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ATI Radeon HD 5570 in Detail

The Radeon HD 5570 is said to consume just 43 watts of power under load, which is a fraction of the 61 watts needed to power the Radeon HD 5670 or the 108 watts on the Radeon HD 5770. Our review sample used a low-profile design, which should be followed by most manufacturers.

Like most modern graphics cards in this segment, consuming little power translates into not requiring an external power source. The Radeon HD 5570 generates very little heat and as such AMD has been able to get away with using a small single slot cooler.

The evaluation sample we received used a tiny 45mm fan cooling a small 95mm x 55mm copper heatsink. It's worth noting that the use of a copper heatsink makes this graphics card surprisingly heavy.

In terms of physical dimensions the Radeon HD 5570 is only 17cm long. This is the same as the Radeon HD 5670 and GeForce GT 240, which means it should fit in any case that can support a mATX motherboard. The Radeon HD 5570 is also 5.5cm tall (low-profile), whereas a typical graphics card can go up to 9.5cm.

The core configuration of the Radeon HD 5570 includes 400 SPUs, 16 TAUs (Texture Address Units) and 8 ROPs (Rasterization Operator Units). That's considerably less than other cards in the series, though it is similar to the older Radeon HD 4670.

AMD has stuck with a 128-bit memory bus for the Radeon HD 5570, which allows for a relatively low bandwidth of 28.8GB/s. To put this into perspective, most variants of the Radeon HD 4670 support a memory bandwidth of at least 28.8GB/s, while the more expensive Radeon HD 4770 ($110) features a more impressive bandwidth of 51.2GB/s.

Core clock speed is set at 650 MHz which should be good for 520 gigaflops of raw computing power, while GDDR3 memory operates at 900MHz. The Radeon HD 5570 can come configured with either 512MB or 1GB of memory. The sample we are testing today features 1GB, but as with all budget graphics cards we highly recommend you purchase the lowest memory capacity model -- it will be cheaper and won't sacrifice much (if any) performance.

There are no bridge connectors on the Radeon HD 5570, but it's still possible to link two of these graphics cards through internal CrossFireX for some additional performance.

The Radeon HD 5570 retains Eyefinity support, so if this is the feature you are looking for on a budget card then it makes the Radeon HD 5570 an ideal choice. Like its higher-end variants in the 5000 series, you can hook up to three high resolution monitors (up to 2560x1600) to this board.