ATI Radeon 5870 Review

By on January 4, 2013, 10:59 PM
Following a successful run with the codenamed R700 family of GPUs, which was originally released back in June 2008 as the Radeon HD 4000 series, AMD is launching the highly anticipated R800. Debuting to no one's surprise as the ATI Radeon HD 5000, the new series is said to deliver around 2x more performance than previous generation Radeon cards, and brings DirectX 11 support to desktops for the first time.
On our test bed today we have a reference HD 5870 graphics card packing some 2150 million transistors and produced on a 40nm process. With an introductory MSRP of $380, the Radeon HD 5870 is roughly $120 cheaper than today's undisputable performance champ, the GeForce GTX 295. It is also almost twice as costly as the Radeon HD 4890, however, which begs the question: is the Radeon HD 5870 really that much faster? Today we finally get to find out, as we will be comparing AMD's latest and greatest against every single high-end graphics card released over the past year. Read the complete review.




User Comments: 69

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Nirkon said:

Great review, great card, I'm actually rooting for ATI this time because they are bringing in the goods

fimbles fimbles said:

And still the GTx 295 wins where it counts... Crysis.

Quake wars results mean nothing these days..

Staff
Steve Steve said:

The GeForce GTX 295 would want to win as it costs more for one and for another its using two of the fastest GPU's from Nvidia's current generation range. No idea why people are making a big deal out of the Radeon HD 5870 not beating the GeForce GTX 295 in most tests, I cannot recall the last time a new GPU beat a pair of previous generation GPUs at all.

Quake wars results mean nothing these days..

No idea why that is but luckily we did not base our entire experience with this graphics card on just one game.

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

I haven't even read the review yet but that is one slick looking card.

Guest said:

The 295 performs worse in 2560x1600 than 5870 with AA switched on...in fact it crashes, read here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5870,2422-13.h
ml

HaMsTeYr HaMsTeYr said:

I guess the way you can read it is that the 5870 is now the world's fastest single GPU based graphics card.

Sure the GTX 295 beat it in some tests, but remember that the 295 is a dual GPU based card...

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Hoo-boy that's one sweet card. I haven't bought an AMD card in forever, but think this one might do the trick.

windmill007 said:

AMD u have finally impressed me!

Rage_3K_Moiz Rage_3K_Moiz, Sith Lord, said:

Wow, this looks like one heck of a card. I wonder what kinda performance the HD 5770 is gonna bring to the table...

@Steve, any idea on whether one can run an HD 48xx series card and an HD 58xx series card in CFX?

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

fimbles said:

And still the GTx 295 wins where it counts... Crysis.

Quake wars results mean nothing these days..

Yet it comes close in performance, toasts the other single GPU offerings, and runs on less juice... What exactly is your point?

If you want to spout venom about comparisons, wait until the dual GPU version of the 5870 hits (which is the only true "apples to apples" comparison to the 295). Considering how close the single GPU version is, I'm betting the 295 will get soundly trounced.

And, of course, the full DX11 compliance might make just a bit of a difference down the line too... but, hey, let's not cloud the issue with facts at all.

Guest said:

Radeon HD 5870

1,024MB

(x2 in CrossFireX)

http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=20354&page=2

See how much of a beating the BFG GeForce GTX 285 1,024MB (x2 in SLI) and the BFG GeForce GTX 295 1,792MB recieve...

Guest said:

its good to see ati winning, but i think the the gfx war has changed to much because my 8800 gts 512 can give me physx and 3d vision + cuda for free. if i changed to ati i would lose those free features and im not sure i could so that.

mailpup mailpup said:

One thing I noticed at the AMD/ATI website is that the current drivers available for the 5870 and 5850 only support Vista or Windows 7 (both 32 bit and 64 bit), not XP. I wonder if that will change later.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Guest said:

its good to see ati winning, but i think the the gfx war has changed to much because my 8800 gts 512 can give me physx and 3d vision + cuda for free. if i changed to ati i would lose those free features and im not sure i could so that.

....your kidding right?

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

No offence to everyone whos posted on here, but when nvidia bring out their new cards that are DX11 capable, they will laugh at ati! think about it, we're comparing a (suposeidly) next gen graphics cards to todays nvidias yet it does pull away but not by huge amounts like you would expect, yeah sure it pulls a fine job beating its own brand, but if you consider how new the card is, it struggled to beat nvidia's! so i'm waiting this one out, i'm happy to bet what ever nvidia brings out is way more powerful than this.

