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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

The new Radeon HD 5830 comes quoted on the USD 260-USD 270 range in the USA, and on this price range it competes directly with GeForce GTX 275, a model that is being phased out right now, leaving solutions based on this graphics processor from AMD virtually the only video card on this specific price range. Let’s see how Radeon HD 5830 compares to GeForce GTX 275 and whether or not this model from XFX is a good buy.

In the table below we compare the main specifications from the three video cards we included in our review. On NVIDIA graphics processors the shader units work at a higher clock rate from the rest of the chip, and this clock is the second clock under “core clock.” Even though the GeForce GTX 260 doesn’t compete directly with Radeon HD 5830, it is a pretty popular video card and we think readers would be interested in see a comparison between the two.

Video Card Core Clock Memory Clock (Real) Memory Clock (Effective) Memory Interface Memory Transfer Rate Memory Shaders DirectX
XFX Radeon HD 5830 800 MHz 1 GHz 4 GHz 256-bit 128 GB/s 1 GB GDDR5 1,120 11
Palit GeForce GTX 275 633 MHz / 1,404 MHz 1.134 GHz 2.268 GHz 448-bit 127 GB/s 896 MB GDDR3 240 10
GeForce GTX 260/216 576 MHz / 1,242 MHz 1 GHz 2 GHz 448-bit 112 GB/s 896 MB GDDR3 216 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 XFX.

[nextpage title=”XFX Radeon HD 5830″]

XFX offers two different models of Radeon HD 5830, HD-583X-ZNFV and HD-583X-ZNFC, both running at AMD’s suggested clock rates and with 1 GB GDDR5 memory. We reviewed the HD-583X-ZNFV version.

XFX Radeon HD 5830Figure 1: XFX Radeon HD 5830.

This video card has four video outputs: two DVI-D, one HDMI and one DisplayPort. It supports AMD’s ATI Eyefinity technology, which allows you to install up to three video monitors at the same time to this card, but there is a catch: one of them must use the DisplayPort output.

XFX Radeon HD 5830Figure 2: Video connectors.

On Figures 3 and 4 you have an overall look from the card.

XFX Radeon HD 5830Figure 3: XFX Radeon HD 5830.

XFX Radeon HD 5830Figure 4: XFX Radeon HD 5830.

[nextpage title=”XFX Radeon HD 5830 (Cont’d)”]

The active heatsink that comes with this video card has a very interesting shape, but the cooler doesn’t touch the memory chips, as you can see in Figure 5.

XFX Radeon HD 5830Figure 5: Cooler doesn’t touch the memory chips.

You can see the cooler removed from the video card in Figure 6. The base is made of copper using two thick copper heatpipes to transfer the heat produced by the graphics chip to the aluminum fins.

XFX Radeon HD 5830Figure 6: GPU cooler.

In Figure 7, you can see the video card with the heatsink removed. This card uses four iron chokes on its voltage regulator circuit, which are inferior to ferrite models. On the other hand, all capacitors are solid. On the top part of the card you can see the two CrossFireX connectors. Also notice that this video card requires two six-pin auxiliary power connectors.

XFX Radeon HD 5830Figure 7: Video card with heatsink removed.

The reviewed card uses eight 1 Gbit GDDR5 chips, making its 1 GB video memory. The chips used are K4G10325FE-HC04 parts from Samsung, which support up to 1.25 GHz (5 GHz QDR) and since on this video card memory is accessed at 1 GHz (4 GHz QDR), there is a good margin for you to increase the memory clock rate keeping the chips inside the maximum they support.

XFX Radeon HD 5830Figure 8: Memory chip.

In Figure 9, you can see the accessories that come with the reviewed card: two installation guides, a doortag, one driver installation CD, two power adapters, one DVI-to-VGA adapter and one CrossFireX bridge. The video card also comes with a voucher with downloading instructions and serial number for a complete copy of “Aliens vs. Predator” game.

XFX Radeon HD 5830Figure 9: Accessories.

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

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

XFX Radeon HD 5830 main features are:

  • Graphics chip: AMD ATI Radeon HD 5830 running at 800 MHz.
  • Memory: 1 GB GDDR5 memory (256-bit interface) from Samsung (K4G10325FE-HC04), running at 1 GHz (“4 GHz”).
  • Bus type:
    PCI Express x16 2.0.
  • Connectors: Two DVI-D, one HDMI and one DisplayPort.
  • Video Capture (VIVO): No.
  • Cables and adapters that come with this board: One DVI-to-VGA adapter and two power adapters.
  • Number of CDs/DVDs that come with this board: One.
  • Games that come with this board: Alien vs. Predator (voucher with downloading instructions and serial number)
  • Programs that come with this board: None.
  • More information: https://www.xfxforce.com
  • Average price in the US*: USD 260.00

* 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: 9.1.1.1020
  • AMD/ATI video driver version: Catalyst 8.703 (from installation CD)
  • 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 at three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050, 1920×1200, and 2560×1600. First we used the “Performance” profile, and then we used the “Extreme” profile (basically enabling anti-aliasing at 4x, anisotropic filtering at 16x, and putting all detail settings at their maximum or “extreme” values). The results being compared are the “GPU Scores” achieved by each video card.

