4 chips in 6 months.

This is the schedule AMD’s GPU engineering teams committed themselves to for the launch of the Evergreen family. The entire family from top to bottom would be launched in a 6 month period.

Last month AMD took the first step of that plan with the launch of Cypress, the forebear of the family and the source of the Radeon HD 5870 and 5850. Today AMD is taking the next step in the launch of the Evergreen family by delivering the 2nd and final Evergreen chip of the year: Juniper. Or as the products based off of them are known as, the Radeon HD 5770 and 5750.

  ATI Radeon HD 5870 ATI Radeon HD 5850 ATI Radeon HD 5770 ATI Radeon HD 5750
ATI Radeon HD 4870
ATI Radeon HD 4850
Stream Processors 1600 1440 800 720 800 800
Texture Units 80 72 40 36 40 40
ROPs 32 32 16 16 16 16
Core Clock 850MHz 725MHz 850MHz 700MHz 750MHz 625MHz
Memory Clock 1.2GHz (4.8GHz data rate) GDDR5 1GHz (4GHz data rate) GDDR5 1.2GHz (4.8GHz data rate) GDDR5 1.15GHz (4.6GHz data rate) GDDR5 900MHz (3600MHz data rate) GDDR5 993MHz (1986MHz data rate) GDDR3
Memory Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit 128-bit 128-bit 256-bit 256-bit
Frame Buffer 1GB 1GB 1GB 1GB / 512MB 1GB 1GB / 512MB
Transistor Count 2.15B 2.15B 1.04B 1.04B 956M 956M
TDP 188W 151W 108W 86W 150W 110W
Manufacturing Process TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 55nm TSMC 55nm
Price Point $379 $259 $159 $129 / $109 $140-$160 $109-$129

In our 5800 series launch article, we briefly discussed Juniper and the other members of the Evergreen family. With Cypress a bit too big and a bit too expensive to hit mainstream prices, a new chip was introduced in to AMD’s usual 3 chip stack to cover that segment of the market, and that chip was Juniper.

What’s Juniper? In a nutshell, it’s all of Cypress’ features with half the functional units (and no Double Precision for you scientist types). DirectX 11, Eyefinity, angle-independent anisotropic filtering, HDMI bitstreaming, and supersample anti-aliasing are all accounted for. For more information on these features, please see our Radeon 5870 launch article from last month.

With half of the functional units left behind, we’re left with 10 SIMDs, giving us 800 stream processors and 40 texture units, while the ROP count has also been cut in half to 16, in turn giving us a 128-bit memory bus. If Cypress was 2 RV770s put together, then Juniper is the closest thing you’re going to see to RV770 coming out of the Evergreen family.


With the reduction in functional units, Juniper becomes a leaner and meaner core. The transistor count is 1.04 billion, a little less than half of Cypress and about 100 million more than RV770. The die size of this resulting core is 166mm2, significantly less than both Cypress and RV770, the latter due to the smaller process size. RV770 for comparison was 260mm2.

From Juniper we are getting the 5770 and the 5750. The 5770 is a full Juniper, with all of Juniper’s functional units enabled and the card running at what amounts to a full speed of 850MHz (the same as 5850). The 5750 is slightly cut down, much like 5850 is compared to 5870. Here we have 1 SIMD disabled, and the core clock reduced to 700MHz. This is a notable departure from how AMD handled the 4870/4850 split, where 4850 was differentiated using a slightly slower core and much slower RAM, without the need to disable any SIMDs.

The smaller Juniper core also affords these cards lower power usage than the 5800 series. The 5770 is 108W at load and 18W at idle, meanwhile the 5750 is 86W at load and 16W at idle.

As an interesting aside, when AMD started sampling Evergreen cards to game development houses and other 3rd parties, they were Juniper based, and not Cypress based. The Juniper team was rather proud of this, particularly since Juniper came back from TSMC second. They also had less time to get their GPU up and working than the Cypress team did, since they had to wait on Cypress before being able to finish work on some elements. This is what makes AMD’s 6 month rollout all the more impressive, since it means the non-Cypress teams had less time to get their work done than they have in previous product cycles.

Meet The 5770
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  • Mint - Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - link

    The 4870 will only drop in price to clear inventory, because it's not worth it to produce them with the intent of selling them at $120 or less. I expect them to sell out before the price drops much further.

    Don't fret, though. The 5770 has a 128-bit bus and a fairly small die. It will drop in price soon enough, unless NVidia decides to stop bleeding $$ on its huge GT200 chips on $150 cards and Fermi-based mainstream cards can't get down in price.
  • samspqr - Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - link

    well, my favorite retailer (alternate.de) already has the 5750 and 5770 in stock, at 130eur and 160eur respectively

    they also have the 4870-1GB at 115eur, which is MUCH cheaper

    in any case, right now, with my usage pattern (24/7 on, but mostly GPU-idle, maybe just one hour a day of GPU stress), the difference in power consumption between the 4870 and the 5770 is at least 50w, which means ((50*24*365)/1000)*0.15eur/KWh = 65.7eur/year

    so it pays for the difference in just over 6 months, at the expense of slightly lower performance, with the advantage of less noise

    speaking of which, I like my GPUs silent, passive if possible, thankyouverymuch, so I'll wait for vendor-specific designs or after-market coolers; by the time these are out, maybe the 4870 will not eve be available anymore
  • samspqr - Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - link

    (sorry, that was 8 months, don't know how I got that 6 the first time)
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - link

    Search for and download GPUTool. It's still in beta and has some quirks but for massive idle power drop it cannot be beat (at least for my system, 4870). I simply lowered the 2D core/memory clocks (they have a low/medium/high setting, and ALL need to be the same setting or you get flickering), down to around 250MHz, and this dropped idle power consumption by a crazy amount (40-80w, can't remember exactly). Once the creator of the program releases a newer version I'm hoping some of the fan speed and voltage mod bugs get worked out. Even so, the 2 second click to lower idle speeds is incredibly handy.

  • chrnochime - Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - link

    I don't know if you've tried using ATI tray tool already, but after scourging around the web trying to figure out way to keep my XFX 4870 1GB from drawing more power than needed(e.g. when just surfing/playing video), I was able to drop the GPU clock to 400 MHz, and memory to 225 MHz. The memory draws much more power than does the GPU, so leaving GPU at 400 doesn't really make that much of a difference, compared to 250.

    Keep in mind that running said program in Vista is somewhat of a headache, since the driver is not signed by MS, so you need to do the work-around to get it running as startup program so the clocks drop can be initiated by the program.
  • makechen - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - link

  • rdh - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    A year later, the 5770 is *cheaper* than the 4850/4870. I just purchased one for $99 from the egg. It consumes 30% less power at idle and at load than the 48xx cards.

    I suppose at the $160 price point, it was fine to slam this card. At the current price point, though, it is the BEST price-for-performance and performance-per-watt card out there.

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