ATI Radeon HD 5970 Review

By on November 17, 2009, 11:33 PM
As we discussed in our preliminary Radeon 5870 review, on ATI's horizon ATI was a follow-up to the Radeon HD 4870 X2, code-named "Hemlock XT", which in essence would put together a pair of Radeon HD 5870 GPUs on a single PCB. Today AMD is officially unveiling the Hemlock as the new ATI Radeon HD 5970, hoping to expand its current dominance in single-GPU performance with the fastest single-slot graphics card on the market -- a title that until today was reserved for Nvidia's dual-GPU GeForce GTX 295.
The Radeon HD 5970 looks to be well suited for the job. The GPUs used in this card use exactly the same configuration found on the Radeon HD 5870, while core and memory frequencies match those of the Radeon HD 5850. This provides the HD 5970 with an unmatched memory bandwidth of 256GB/s. Read the complete review.




User Comments: 52

Got something to say? Post a comment
red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

yikes! that's a butt kicking, anxiously waiting for the green fans to try and put a spin on that. BTW Julio, I just measured my case....it will fit nicely..if you would like to have a contest/giveaway or something of that nature

how close does this monstrosity come to saturating the bandwidth of a PCIE V 2.0 ?

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

What exactly happened to their naming scheme?

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

hellokitty[hk] said:

What exactly happened to their naming scheme?

They replaced the X2 with the 59xx over the 58xx, the theory is that they don't want to draw attention to the fact that its a dual GPU card, and want it thought of as a single slot solution.

BlindObject said:

Wow, that's nuts. Card is a real beast, in performance and size. I wonder what Nvidia is doing next...GTX3XX series? =D

freedomthinker said:

This looks seriously nice , This is seriously a big leap for gamers ! Im still wondering why is nVidia keeping quiet though ?

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Now, if anyone has been keeping up with my posts on all the graphics cards reviews, I always mention that nVidia will come out with something better...But Bloody Hell! that is some serious power in that card! I mean, thats real competition for nVidia! I may actually give up the wait for nVidia to come up with something and just buy one of these! I mean those furture mark benchs when over-clocked are the first of there kind for a single graphics card! I may have to give in and go ATI after all!

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yep, I guess I know what will be going into my new early 2010 gaming rig build... Some of those benchmarks are insane!

I, too, have been curious to see what nVidia brought to the table. I left their camp years ago and have been all ATi since (well, except for the occasional system built for a friend that requested nVidia). Still, I always like to keep my ear to the ground on what new flashy things are coming, and it's soooo quiet over at nVidia. I think they are so focused on Fermi and some of their other projects, that they don't want their new killer card rumors to overshadow their other stuff, until the card actually hits the market - and I'm sure it will hit like an atom bomb, knowing how nVidia like to trump the competition and their own previous performance with new launches.

Still, it makes me wonder if maybe the new ATi stuff made such a significant performance jump that it has nVidia reeling and scrambling to one-up it?

swing82 swing82 said:

Better drivers will make this card faster, and when Nvidia finally releases their next generation video card with early drivers it will be judged against ATI with solid drivers, which will make it even more difficult for Nvidia.

Also, I believe it was Anand that stated that two HD 5970s Crossfired will require an Intel Core i7 @ 4GHz just to feed them, a little scary as your test CPU was a respectable 3.7GHz.

High demand and low availability of the earlier HD 58xx series leads me to believe AMD/ATI released this simply as another blow to Nvidia; enthusiast will love it.

swing82 swing82 said:

Wish I could edit posts...

In the above post I said, "two HD 5970s Crossfired will require an Intel Core i7 @ 4GHz just to feed them". I meant two HD 5870s Crossfired.

Puiu Puiu said:

This goes to show that size DOES matter! Now all they need to do is make them cheaper.

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

why bring this card out when there are none of there newer cards available anywhere online i mean come on ATi get with it and sell some cards so nvidia can feel the pain

Guest said:

Does this card beat the ASUS MARS 295 yet??

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

yes it does

mailpup mailpup said:

At this writing Newegg is sold out of 5970s. They still had one model available about 1/2 hour ago but now it's not. I'm with klepto12 on this. This could be turning into practically a paper launch. The shortage of the 5800 series and now the 5970 has got to be frustrating for ATI fans.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

At this writing Newegg is sold out of 5970s. They still had one model available about 1/2 hour ago but now it's not. I'm with klepto12 on this. This could be turning into practically a paper launch. The shortage of the 5800 series and now the 5970 has got to be frustrating for ATI fans.

yeah, but i smell a rat here....this 'bad yield of 40nm process' of TSMC is rather suspect. the products that are being released now have been in the works for two years, and now we have pitiful 40-50% yields in a process that has been around for a while? I think not. it smacks of the fake gas shortages of the early 70's.

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

Wish I could edit posts...

You can, you click on the button that says "Edit"...

I think not. it smacks of the fake gas shortages of the early 70's.

Lol, it is strange, and no one has mentioned exactly why.

