ATI’s Radeon 5700 “Juniper” boards are the shortest DX11 cards ATI’s produced yet. The Radeon 5770 measures just a hair shy of 8.5” long, while the 5750 is approximately 7.25” long. Both cards require one PCI Express power connector, as the PCIe x16 interface can natively deliver up to 75W of juice to the graphics card.
As you can see in the photos, both cards are also dual-slot. Don’t worry too much about this though, as we were told by ATI this decision was made on the reference board design in order to ensure that their board partners would support the full array of display connections at launch: two dual-link DVIs, one DisplayPort, and one HDMI connector. All of the boards on the market today will be based on the reference design, but ATI will be allowing their board partners to go single-slot with their second-generation Radeon 5700 cards: presumably you’ll see some manufacturers drop one of the dual-link DVI connections in order to deliver a single-slot card with one DVI, one DisplayPort, and one HDMI on the back plate. These cards will be marketed towards the HTPC crowd, where the 5700’s support for HDMI 1.3a (DTS-Master Audio, Dolby True-HD) should make it popular among videophiles.
All of the 5700 boards shipping today will also rely on the reference clock speeds: no factory OC’ed boards today.
We’re huge fans of the new ducted cooling design ATI has employed on the Radeon 5870 and 5850, so we’re glad to see it’s also being implemented on the 5770. Dubbed “Phoenix” internally by ATI engineers, these ducted coolers do an excellent job of pulling heat off the GPU while thanks to a new fan, they also generate very little noise during use -- even when the board is OC’ed or multiple cards are paired together for CrossFire.
For the 5870, ATI uses a massive heatsink/fan unit with four copper heatpipes for the card’s cooling. By using such a large cooler, ATI’s able to draw a greater amount of heat off the chip quickly, with the obvious downside being you need a larger case to keep everything cool. With the 5850’s reduced clock speeds and shaders ATI was able to accomplish the same task with a shorter cooler and just two heatpipes. This also helps to keep the price of the board down.
With the 5770 sporting just 800 shaders, an even smaller cooler can be used, and heatpipes are no longer needed to keep the board cool either (which again, helps to reduce the board’s production cost). ATI simply uses an aluminum heatsink with copper baseplate to cool the 5770 GPU. A black plastic duct is then used to channel hot air from the card out the back of the case, as well as other portions of the card.
It’s a pretty effective system, we observed idle temps of 47 degrees Celsius. At load, temps topped out at 72 degrees.
To reduce costs even further, the Radeon 5750 employs an even simpler cooler. A one-piece aluminum heatsink/fan unit is used, with no ducted enclosure. It’s a pretty plain cooler, but it gets the job done quite well thanks to the 5750’s reduced clock speeds. Here we observed an idle temp of just 41 degrees Celsius, while load temp was 65.
Both coolers run whisper quiet at idle, with the clock speeds reduced to 157MHz core/300MHz memory to conserve power and heat. Even under load though these boards run incredibly quiet.
ATI’s multi-display Eyefinity technology is fully supported by both Radeon 5700 GPUs. Both cards can drive up to three displays.
Now obviously with just a 128-bit memory interface, these cards won’t be able to drive three 30” displays at 7680x1600, but ATI says that gaming with three 1280x1024 displays (3840x1024) is feasible. With dual display really gaining in popularity in recent years, it isn’t completely unreasonable to believe that a slice of gamers in the mainstream segment would be able to take advantage of Eyefinity.
Retail boards, price and availability
Officially two Radeon 5750 SKUs will be offered on launch day: a 512MB board which will sell for $109, and a 1GB board which will be priced at an MSRP of $129. Both cards will ship at the same clock speeds, with the only difference being the frame buffer size. Obviously gamers stuck with 1600x1200 or lower displays will want to opt for the 512MB board, while gamers who would like to run resolutions of 1080p with AA will want to pick up the 1GB card.
For the Radeon 5770, one SKU will be offered: a 1GB board which will sell for $159.
We’ve been told that “tens of thousands” of boards have been shipped to retailers, and based on what we can tell from asking the board partners, this launch will be the complete opposite of the 5870 and 5850 launches: there are lots of boards in the retail channel this time around, so you shouldn’t have any problems picking up a board today. We were also told that the mixture of 5750s to 5770s is about 50:50 initially; we wouldn’t be surprised if this ratio eventually tilted in favor of the 5750. Right now though ATI’s trying to cash in on the higher margin 5770 parts.
Already we’ve received retail boards from ASUS and PowerColor. Both cards are 100% reference designs, and based on past history, we have a feeling that the PowerColor board will be priced a little lower than the ASUS card, which tends to sell for a premium in comparison to other manufacturers.
Of course, by opting for the ASUS card you’ll get ASUS’ Voltage Tweak software, which allows you to adjust the GPU and memory voltage to increase your OC’ing potential. Another neat feature we noticed on the ASUS 5770 Voltage Tweak is higher clock speed limits within Overdrive. The standard max speeds in Overdrive for the Radeon 5770 are 960MHz core/1445MHz memory. However with the ASUS Voltage Tweak, you can crank the graphics core slider up to 1200MHz using Overdrive. Nice!!
Like the 5850 and 5870, ATI board partners will have the option of including DiRT 2 with the Radeon 5700 series cards.