ASUS Radeon EAH5870 Voltage Tweak Edition
Radeon 5800 Architecture
When AMD made the move from titanic clashes with Nvidia for framerate supremacy and instead towards better value for consumers’ money, it was a bold but ultimately smart move. It turns out that the market does not support the foolish pursuit of minimal gains for high costs, ones that users will not support from their hard-earned cash. AMD conceded the uber framerates at the top end, instead focusing on top performance for lower prices, and it paid off handsomely with their 4800 series cards at the time.
Continuing that trend, AMD has released their 5800 series cards on 40nm processing, bringing evolutionary development and progress to the masses. But what is most interesting, however, is that AMD has achieved the rare trifecta: top performance, latest technological features, and value for the price. That, my friends, is a very compelling situation for consumers, regardless of how you slice it, no matter if you’re an Nvidia or ATI disciple. We’re bang-for-the-buck fanboys, and getting top performance for bottom dollar makes us drool.
In terms of technological advancements, the 5700 and 5800 series cards bring DirectX 11 support to the table, along with a substantial increase in raw horsepower across the board. This is, in part, accomplished by GDDR5 memory continued from the previous generation, as well as shaders now coupled in pairs of shader compartments, so to speak, with 800 shaders each (1600 resulting). The diagram below illustrates (admittedly difficult to see the detail) the RV870 Cypress chip essentially doubling the power of the previous RV770 generation chip,
As you can see from the spec chart below, the 5870 has an astounding 2.15 billion transistors on a small die covering an area of only 334mm², larger than the previous generation but nowhere near the mammoth proportions of Nvidia chips. Lower power consumption and lower heat output is the result for the 5870, two very important criteria, other than framerates, when deciding what card to purchase for your system.
The ASUS Radeon EAH5870 operates at a reference core of 850 MHz and memory of 1200 MHz, delivering an impressive 153.6 GB/sec of memory bandwidth. The 5870 is currently considered to be the "flagship" high-end DX11 card by AMD, with the 5850, 5770, and 5750 each sitting respectively lower on the performance totem pole. The 5870’s closest competitor in Nvidia’s single-GPU arsenal is the GTX 285, but in terms of absolute performance the closest competition might actually be considered the GTX 295, a dual-GPU card; that’s how powerful the Radeon 5870 is.
Below is a GPU-Z image of the ASUS Radeon Radeon EAH5870 Voltage Tweak Edition:
Let’s take a look at some of the features that come with the EAH5870.