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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

Radeon HD 5570 is one of the latest DirectX 11 mainstream video processors from AMD. Let’s see how is its performance compared to Radeon HD 5670 and its main competitors from NVIDIA. Check it out.

This new video card costs around USD 85, while Radeon HD 5670 is priced at USD 95. The closest competitor from NVIDIA is GeForce GT 240, which can be found right in the middle, at USD 90. At this price range you can also find “older” video cards like GeForce 9600 GT (USD 90), GeForce 9800 GT (USD 95) and Radeon HD 4670 (USD 95).

In this review we will compare Radeon HD 5570 to Radeon HD 5670, GeForce GT 240 and GeForce 9800 GT in order to answer a very simple question: is this video card enough for the average user that doesn’t want to spend a lot on a video card or it is better to spend USD 5 – USD 10 more and get a different product?

In the table below we compare the main specifications from the video cards we included in our review. As you can see, Radeon HD 5670 is basically a Radeon HD 5570 running at a higher clock rate and using a faster memory (GDDR5 instead of GDDR3). As you can see AMD-based models have as an advantage having more processors (“shader units”) and supporting DirectX 11, while on NVIDIA-based models the shader processors run at a higher clock rate (the second number under “core clock”). All cards reviewed were running at the chip manufacturer’s default configuration (i.e., no factory overclocking).

Video Card Core Clock Memory Clock (Real) Memory Clock (Effective) Memory Interface Memory Transfer Rate Memory Shaders DirectX
HIS Radeon HD 5570 650 MHz 900 MHz 1.8 GHz 128-bit 28.8 GB/s 1 GB GDDR3 400 11
HIS Radeon HD 5670 775 MHz 1 GHz 4 GHz 128-bit 64 GB/s 512 MB GDDR5 400 11
ECS GeForce GT 240 550 MHz / 1.34 GHz 850 MHz 3.4 GHz 128-bit 54.4 GB/s 512 MB GDDR5 96 10.1
Palit GeForce 9800 GT 600 MHz / 1.5 GHz 900 MHz 1.8 GHz 256-bit 57.6 GB/s 1 GB GDDR3 112 10

You can compare the specs of these video cards with other video cards by taking a look at our AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table and NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table tutorials.

Now let’s take a complete look at this model from HIS.

[nextpage title=”HIS Radeon HD 5570 Fan”]

HIS Radeon HD 5570 Fan, part number H557F1G, runs at the default clock rates set by AMD. As you can see on the pictures below it is a half-height video card. You can transform it into a “slim” (“half-height”) video card to be installed in small form factor (SFF) cases using the I/O brackets that come with the product.

HIS Radeon HD 5570 Fan Video CardFigure 1: HIS Radeon HD 5570.

HIS Radeon HD 5570 Fan Video Card Figure 2: HIS Radeon HD 5570.

HIS Radeon HD 5570 Fan Video Card Figure 3: HIS Radeon HD 5570.

As you can see this video card has three outputs: VGA, HDMI and DVI-D. Finally the manufacturers are dropping the S-Video connector and installing an HDMI output instead!

[nextpage title=”HIS Radeon HD 5570 Fan (Cont’d)”]

The active heatsink that comes with this video card is very simple, as you can see in Figure 4. In Figure 5, you can see the video card with the heatsink removed, and we were surprised to see only solid capacitors and ferrite chokes, giving this card a top-notch component quality.

HIS Radeon HD 5570 Fan Video Card Figure 4: Heatsink.

HIS Radeon HD 5570 Fan Video Card Figure 5: Video card with heatsink removed.

The reviewed card uses eight 1 Gbit GDDR3 chips (four soldered on the component side of the printed circuit board, four soldered on the solder side), making its 1 GB video memory. The chips used are K4W1G1646E-HC11 parts from Samsung, which support up to 900 MHz – and on this video card they are already working at their maximum clock rate.

HIS Radeon HD 5570 Fan Video Card Figure 6: Memory chip.

In Figure 7, you can see the accessories that come with the reviewed card: a generic manual, a driver CD and the two I/O brackets that we mentioned before that allow you to covert this video card into a “slim” (“half-height”) product.

HIS Radeon HD 5570 Fan Video Card Figure 7: Accessories.

Before seeing the performance results, let’s recap the main features of this video card.