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

i want a 5850 so bad but they are always sold out and now the price has sky rocketed up to over $300 this is a load of BS.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

i want a 5850 so bad but they are always sold out and now the price has sky rocketed up to over $300 this is a load of BS.

I agree Klep, I am waiting to see what Asus,Sapphire, and Gigabyte do with these cards, but I think that's going to be a while now. I don't think its ATI/AMD though, given the market, they could be charging a lot more if they wanted.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

how do you like it Teh?

Tehoste Tehoste said:

Haven't been able to use it yet.. -_- I had enough time to take pictures and post them before i had to leave for Toronto

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Haven't been able to use it yet.. -_- I had enough time to take pictures and post them before i had to leave for Toronto

Hey Teh, when you get a chance, would you post some load temps on that thing?. I really have not been a big fan of 'tunnel cards' because of temp issues, but it looks as though its going to be a while before production ramps up enough to see what other vendors will do with open cooling solutions.

DarKSeeD DarKSeeD said:

Well, to be honest, cards these days have nothing green-except the color of some manufacturers. More and more power (I know it means more computing-calculations) but c'mon that's purely kill-o-watts. I would like to see some electricity bills with that monster in Crossfire mode.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Well, to be honest, cards these days have nothing green-except the color of some manufacturers. More and more power (I know it means more computing-calculations) but c'mon that's purely kill-o-watts. I would like to see some electricity bills with that monster in Crossfire mode.

well that assumes that

A) you buy into the BS social re-engineering of the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on mankind that is 'global warming'.

and.....

B) if you can pay for the card,and afford the electricity bill....why not enjoy its superior performance?!

bedouinrising said:

5970 - the new card of my dreams! - if it would fit in my case...

mizumi said:

Luckily my case can fit it. ^^ But not that I'd splurge my money on this behemoth. IIRC, having 2 5870 still beats this by a small margin.

Inioch said:

Nice, just nice. Performance with a great power/performance ratio. Freakishly long though.

nubnasty said:

I saw the graphics for this card. Its insane !!! As i heards its the best graphics hard right now in the market.

DarKSeeD DarKSeeD said:

red1776 said:

Well, to be honest, cards these days have nothing green-except the color of some manufacturers. More and more power (I know it means more computing-calculations) but c'mon that's purely kill-o-watts. I would like to see some electricity bills with that monster in Crossfire mode.

well that assumes that

A) you buy into the BS social re-engineering of the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on mankind that is 'global warming'.

and.....

B) if you can pay for the card,and afford the electricity bill....why not enjoy its superior performance?!

Point A is pointless to me (i think it's just a cycle as it was, maybe, before) as for the B point...superior in what way?

Hardware is way ahead of software these days! So why should I buy an expensive DX 11 card when no DX 11 title is out yet and by the time a DX11 game will appear the card in case it's obsolete and a newer-better and cheaper (maybe smaller) model is on the market?

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Point A is pointless to me (i think it's just a cycle as it was, maybe, before) as for the B point...superior in what way?

Hardware is way ahead of software these days! So why should I buy an expensive DX 11 card when no DX 11 title is out yet and by the time a DX11 game will appear the card in case it's obsolete and a newer-better and cheaper (maybe smaller) model is on the market?

While I think the comments on global warming are silly the Radeon HD 5000 series are superior products that can be enjoyed now. Furthermore I am not sure how closely you have been following the development of upcoming games by there are a dozen soon to be released DX11 titles while there is already one out and about.

DarKSeeD DarKSeeD said:

[-Steve-] said:

Point A is pointless to me (i think it's just a cycle as it was, maybe, before) as for the B point...superior in what way?

Hardware is way ahead of software these days! So why should I buy an expensive DX 11 card when no DX 11 title is out yet and by the time a DX11 game will appear the card in case it's obsolete and a newer-better and cheaper (maybe smaller) model is on the market?

While I think the comments on global warming are silly the Radeon HD 5000 series are superior products that can be enjoyed now. Furthermore I am not sure how closely you have been following the development of upcoming games by there are a dozen soon to be released DX11 titles while there is already one out and about.

Let's leave the global warming...

I was talking about a DX11 exclusive game, like Shattered Horizon is DX 10 exclusive.

As for the one out I hope you're not talking about Battle Forge

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

While I think the comments on global warming are silly

...oh really Steve, well I don't. The only reason that there are things like 'green friendly' components, is because of the green/global warming movement. (otherwise they would just me known as energy efficient)I think its a valid topic indeed. i work in the LED industry and I can tell you that and the things that are being forced down the consumers throat in the name of the fallacy know as global warming is staggering. It has and will have a huge impact on everything(including computing) in the future.

Darkseed said that there is nothing green about these companies, and I responded somewhat tongue and cheek, but I hardly think that something that will impact the industry we are so interested in here is silly.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

red1776 while it sounds like you have your own views and opinions on the green issue I don't care to discuss this issue here. I think the main reason people are generally concerned with a graphics card that consumes 300 watts is the impact it will have on their power bill, not the environment.

Moving on to DarKSeeD's comments I was actually thinking of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat though BattleForge is another example. Also Dirt 2 is only a few days away while Aliens vs. Predator is not far away either, nor is Lord of the Rings Online.

