they intend to phase out the 4870 with the 5770. This may not be such a great idea, but we’ll get to that after we take a look at performance.

Notably, this leaves a $100 pricing hole in AMD’s 5000-series product lineup, since the next card up is the $259 5850. AMD pointed out to us that this is by no means unprecedented (the 4800 series launch saw a $100 gap between the 4870 and 4850) but we’re not used to seeing such a gap in recent times. This price gap makes a little more sense with AMD’s target demographics: the 5800 series is for 2560x1600 gaming, while the 5770 is targeted for 1920x1200/1080. So as far as they’re concerned, there isn’t a demographic gap to make the price gap a problem.

Anyhow, for the time being, the 4890 will function as a slight bridge on that pricing gap. It will continue to occupy a range around $180-$200.

For today’s launch, availability is expected to be in the “tens of thousands” of units. We suspect that the situation is going to mirror the 5870 launch (tight availability at first) but we’ll see. For this launch period, AMD is also extending the DIRT 2 freebie offer to vendors that want to include it with their 5770 cards. So most if not all cards will come with a voucher for this game to get it in December.

Index Meet The 5750
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  • silverblue - Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - link

    With any luck they'll become plentiful in a short space of time, offering early adopters the chance to set up a decent EF, umm, setup.

    If you think the typical EF setup will be two or three monitors, do you expect the full six monitor glory with an X2 part? I'm still wondering if even the 5870 can handle three monitors and still offer smooth gaming performance. That said, despite their power they're not going to strictly be gaming cards.
    Reply
  • papapapapapapapababy - Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - link

    the fact that this cards consume little power is irrelevant when you have that great efficiency on the 5800... also including the Eyefinity gimmick here is a mistake, it only diminishes the value of that feature on the 5800. It should have been 1 card. HD 5770:
    no Eyefinity, 800 SP, 750MHz, 512MB = $99 USD

    Reply
  • CarrellK - Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - link

    Eyefinity (EF) will be in all 5xxx products for a multiplicity of useful reasons, many of which aren't apparent yet. There will be frequent roll-outs of new EF goodness. There will be many, many customers who will find EF very useful. Hopefully you will realize what EF can do for you and buy one of our products. We'd like for you to be a happy customer of ours.

    CarrellK



    Reply
  • yacoub - Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - link

    " It should have been 1 card. HD 5770:
    no Eyefinity, 800 SP, 750MHz, 512MB = $99 USD "

    Close, but no. 1GB of VRAM is mandatory anymore, and it needs the 256-bit bus or more texturing units and ROPs. And then it could be $125.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - link

    Something's wrong when two of these in CrossFire can't match a single 5850. Blah. Reply
  • qwertymac93 - Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - link

    why no mention of 4770? i know its older and slower, but its also 40nm like the 5750 and is the same price, it would be nice to see the difference between the two as they are specked quite closely(640sp@750mhz, 720sp@700mhz, both 128bit gddr5) Reply
  • snarfbot - Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - link

    legion hardware has a good review comparing them both.

    the 5750 is between 1-3 fps faster.

    the 5750 has better overclocking potential thanks to the ram i guess, but im not sure if its worth the extra 25 bucks.

    kinda a wait and see thing for this part
    Reply
  • Seramics - Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - link

    Yet another good reviews from AT, thanks Ryan. However, it becomes clear cards like HD5870 and HD5770 isnt a very good performer for its price. HD5850 and HD5750 512MB repeesents a more solid bang for bucks. Again its very amazing that AMD has been able to bring us so many next gen DX11 cards when Windows 7 isnt even launched yet and their competitor is being super slow by onli recently releasing a non high end part of G200 derivatives. That being said, from the point of view of solely performance, Cypress and Juniper is kinda a disappointing performer for its price, as well as for its specifications. Reply
  • pullmyfoot - Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - link

    Hmm. I was expecting the 5770 to perform either at the 4890 levels or slightly slower at very least while running cooler and taking up less power. This is quite disappointing. I was all ready to get one to replace my 4850 if the price was right. I wonder how well they can tweak the drivers for this thing. Reply
  • yacoub - Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - link

    Same here, although I'd replace my 8800GT with it. I expected about 25% more performance, and about $10 less MSRP ($150). Reply

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