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

HIS Radeon HD 5570 Fan main features are:

  • Graphics chip: ATI Radeon HD 5570 running at 650 MHz.
  • Memory: 1 GB GDDR3 memory (128-bit interface) from Samsung (K4W1G1646E-HC11), running at 900 MHz (“1.8 GHz”).
  • Bus type: PCI Express x16 2.0.
  • Connectors: One VGA, one DVI-D and one HDMI.
  • Video Capture (VIVO): No.
  • Cables and adapters that come with this board: Two I/O brackets to transform this video card into a “slim” (“half-height”) model.
  • Number of CDs/DVDs that come with this board: One.
  • Games that come with this board: None.
  • Programs that come with this board: None.
  • More information: https://www.hisdigital.com
  • Average price in the US*: USD 85.00

< p>* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions the only variable was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
  • Video resolution: 2560×1600 @ 60 Hz

Driver Versions

  • Intel Inf driver version: 9.1.1.1019
  • AMD/ATI video driver version: Catalyst 10.3
  • NVIDIA video driver version: 196.27

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 3% error margin; thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

[nextpage title=”3DMark Vantage Professional”]

3DMark Vantage measures Shader 4.0 (i.e., DirectX 10) performance and supports PhysX, a programming interface developed by Ageia (now part of NVIDIA) to transfer physics calculations from the system CPU to the video card GPU in order to increase performance. Mechanical physics is the basis for calculations about the interaction of objects. For example, if you shoot, what exactly will happen to the object when the bullet hits it? Will it break? Will it move? Will the bullet bounce back? Note that since we are considering only the GPU score provided by this program, physics calculations are not taken into account.

We ran this program under two 16:10 widescreen resolutions: 1680×1050 and 1920×1200, first using the “Entry” profile, which basically disables all kinds of video enhancements, and then using the “Performance” profile. The results being compared are the “GPU Scores” achieved by each video card.

Radeon HD 5570 
3DMark Vantage – Entry 1680×1050 Difference
Radeon HD 5670

13555

31.6%
GeForce 9800 GT

13519

31.2%
GeForce GT 240

11789

14.4%
Radeon HD 5570 10304  

Radeon HD 5570

3DMark Vantage – Entry 1920×1200 Difference
Radeon HD 5670

10880

32.3%
GeForce 9800 GT

10823

31.6%
GeForce GT 240

9341

13.6%
Radeon HD 5570

8223

 

Radeon HD 5570

3DMark Vantage – Performance 1680×1050 Difference
GeForce 9800 GT

4104

48.0%
Radeon HD 5670

4048

46.0%
GeForce GT 240

3350

20.8%
Radeon HD 5570

2773

 

Radeon HD 5570

3DMark Vantage – Performance 1920×1200 Difference
GeForce 9800 GT

3173

50.1%
Radeon HD 5670

3143

48.7%
GeForce GT 240

2614

23.7%
Radeon HD 5570

2114

 

[nextpage title=”Call of Duty 4″]

Call of Duty 4 is a DirectX 9 game implementing high-dynamic range (HDR) and its own physics engine, which is used to calculate how objects interact. For example, if you shoot, what exactly will hapen to the object when the bullet hits it? Will it break? Will it move? Will the bullet bounce back? It gives a more realistic experience to the user.

We ran this game under two 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050 and 1920×1200, maxing out all image quality controls (i.e., everything was put on the maximum values on the Graphics and Texture menus). We used the game internal benchmarking feature, running a demo
provided by NVIDIA called “wetwork.” We are putting this demo for downloading here if you want to run your own benchmarks. We ran the demo five times, and the results below are the average number of frames per second (FPS) achieved by each video card.

Radeon HD 5570
Call of Duty 4 – Maximum 1680×1050 Difference
GeForce 9800 GT 70.7 92.2%
GeForce GT 240 56.0 52.4%
Radeon HD 5670 54.6 48.5%
Radeon HD 5570 36.8  
Radeon HD 5570
Call of Duty 4 – Maximum 1920×1200 Difference
GeForce 9800 GT 59.4 96.2%
GeForce GT 240 49.8 64.4%
Radeon HD 5670 45.5 50.1%
Radeon HD 5570 30.3  

 

[nextpage title=”Crysis Warhead”]

Crysis Warhead is a DirectX 10 game based on the same engine as the original Crysis, but optimized (it runs under DirectX 9.0c when installed on Windows XP). We ran this game under two 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050 and 1920×1200, setting image quality to its lowest possible values, using the Airfield demo. The results below are the number of frames per second achieved by each video card.