Guest said:

....your kidding right?

k i know my 8800 gts 512 sucks compared to this in gfx performance, but ati have nothing to compeat against the physx and 3d vision side of things yet.

Guest said:

----No offence to everyone whos posted on here, but when nvidia bring out their new cards that are DX11 capable, they will laugh at ati! think about it,---

I thought about it and figured that the 5870x2 would be a tough act to follow. ;)

I'm disappointed with ATI's cheap crap coolers. It's about time they put something good on their cards. I had to replace the cooler on my 4870x2 after approx 6 months cause it wasn't doing it's job without hitting high fan speeds. Yes my fans were clean and yes I tried Artic Silver on the gpu's.

I also can't figure out how Techspot's 4870x2's idle temp was 70??? Should have been around 50, considering the increased fan speeds the catalyst drivers forced since the card was released. Oh well.. minor detail.

Guest said:

Also don't forget drivers for 5870 will improve with time, improving performance...

kakarot27 said:

huh but im still waiting for the 5850 review.........i have a 4850 and im think of upgrading to the 5850 instead of doing crossfirex

HaMsTeYr HaMsTeYr said:

I'm still using an 8800 GT and it still serves me more than just fine i say that 60 fps on Resident Evil 5 on 1680x1050 on maxed details is more than enough to make me happy

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

No offence to everyone whos posted on here, but when nvidia bring out their new cards that are DX11 capable, they will laugh at ati! think about it, we're comparing a (suposeidly) next gen graphics cards to todays nvidias yet it does pull away but not by huge amounts like you would expect, yeah sure it pulls a fine job beating its own brand, but if you consider how new the card is, it struggled to beat nvidia's! so i'm waiting this one out, i'm happy to bet what ever nvidia brings out is way more powerful than this.

Yikes...okay , so i get it. when Nvidia is on top with the most powerful card, then they are the King, but when ATI releases something more powerful , then you want to project into the future and surmise that 'when' they come out with their next card it will be more powerful....geezus. besides the fact that you choose to compare apple to oranges, this single GPU card keeps up with and even passes the dual GPU GTX 295 in some benches. (the GTX 295 is two distinct GTX 275's sandwiched together at the heatsink,,,,even has a SLI bridge between them) a fair comparison will be when the dual version of the 5870 comes out. anandtech did this here.

[link]

it really amusing to watch people place thier self worth on things like their vehicle, size of their house ....and i guess GPU ...LOL , thanks for the comic relief though....keep it up!

fimbles fimbles said:

Quote"Yet it comes close in performance, toasts the other single GPU offerings, and runs on less juice... What exactly is your point?

If you want to spout venom about comparisons, wait until the dual GPU version of the 5870 hits (which is the only true "apples to apples" comparison to the 295). Considering how close the single GPU version is, I'm betting the 295 will get soundly trounced.

And, of course, the full DX11 compliance might make just a bit of a difference down the line too... but, hey, let's not cloud the issue with facts at all."

I seem to have ruffled a few feathers with my post.

I am quite impressed with the 5870, However this is not the direct x11 crysis crusher i expected it to be. Seems more of a dx11"foot in the door" entry level card to me. I wanted to see it kick the gtx 295s teeth in and steal them so it could not get a refund from the tooth fairy!

it wont be cheaper than a gtx 295 for long with the adoption of dx11. So i am left with the choice of:

A: Gtx 295 to blast through crysis and direct x 10

B: A 5870 with dx11, Plays crysis slower and will probably be just about capable of running direct x 11 games.

I will stick with direct x 10 until the "value for money" improves.

As a side note im a ati fanboy on the quiet!

Rage_3K_Moiz Rage_3K_Moiz, Sith Lord, said:

k i know my 8800 gts 512 sucks compared to this in gfx performance, but ati have nothing to compeat against the physx and 3d vision side of things yet.

IMO, PhysX is just a marketing tool and nothing more. I have yet to see a game that looks and plays better with PhysX on. Not to mention the fact that very few games actually support PhysX, and that the performance hit is very noticeable if you have an older card (anything older than the GT200 series).

3D Vision is also a similar gimmick IMO.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

I am quite impressed with the 5870, However this is not the direct x11 crysis crusher i expected it to be. Seems more of a dx11"foot in the door" entry level card to me. I wanted to see it kick the gtx 295s teeth in and steal them so it could not get a refund from the tooth fairy!

