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More RADEON HD 5870 Graphics Cards

Offerings from ASUS, HIS, Sapphire.

December 11, 2009



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I wonder if the managements of NVIDIA and AMD have read Dostoevsky. If they did, they would have known that such attitude towards the market would be punished sooner or later. See for yourself: NVIDIA had been renaming old products for a long time. They released new low-end solutions only recently, based on the old architecture at that. The support for DX10.1 and GDDR5 does not count, because it's just a reason for more PR and the reduction of cards' cost price. No new solutions supporting DX11 have been offered.

As for AMD, they have, as usual, stepped on the rake of the severe deficit of RADEON HD 5xxx.

Well, it's just the history repeating. And all that users need is cards supporting something like this with decent performance:



These are the screenshots of the new Unigine Tropics benchmark that will probably be added to our benchmark list in the future.

Leaving all the satire aside, all we have on the market now -- of the most powerful and up-to-date gaming cards -- is RADEON HD 5870. GeForce GTX 295, which is even faster, is not up-to-date, because it doesn't support DX11. Of course, on the other hand, no one needs DX11 right now. There are no games supporting it anyway. However, it's obvious that, losing to GTX 295 just a little, HD 5870 is way more affordable. This makes it the most interesting hi-end solution today.

Card design


ASUS EAH5870 (RADEON HD 5870) 1024MB
  • GPU: RADEON HD 5870 (Cypress)
  • Interface: PCI Express x16
  • GPU clock rate (ROPs/Shaders): 850/850 MHz (nominal)
  • Memory clock rate, physical (effective): 1200 (4800) MHz (nominal)
  • Memory bus: 256-bit
  • Vertex processors: -
  • Pixel processors: -
  • Unified processors: 1600
  • Texture processors: 80 (BLF/TLF)
  • ROPs: 32
  • Dimensions: 285x100x33 mm
  • PCB color: black
  • RAMDACs/TDMS: integrated into GPU
  • Outputs: 2 x DVI (Dual-Link/HDMI), Display Port, HDMI
  • VIVO: n/a
  • TV-out: n/a
  • Multi-GPU support: Hardware CrossFire
HIS RADEON HD 5870 1024MB
  • GPU: RADEON HD 5870 (Cypress)
  • Interface: PCI Express x16
  • GPU clock rate (ROPs/Shaders): 850/850 MHz (nominal)
  • Memory clock rate, physical (effective): 1200 (4800) MHz (nominal)
  • Memory bus: 256-bit
  • Vertex processors: -
  • Pixel processors: -
  • Unified processors: 1600
  • Texture processors: 80 (BLF/TLF)
  • ROPs: 32
  • Dimensions: 285x100x33mm
  • PCB color: black
  • RAMDACs/TDMS: integrated into GPU
  • Outputs: 2 x DVI (Dual-Link/HDMI), Display Port, HDMI
  • VIVO: n/a
  • TV-out: n/a
  • Multi-GPU support: Hardware CrossFire
Sapphire RADEON HD 5870 1024MB
  • GPU: RADEON HD 5870 (Cypress)
  • Interface: PCI Express x16
  • GPU clock rate (ROPs/Shaders): 850/850 MHz (nominal)
  • Memory clock rate, physical (effective): 1200 (4800) MHz (nominal)
  • Memory bus: 256-bit
  • Vertex processors: -
  • Pixel processors: -
  • Unified processors: 1600
  • Texture processors: 80 (BLF/TLF)
  • ROPs: 32
  • Dimensions: 285x100x33mm
  • PCB color: black
  • RAMDACs/TDMS: integrated into GPU
  • Outputs: 2 x DVI (Dual-Link/HDMI), Display Port, HDMI
  • VIVO: n/a
  • TV-out: n/a
  • Multi-GPU support: Hardware CrossFire


ASUS EAH5870 (RADEON HD 5870) 1024MB
HIS RADEON HD 5870 1024MB
Sapphire RADEON HD 5870 1024MB

Each card has 1024 MB GDDR5 SDRAM in 8 Samsung memory chips on the front side of the PCB; 1250 (5000) MHz peak clock rate.



Comparison with the reference design, front view
Sapphire RADEON HD 5870 1024MB Reference card ATI RADEON HD 5870
HIS RADEON HD 5870 1024MB
ASUS EAH5870 (RADEON HD 5870) 1024MB


Comparison with the reference design, rear view
Sapphire RADEON HD 5870 1024MB Reference card ATI RADEON HD 5870
HIS RADEON HD 5870 1024MB
ASUS EAH5870 (RADEON HD 5870) 1024MB

Obviously, all of the cards copy the reference design. Moreover, all of these products have clearly been made at the same factory and just have different stickers.

The PCB length of 270mm would be all right, if it weren't for the cooler. The latter increased the dimensions by another 15mm, so even if your PC enclosure can accommodate GeForce GTX 2xx or 4870 X2 (270mm long), it might still be too small to accommodate the reviewed novelty. Also remember that the motherboard must have no high parts behind the PCI-E x16 slot and the adjacent slot as well.

These graphics cards feature audio codecs, so nothing else it required to transmit audio to HDMI.

Note that these cards have two 6-pin connectors for external power supply.

Another important feature is that the new cards can work with 3 monitors simultaneously.

Maximum resolutions and frequencies:

  • 240 Hz maximum refresh rate
  • 2048 x 1536 x 32bit @ 85Hz Max -- analog interface
  • 2560 x 1600 @ 60Hz Max -- digital interface (Dual-Link DVI/HDMI)

As for the HDTV support, a review is available here.


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Article navigation:

Page 1: Introduction, design

Page 2: Cooling

Page 3: Bundles, boxes

Page 4: Performance in games



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