Radeon HD 5830 review -
Final Words & Conclusion
With the Radeon HD 5830 AMD brings an interesting product to the market. It's a feature rich DX11 capable product with a lot of connectivity. We can't help feeling that this is the first product where we get a bit of an uncomfortable underbelly tickle. Bringing the 5830 down to seven shader clusters with a total of 1120 shader processors was what I feel to be one shader cluster, or proverbially speaking, one step too many. Next to that AMD cut the accumulated color ROP engines in half, that's sixteen coming from thirty-two. These two details combined slow down overall performance opposed to the fastest products quite significantly.
AMD ATI is trying to compensate this by firing off an 800 MHz core clock frequency at the GPU. But that on its end makes the 5830 consume more power than a 5850, as a side effect the thermal rating differs and is higher. But yeah, where the 5830 loses the most is its pixel fillrate and that is going to show on certain titles for sure.
Overall the performance is still very nice though, the Radeon positions itself in-between the Radeon HD 5770 and Radeon HD 5850, but when we tally our results up, the Radeon HD 5830 is often closer to the 5770 than it is to the Radeon HD 5850.
Looking up some prices here in the Netherlands and in our USA Pricegrabber database tells us the following, and you guys can already feel where this conclusion is heading, if we take the 1024MB models then:
- Radeon HD 5770 1024MB can be found for roughly 140 EUR / 169 USD.
- Radeon HD 5850 1024MB can can be found for roughly 260 EUR / 319 USD.
And here's my dilemma, the Radeon HD 5830 will cost cost you give or take 230 EUR / 259 USD at launch.
Now if you compare the 5830 to the 5770 then you are looking at ten, maybe fifteen percent performance difference tops, and as such I find it a tad hard to recommend the Radeon HD 5830. Personally I'd say save yourself the money and go with the excellent HD 5770, that or drop a few tenners more and go for the sweet Radeon HD 5850, which makes a little more sense. The 5830 however comes with 256-bit memory whereas the 5770 does its magic on a 128-bit bus.
Now we like the Radeon HD 5830, it really is a fun product, but we do feel that its price positioning somehow doesn't match up properly. This product should be hovering at a sub 200 EUR / 239 USD level IMHO -- well, wishful thinking perhaps?
Okay, that's it. As you can see I have a bit of a reservation with the 5830. In the end though it's you guys who get to decide whether a product is a success or not, we are merely your humble messenger with our findings. The Radeon HD 5830 brings a lot to the table, you'll have DX11 compatibility, Eyefinity, very decent performance and just a downright quality feature set. However we won't deny it... we expected a little more for a little less.
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