No offence but you would be naive to believe that the Radeon HD 5870 was ever going to slay the GeForce GTX 295. The fact that it manages to even beat it in a few tests is absolutely amazing.

That said you are not alone, for some reason half the forum posts I read are about how disappointing the Radeon HD 5870 is because it cannot beat the GeForce GTX 295 with ease in every game.

Really that's crazy talk. Did the GeForce GTX 280 smash the GeForce 9800GX2 in every test? No, and the G92 was not nearly as impressive as the G200 in my opinion. The G200 is the most complex and impressive GPU Nvidia has ever come up with and while it may now be over a year old the Radeon HD 5870 lays waste to it.

When all is said and done the real test for the GeForce GTX 295 will be the Radeon HD 5870 X2 and Crossfire results with the Radeon HD 5870 have already shown that battle to be well and truly over.

Anyone really worth listening to will not have spoken outright on the AMD vs. Nvidia battle just yet as the battle is still yet to take place...

BrownPaper said:

2x GTX 285 SLI is much, much faster than a GTX 295. 1 GTX 295 GPU is between a GTX 260 and a GTX 275.

This new ATI 5870 is really fast. $100 cheaper than a dual GPU GTX 295. The GTX 295 used to cost almost $1000 USD. The ATI 5870x2 will destroy the GTX 295.

When Nvidia comes out with the GT300, ATI will already come out with the ATI 5890.

Ritwik7 Ritwik7, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Great performance coming from ATI with the HD 5000 series. Another card to look forward to would be the HD 5770.

One thing I noticed at the AMD/ATI website is that the current drivers available for the 5870 and 5850 only support Vista or Windows 7 (both 32 bit and 64 bit), not XP. I wonder if that will change later.

Any further inputs on that?

Staff
Steve Steve said:

We will be reviewing the Radeon HD 5770 very soon!

fimbles fimbles said:

Originally Posted by mailpup

"One thing I noticed at the AMD/ATI website is that the current drivers available for the 5870 and 5850 only support Vista or Windows 7 (both 32 bit and 64 bit), not XP. I wonder if that will change later."

Microsost STILL trying to put xp in its grave?? probably another attemt at the dx10/vista strategy.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Originally Posted by mailpup

"One thing I noticed at the AMD/ATI website is that the current drivers available for the 5870 and 5850 only support Vista or Windows 7 (both 32 bit and 64 bit), not XP. I wonder if that will change later."

Microsost STILL trying to put xp in its grave?? probably another attemt at the dx10/vista strategy.

For christ sake why wouldn't they? what else in computing is a decade old and still being supported?

probably another attemt at the dx10/vista strategy.

no, probably an attempt to move on into the next three gens of technology....or the the 21st century.

I am quite impressed with the 5870, However this is not the direct x11 crysis crusher i expected it to be. Seems more of a dx11"foot in the door" entry level card to me. I wanted to see it kick the gtx 295s teeth in and steal them so it could not get a refund from the tooth fairy!

actually it did kick the begeezus out of the the GTX 295, its a single GPU using beta drivers.

Ritwik7 Ritwik7, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

For christ sake why wouldn't they? what else in computing is a decade old and still being supported?

Hey, its a pretty decent OS. (I'll have to save up a lot to get my hands on Windows 7. So ATI better come in with some XP drivers fast! LOL )

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Hey, its a pretty decent OS. (I'll have to save up a lot to get my hands on Windows 7. So ATI better come in with some XP drivers fast! LOL )

its ten years old, and DX 9 , why would they?

Ritwik7 Ritwik7, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I know, I know. But you fail to see the point. It'll be really difficult to get both a Radeon 5000 series card and a Windows 7 copy on a tight budget.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

I know, I know. But you fail to see the point. It'll be really difficult to get both a Radeon 5000 series card and a Windows 7 copy on a tight budget.

no I get it Rit , but at this point its not a budget card for a budget setup.

and there is really no good reason for them to write drivers for cutting edge tech for a three gen ago OS...sorry

Ritwik7 Ritwik7, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Can't argue with you on that red. You hit it spot on.