That said it is not the ability to support DX11 that I like about the new Radeons. Rather it is the fact that I can game at 2560x1600 using one or two monitors in any game I want with the settings jacked right up.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

red1776 while it sounds like you have your own views and opinions on the green issue I don't care to discuss this issue here.

Then you certainly don't have to....i'm not the one that brought it up

DarKSeeD DarKSeeD said:

If we are on the green zone - little off topic here - but I'm using a board with EPU 6 engine and so far (since the last installation) I've reduced the CO2 emissions with 246771.155 mg.

How many of you leave the computer on for hours and going full throttle? It's impossible not to sense that the room temperature has raised with at least 1 degree Celsius (depends also on the size of the room and of course you need a thermometer). I use Folding@home (GPU+CPU calculations) a lot and I leave the rest at your imagination. The room I use has 12mp (metric sistem you do the math for imperial) and the height of the room is 2.4m. Almost constantly the room has 3 degrees Celsius more with the computer on for hours.

On topic - I'm aware of Dirt 2, Call of Pripyat and AvP but I was talking strictly about DX 11 exclusive titles.

Anyway pictures side by side, DX10 vs. DX11, should be interesting to watch.

After I saw the pictures of Dirt 2 DX11 I can't say there is too much improvement over DX10. Ambient Occlusion is the only feature that stands out a little. Only the future will tell...

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Crazy!! Unfortunately i don't think i could ever justify one of these on a cost to performance ratio. Guess we will see in a couple years when i look into building out my next system.

Shigawire said:

I'm still happy with my 4870X2

A suggestion and question:

Why don't you use the Total War games in benchmarking? I know of no other game more demanding. Not just of the GPU, but of the entire system - cpu, gpu, ram, harddrive.

Try add Napoleon Total War as a standard benchmark. There's more than enough First Person Shooters being tested in these benchmarks. It's not meant to be a popularity contest but an exhaustive and objective test.

Guest said:

i had a 4870x2 card i now have 2 5970 black xfx addition cards and all i can say is wow cost me 1100 quid but they eat everything alive

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

I'm fairly certain the XFX 5970 Black Edition hasn't even released yet - how'd you get your hands on two of them?

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

My mistake - looks like you can get the 5970 Black Edition now - just not the 4 GB version.

Guest said:

i got them from overclookers.co.uk and there still in stock but hurry there unbelevable as stock cards but overclooked and volted its fantastic

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

Yeah - my GX2 died this weekend so I think I'm about to order myself a 5970. Sucks is I don't really have the funds for this but my gaming machine is currently down

I won't be doing any overclocking on this thing though - that's something from my past that I don't really want to get into anymore.

Guest said:

I just replaced my 9800GX2, with the BLACK EDITION 2GB, on stock it's fast....

and it's running cool, 44C idle in a room 22C, BENCH HEAVEN v2.0 Max temp 60C

I am impressed with not only the performance but with the running TEMPS.

Total system pulls 375 Watts load 245W idle.

Single slot solution, I really love it, been a Nvidia user for years and this was one of the hardest changes because of the previous bad rep. due to poor ATI drivers, but it's just as slick as Nvidia.

I got mine from scan.co.uk

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

...Single slot solution, I really love it, been a Nvidia user for years and this was one of the hardest changes because of the previous bad rep. due to poor ATI drivers, but it's just as slick as Nvidia.

I got mine from scan.co.uk

Yeah, yeah, whatever.

Thanks for the ad.......

Single slot...let me guess; you're dyslexic and you actually have a 5670.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Yeah, yeah, whatever.

Thanks for the ad.......

Single slot...let me guess; you're dyslexic and you actually have a 5670.

, your on my brainwave.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Yeah, yeah, whatever.

Thanks for the ad.......

Single slot...let me guess; you're dyslexic and you actually have a 5670.

hahahah you know I thought the same thing. BUT those consumption figures are high and who in their right mind would replace a 9800 GX2 with a 5670?

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Mmmmmm...375w under full load seems a bit light...and as for 245w at idle, wellllllll, did "Guest" decide to hook up a VapoChill unit just for s___s and giggles?

As for the swapping out, I've seen dumber forum posts regarding graphics swap-outs than that.

Guest said:

Omg nvida feel the pain in there ***. Even now the release 1 year later almost the 480 the can not compare it...... What happen nv?

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

Finally got my 5970 Black Edition in and I've gotta say I'm very pleased. Part of the reason I wanted the 1920 numbers so badly is I'm running on a 24" running at that rez. I've gotta say that everything runs amazingly well - even Crysis at 4x AA. The only thing that has given my machine a hard time is Arma II and Heaven with Tessellation enabled - those are the only things to drop me below 60 fps (yes, including Crysis 1.2.1)

otester said:

I find the whole power consumption thing ok, means I don't need a radiator in my room (left it out after decorating) as my PC keeps it quite warm.

Regarding GW, that graph that you hippies like to use, instead of starting from the 1800AD, start from 10000BC, whose silly now eh?

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.