Power, Temperature, & Noise

As a note here, since NVIDIA does not offer a reference GT 240, we’re using our Asus 512MB GDDR5 GT 240 as our reference 240.

With a 42W TDP and 9.7W idle power rating, it should come as no surprise that the 5570 comes in between the 5450 and 5670 at both power measurements. The GT 240 is the biggest winner here, beating even the 5570. However this is likely due to differences in how AMD and NVIDIA throttle their cards under FurMark.

In terms of performance per watt, the 5570 falls in the same general range as the 4670 and the GT 240. This also gives us an idea of where the cut-off is for what can be done with a low-profile card – at 15W more under load, the 5670 basically marks the start of a whole new class of cards.

One thing you give up in moving to a smaller cooler for a low-profile card is the nice temperatures a full-profile card can attain. The 5570 ends up being several degrees warmer when idling when compared to the 5670, sharing company with our passive cards and some mid-range cards. Interestingly the Sapphire card does better here, coming in 3 degrees cooler at 40C.

Under load we have a different story. The 5570 marks a clear gap between passively cooled cards and actively cooled cards, but it enjoys the status of being our coolest actively cooled card. The Sapphire card on the other hand doesn’t do so well here, coming in at nearly 10C hotter. We believe that this is due to a combination of the difference in their fans and the use of a copper heatsink in the AMD reference card versus an aluminum heatsink in the Sapphire card. Unfortuantely we can’t tell which one has the bigger impact, since switching out a heatsink can improve the cooling performance without having an acoustic impact like switching out a fan does.

On a more speculative note, based particularly on the AMD card’s temperatures, the 5570 looks like a good candidate to get the passive treatment. It would likely need to be a full-sized card, but certainly it’s cool enough that someone should be able to build a passive Redwood card here.

Despite the number of cards with small fans in our collection, the AMD 5570 stands out as having one of the loudest. Not only is it loud enough to do a bit worse at idle than a number of other cards (all of which tend to hug the noise floor), but it has just the right pitch to sound loud. We can easily tell it apart from all the other fans in our Spedo case, something that isn’t the case with several of these other cards. The fan on the Sapphire card on the other hand is as quiet as anything else we have tested when it comes to idling.

Under load the AMD card continues to be at a disadvantage. The more power-hungry cards end up being louder, but it’s still louder than the 4670 and even the 5670 (the latter of which is a surprisingly quiet card). The Sapphire on the other hand bests the 5670, but remember that the cost of this is that the Sapphire card hits nearly 80C under load. Sapphire’s card is clearly tuned for acoustics over thermals.

Left 4 Dead Conclusion


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  • YogiBeer - Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - link

    Hey i'm a bit of an end user so dont troll on me for asking this but ive got an Hp s5216f system the graphics card i got with it is shovel ware and i need one that can play games like modern warfare 2 and the like...will this do the trick and if not what will.......... thanx for the help............ Cheers mates Reply
  • mAJORD - Friday, April 02, 2010 - link

    I got one of these to play Battlefield Bad company 2 on a little ITX system.

    I OCd it to 720 core 1080 mem leaving the fan at AUTO.

    at 1920x1080 Med detail settings, DX10, no AA 2xAF it's quite "playable" 25-mid 30 FPS and looks OK to be honest for such such a low power card. which is exactly what I was hoping.

    Saying that I really wish they were equiped with downclocked DDR5! and the same 42w TDP. that would have been incredible bang / watt and size! disapointing AMD :(
  • avi1956 - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    I purchased HIS 5570 HD 1GB video card from Newegg on Feb 15. When playing games after 5 to 15 mins of play I get crackling sound and frame rate degradation. The problem gets worse till the frame rate drop becomes progressively worse and noise continues. Also the OS slows down (mouse slow down). The only way to recover is to reboot. I have gateway SX2802-01 quad core Q8300 with 4 meg ram and windows 7 64 bit and latest catalyst driver dated 2/17/10 from ati.com. I have sent a belarc trouble report to ati and HIS and awaiting their feedback. Not sure if this is a hardware or software problem. Reply
  • PhantomKnight - Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - link

    Thank you for a very informative article. It clears a lot up. I'm interested because I'm sick of using old hot noisy hardware.

    I don't normally like typo posts, but when it confuses, it's a problem.

    "As with Sapphire’s 5450, their 5770 comes in a surprisingly large box. Inside is the card, a low-profile bracket, drivers, an installation guide, and Arcsoft’s SimHD video conferencing plugin."

    While I'd love to see a 5770 utalise a low profile, I doubt it will happen.
  • office boy - Wednesday, February 10, 2010 - link

    With the NV GT cards supporting 8 channel LPCM is ATI's support of Bitstreaming that important? Decoding in the PC vs in the receiver.

    Isn't the outcome is the same? Uncompressed 7.1?
  • wlee15 - Wednesday, February 10, 2010 - link

    The GT and older ATI cards don't support the Protected audio path which means that any soundtracks higher than 16-bit 48 khz are downsampled to 16-bit 48 khz.

    Also the HD 5570 should support support Vector Adaptive with newer drivers.

  • falacy - Wednesday, February 10, 2010 - link

    My upgrade process over the last several years has led me to the following system, which I am very happy with in terms performance for the things I actually do (World of Warcraft, media encoding, productivity applications, music production). However, I have a couple "issues" that I'd like to resolve.

    eVGA 8600GT 256MB video
    1600x900 resolution
    Asus P5K-VM motherboard
    Q8200 2.33GHz CPU
    6GB 667MHz RAM
    Seagate 7200RPM 16MB Cache HD

    The thermal performance of my case, a modified AT server tower cira 1991, is great and the 8600GT runs at 50c idle 73c avg load, which compairs nicely to the 5570. Ultimately, I'd like a fanless card that can do what I do now.

    In WoW I can run at full (4x AA and 8x AF in driver) settings as long as I turn Shadow Detail all the way down to Min. However, any time there is a lot fog or spell detail, I end up with a nice 5FPS picture show. Turning spell detail to half resolves that.

    Do you think the 5570, when someone creates a fanless version, would solve those two issues and perform a little better than the 8600GT with its whopping 256MB of slow RAM?
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, February 09, 2010 - link

    I've been reading this sentence in GPU reviews since some time now:

    [quote]The GT 240 is the biggest winner here, beating even the 5570. However this is likely due to differences in how AMD and NVIDIA throttle their cards under FurMark.[/quote]

    Doesn't it bother you to basically say "Well, half of all these measurements are probably wrong, but we'll show them as a comparison anyway"? Either rename the FurMark.exe or use a different test. 3DCenter.org have shown that Bioshock is very demanding and reaches the highest real world power usage ever recorded in a game (still lower than FurMark, of course).
  • Moizy - Tuesday, February 09, 2010 - link

    Now that the 5450 and 5570 are out, and nVidia won't have replacements for the 210 and 220 for a while, can we have a HTPC card showdown article? I noticed that the GT 220 review didn't analyze the video quality quite like the 5450 and 5570 reviews have, so I'm wondering how they all compare.

    Could we have a showdown that analyzes these newer HTPC cards for audio and video capabilities, and maybe throw in the new Intel HD graphics? Would be very educational for those of us that want a good HTPC card but don't care about gaming.
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, February 09, 2010 - link

    If you check the 5450 article, I actually do have a shot of the GT 220 in there. It actually does rather well at the VA test, but going NVIDIA means you have to give up some degree of post-processing control, along with bitstreaming audio. Reply

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