ASUS EAH 5830 DirectCU Review 48

ASUS EAH 5830 DirectCU Review

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After a successful launch of the Radeon HD 5000 series DirectX 11 compliant graphics processors, a lineup was created which spans from the very high-end dual-GPU Radeon HD 5970 at its >$500 price point, Radeon HD 5800 series as its performance segment, Radeon HD 5700 as its upper mainstream, HD 5600 as mainstream, and then on the entry-level Radeon HD 5400 and HD 5500 series. There was, however, a scope for expanding the performance segment a little, on both its ends. Until today, the Radeon HD 5850 and Radeon HD 5870 1GB are the only two members of this sub-series, targeting roughly-$300 and roughly-$400 price points, respectively. The next GPU lower down the food chain is the Radeon HD 5770. At its price and offer, it impressed us to the fullest, but there's a void created between this roughly-$160 GPU and the Radeon HD 5850, which is almost twice its price. This is the void that AMD is planning to fill with their latest product release.

Enter the Radeon HD 5830. This GPU is situated in a price-stratum that's between the Radeon HD 5770 and Radeon HD 5850, and, at face value, promises performance and features worth its price, if not more. In this review, we set out to investigate just that: whether AMD managed to fill that void.

The Radeon HD 5870 is based on AMD's most complex piece of silicon to date. The Cypress GPU, packing well over 2 billion transistors, has all its 1600 stream processors enabled in the Radeon HD 5870, and in the HD 5970. With the Radeon HD 5850, AMD disabled 160 stream processors, lowered clock speeds a little to achieve the ~$300 price-point.
With the new HD 5830, it's going a step further, disabling 480 stream processors leaving still 1120 stream processors. It has also disabled 16 effective raster operation processors (ROPs) leaving 16 left. The memory interface is intact: there's a 256-bit wide memory interface, 1 GB of GDDR5 memory running at 1000 MHz, churning out 128 GB/s of bandwidth - same as that of the HD 5850. The core clock speed is also slightly higher than that of the HD 5850 (800 MHz vs. 725 MHz). In effect, the HD 5830's raster operations capability is about as strong as the Radeon HD 5770, but with a higher shader compute power (with 1120 stream processors), and the memory subsystem of the Radeon HD 5850. An interesting concept.

The grayed-out regions in the diagram above show disabled components. These components are permanently disabled during production of the ASIC and can not be reactivated via software.

Today we have with us the ASUS EAH 5830 DirectCu 1024 MB, a premium non-reference implementation of the Radeon HD 5830. The way its cooler is designed, and going by ASUS' choice of components, the EAH 5830 DirectCu is catered to the value performance enthusiast who can squeeze the last ounce of performance out of it by overclocking.

HD 4870
HD 5770
HD 4890
GTX 260
HD 5830
GTX 275
HD 5850
HD 5870
Shader units 800800800216112024014401600
Memory Size512 MB 1024 MB 1024 MB 896 MB 1024 MB 896 MB 1024 MB 1024 MB
Memory Bus Width 256 bit 128 bit 256 bit 448 bit 256 bit 448 bit 256 bit 256 bit
Core Clock750 MHz 850 MHz 850 MHz 620 MHz 800 MHz 602 MHz 725 MHz 850 MHz
Memory Clock900 MHz 1200 MHz 975 MHz 1050 MHz 1000 MHz 1107 MHz 1000 MHz 1200 MHz

Packaging & Contents

We received a card without retail packaging or accessories.
Products in retail will come with the usual acessories like driver CD, adapters etc.
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