XFX Radeon 5830

3DMark Vantage – Performance 1680×1050 Difference
Radeon HD 5830 10076  
GeForce GTX 275 8713 15.6%
GeForce GTX 260/216 7181 40.3%

XFX Radeon 5830

3DMark Vantage – Performance 1920×1200 Difference
Radeon HD 5830 8062  
GeForce GTX 275 6816 18.3%
GeForce GTX 260/216 5614 43.6%

XFX Radeon 5830

3DMark Vantage – Performance 2560×1600 Difference
Radeon HD 5830 4750  
GeForce GTX 275 3940 20.6%
GeForce GTX 260/216 3208 48.1%

XFX Radeon 5830

3DMark Vantage – Extreme 1680×1050 Difference
Radeon HD 5830 7270  
GeForce GTX 275 6753 7.7%
GeForce GTX 260/216 5622 29.3%

XFX Radeon 5830

3DMark Vantage – Extreme 1920×1200 Difference
Radeon HD 5830 5849  
GeForce GTX 275 5351 9.3
%
GeForce GTX 260/216 4444 31.6%

XFX Radeon 5830

3DMark Vantage – Extreme 2560×1600 Difference
Radeon HD 5830 3553  
GeForce GTX 275 3096 14.8%
GeForce GTX 260/216 2526 40.7%

[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 program at three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050, 1920×1200, and 2560×1600, 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.

XFX Radeon 5830

Call of Duty 4 – Maximum 1680×1050 Difference
GeForce GTX 260/216 86.6 1.9%
GeForce GTX 275 85.6 0.8%
Radeon HD 5830 84.9  

XFX Radeon 5830

Call of Duty 4 – Maximum 1920×1200 Difference
GeForce GTX 260/216 85.6 9.7% 
GeForce GTX 275 84.7 8.6%
Radeon HD 5830 78.0  

XFX Radeon 5830

Call of Duty 4 – Maximum 2560×1600 Difference
GeForce GTX 275 75.1 43.3%
GeForce GTX 260/216 65.8 25.6%
Radeon HD 5830 52.4  

[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 program at three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050, 1920×1200, and 2560×1600, maximizing image quality (16x anti-aliasing, 16x anisotropic filtering) and using the Airfield demo. The results below are the number of frames per second achieved by each video card.

XFX Radeon 5830

Crysis Warhead – Very High 1680×1050 Difference
Radeon HD 5830 20  
GeForce GTX 275 19 5.3%
GeForce GTX 260/216 18 11.1%

XFX Radeon 5830

Crysis Warhead – Very High 1920×1200 Difference
Radeon HD 5830 20  
GeForce GTX 275 19 5.3%
GeForce GTX 260/216 18 11.1%

XFX Radeon 5830

Crysis Warhead – Very High 2560×1600 Difference
Radeon HD 5830 20  
GeForce GTX 275 19 5.3%
GeForce GTX 260/216 18 11.1%

[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 three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680×1050, 1920×1200, and 2560×1600. 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.

XFX Radeon 5830

Fallout 3 – Ultra 1680×1050 Difference
GeForce GTX 260/216 59.3 0.9%
Radeon HD 5830 58.8  
GeForce GTX 275 58.5 0.5%

XFX Radeon 5830

Fallout 3 – Ultra 1920×1200 Difference
GeForce GTX 260/216 58.7 0.7%
Radeon HD 5830 58.2  
GeForce GTX 275 56.
3
3.5%

XFX Radeon 5830

Fallout 3 – Ultra 2560×1600 Difference
GeForce GTX 260/216 53.5 3.1%
Radeon HD 5830 51.9  
GeForce GTX 275 51.5 0.9%

[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 Vista with a DirectX 10-compatible video card. We used the benchmarking utility that comes with this game, setting image quality to the maximum 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.

XFX Radeon 5830
FarCry 2 – Maximum 1680×1050 Difference
GeForce GTX 260/216 45.7 62.6%
GeForce GTX 275 44.4 57.9%
Radeon HD 5830 28.1  
XFX Radeon 5830
FarCry 2 – Maximum 1920×1200 Difference
GeForce GTX 260/216 39.5 58.7%
GeForce GTX 275 39.2 57.3%
Radeon HD 5830 24.9  
XFX Radeon 5830
FarCry 2 – Maximum 2560×1600 Difference
GeForce GTX 275 27.1 55.5%
GeForce GTX 260/216 26.5 51.7%
Radeon HD 5830 17.5  

[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.

XFX Radeon 5830

Tropics – Maximum 1680×1050 Difference
Radeon HD 5830 46.7  
GeForce GTX 275 40.7 14.7%
GeForce GTX 260/216 35.3 32.3%

XFX Radeon 5830

Tropics – Maximum 1920×1200 Difference
Radeon HD 5830 39.6  
GeForce GTX 275 33.4 18.6%
GeForce GTX 260/216 28.8 37.5%

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

Whether Radeon HD 5830 is faster than GeForce GTX 275 or not depends on the game. From the six games and simulations we ran, Radeon HD 5830 was the winner in three (3DMark Vantage, Crysis Warhead and Unigine Tropics), tied in one (Fallout 3) and lost in two (Call of Duty 4 at 1920×1200 resolution and above – at 1680×1050 both cards achieved the same performance – and Far Cry 2).

Although not a winner by unanimity, Radeon HD 5830 is an excellent choice if you have around USD 270-USD 280 to spend on a video card.