Hopefully I'll be able to get my hands on both those in the near future.

kakarot27 said:

the 5870x2 is obv going to be better than the gtx 295 because the 5870 already beats the gtx295 in some games...2 of them is over kill.and its a fair battle because the gtx295 is 2 gtx 275 sandwiched.i just checked the price of the 5870 at new egg.com and its only $380.so its a fairly good deal.

mailpup mailpup said:

its ten years old, and DX 9 , why would they?
Because they are in the business of selling graphics cards. It's not necessarily AMD/ATI's mission to promote newer operating systems and get everyone off XP. If a substantial number of potential customers are still using XP and their systems otherwise meet requirements, that might be reason enough to produce a driver that supports XP even if XP users aren't getting the full technical advantages of DX 10 or 11.

Now, you might be right and AMD/ATI won't actually produce an XP driver but IMHO they will sell more cards if they do.

Rage_3K_Moiz Rage_3K_Moiz, Sith Lord, said:

Vista and Windows 7 offer advantages that XP does not, especially regarding multi-GPU implementations. And given the fact that DX11 is strictly a superset of DX10, I don't see how they can provide hardware support for XP, unless someone manages to hack the code to enable DX11 support on XP.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

It's really like the story when we went from AGP to PCI Express. Years later guys were still wanting high-end expensive AGP graphics cards when it made no sense to pair such a graphics card with an old AGP system. This is the same case with an old budget PC running XP, why not just by a cheap Radeon HD 4870 or 4850 graphics card instead.

If you have $300 plus to spend on a graphics card and you are still running XP then your priorities are a little messed up

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Vista and Windows 7 offer advantages that XP does not, especially regarding multi-GPU implementations. And given the fact that DX11 is strictly a superset of DX10, I don't see how they can provide hardware support for XP, unless someone manages to hack the code to enable DX11 support on XP.

It's really like the story when we went from AGP to PCI Express. Years later guys were still wanting high-end expensive AGP graphics cards when it made no sense to pair such a graphics card with an old AGP system. This is the same case with an old budget PC running XP, why not just by a cheap Radeon HD 4870 or 4850 graphics card instead.

If you have $300 plus to spend on a graphics card and you are still running XP then your priorities are a little messed up

spot on and spot on!

the XP argument is like complaining that you bought a 2005 Ford, and then expect Ford to come out and change your vehicle out for the new model for free every year. if you want the new stuff...then you have to get the new stuff!

Rage_3K_Moiz Rage_3K_Moiz, Sith Lord, said:

Windows 7 is pretty cheap too if you're a student. I've ordered my copy of Windows 7 Professional for $30! Now that's awesome pricing!

EDIT: I'm not eligible (non-US student), so it's a no-go.

kakarot27 said:

Nvidia, ati ..blah blah blah. who cares what company makes it.stop comparing companies and start comparing gpu.

Ritwik7 Ritwik7, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

EDIT: I'm not eligible (non-US student), so it's a no-go.

Hmmm Rage. My college is closed for the holidays so I can't find out from the Admin as to whether I'll be able to get it through them. But I have a feeling (a very strong one) that I won't be eligible either.

So now it's a question of waiting for Windows 7 prices to fall (if at all).

mailpup mailpup said:

FWIW, AMD/ATI now has drivers that support the 5800 series for Windows XP.

Guest said:

i read one time in a magazine a thing that nvidia is cheating about crysis. if u use ati graphic card change the name crysis.exe into game.exe and ull get 20 more fps

Staff
Steve Steve said:

huh but im still waiting for the 5850 review.........i have a 4850 and im think of upgrading to the 5850 instead of doing crossfirex

Keep waiting no more you missed it mate

[link]

SUSHRUKH said:

Wow, this looks like one heck of a card. I wonder what kinda performance the HD 5770 is gonna bring to the table...

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Wow, this looks like one heck of a card. I wonder what kinda performance the HD 5770 is gonna bring to the table...

You can see that here...

[link]

Guest said:

What a loser, gtx 295 is X2 based, which means there is 2 GPU, HD 5870 is only single GPU, go test out HD 5870X2 with GTX 295, it beat the **** out Nvidia's.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

What a loser, gtx 295 is X2 based, which means there is 2 GPU, HD 5870 is only single GPU, go test out HD 5870X2 with GTX 295, it beat the **** out Nvidia's.

Interesting opinion, you do realize that Nvidia is still yet to release their next gen products right? The GeForce GTX 295 is still a beast!

Guest said:

Get a 5870 and keep your old nvidia like I did for PhysX. Always been green, jumped to red now for the first time and never looking back!

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