Radeon HD 5570
Crysis Warhead – Low 1680×1050 Difference
Radeon HD 5670

78

6.8%
Radeon HD 5570

73

 
GeForce GT 240

55

32.7%
GeForce 9800 GT

54

35.2%
Radeon HD 5570
Crysis Warhead – Low 1920×1200 Difference
Radeon HD 5670

78

6.8%
Radeon HD 5570

73

 
GeForce GT 240

55

32.7%
GeForce 9800 GT

54

35.2%

[nextpage title=”Fallout 3″]

Fallout 3 is based on the same engine used by The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and it is a DirectX 9.0c (Shader 3.0) game. We configured the game with “ultra” image quality settings, maxing out all image quality settings, at two 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050 and 1920×1200. To measure performance, we used the FRAPS utility running an outdoor scene at God mode, running through enemy fire, triggering post processing effects, and ending with a big explosion in front of Dupont Circle.

Radeon HD 5570
Fallout 3 – Ultra 1680×1050 Difference
GeForce 9800 GT 54.5 40.5%
Radeon HD 5670 51.0 31.3%
GeForce GT 240 49.0 26.3%
Radeon HD 5570 38.8  

Radeon HD 5570

Fallout 3 – Ultra 1920×1200 Difference
GeForce 9800 GT 50.4 52.0%
Radeon HD 5670 47.7 44.0%
GeForce GT 240 42.8 29.3%
Radeon HD 5570 33.1  

[nextpage title=”Far Cry 2″]

Far Cry 2 is based on an entirely new game engine called Dunia, which is DirectX 10 when played under Windows 7 or Vista with a DirectX 10-compatible video card. We used the benchmarking utility that comes with this game, setting image quality to the minimum allowed and running the “Ranch Long” demo three times. The results below are expressed in frames per second and are an arithmetic average of the three results collected.

Radeon HD 5570

FarCry 2 – Minimum 1680×1050 Difference
GeForce 9800 GT 41.7 40.6%
GeForce GT 240 40.6 37.1%
Radeon HD 5670 33.4 12.8%
Radeon HD 5570 29.6  

Radeon HD 5570

FarCry 2 – Minimum 1920×1200 Difference
GeForce 9800 GT 42.8 48.4%
GeForce GT 240 35.7 23.8%
Radeon HD 5670 31.9 10.4%
Radeon HD 5570 28.9  

[nextpage title=”Unigine Tropics”]

Unigine is a 3D engine used by some games and simulations. The developer provides two demos for this engine, Tropics and Sanctuary. We ran the Tropics benchmarking module under DirectX 9 mode at full screen with image quality settings maxed out.
The results below are the number of frames per second achieved by each video card.

Radeon HD 5570

Tropics – Maximum 1680×1050 Difference
Radeon HD 5670 23.8 41.7%
GeForce 9800 GT 21.7 29.2%
Radeon HD 5570 16.8  
GeForce GT 240 14.3 17.5%

Radeon HD 5570

Tropics – Maximum 1920×1200 Difference
GeForce 9800 GT 17.5 23.2%
Radeon HD 5670 14.5 2.1%
Radeon HD 5570 14.2  
GeForce GT 240 11.0 29.1%

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

We always wonder why chip manufacturers release so many graphics chips with prices that are too close. In our opinion this only causes confusion on the market, and the manufacturer invariably ends up having several chips that have inferior performance and should be avoided.

Unfortunately this is the case of Radeon HD 5570. From the six games and simulations we ran, GeForce GT 240 was better than Radeon HD 5570 in four of them. If the difference was small, we could say that they are “equal competitors,” but this is not the case: GeForce GT 240 was between 14% and 64% faster than Radeon HD 5570 on these games and simulations, depending on the resolution and image quality settings. For only five bucks more you get a lot more performance buying GT 240.

On the other hand, Radeon HD 5570 was faster than GeForce GT 240 on Crysis Warhead (33%) and on the Tropics simulation (between 17% and 29%). So it may exist other games that Radeon HD 5570 is a better product, but at least based on our results we would simply forget Radeon HD 5570 and buy GeForce GT 240.

Important: there are several different GeForce GT 240 models on the market, with different hardware configurations. We are talking about the GDDR5 model (see table on first page).