MSI 5830 Twin Frozr II 1GB
ATI was looking to close the gap between the 5770 and 5850 in their lineup with the release of the 5830, and they have successfully accomplished that. The Radeon 4890 previously occupied this performance level and corresponding price point, and the 5830 has shown it is a rather competent successor, bringing DX11 and 40nm manufacturing process to the table. These are worthy improvements, but the 5830 doesn’t quite come as close to the 4890 in terms of gaming horsepower that we had hoped, going toe-to-toe in some games but falling behind in others.
Essentially what is a neutered 5870, the 5830 shows some weakness in performance when antialiasing is cranked up. Further, there is the fact that this is physically a very long and heavy card that cannot match the performance of the smaller 5850. The MSI 5830 Twin Frozr II, however, manages to overcome most of these detriments, sporting a gorgeous heatsink that keeps temperatures under control. More important is the fact that the Frozr II is built like a tank and able to withstand some serious overclocking, almost 23% on the core and 33% on the memory. We managed a few Top 3 and Top 5 world finishes in the 5830 class with this MSI card, which is awfully impressive. With a healthy overclock, the Frozr II can match a Radeon 5850 in terms of performance, and for about $40 cheaper.
And speaking of price, this is the only real drawback here. The MSI 5830 Twin Frozr II 1GB costs about $270 USD, considerably more than the Radeon 5770, but quite a bit less than the 5850, so it does fill the gap as intended. However, when the 5830 Frozr II is run at stock speeds, it is too expensive for what you get in return. But this card is built for speed though, so when it’s overclocked then the value is actually very good. There are competing 5830 cards for about $30 cheaper but they won’t overclock like this MSI card. So the bottom line here is that while the Radeon 5830 isn’t a very good value, the MSI Twin Frozr II is, but only if you intend on pushing it to reach much higher performance. It is a great option if you’re on a tighter budget and are willing to take advantage of the massive headroom it offers since it runs very fast when overclocked.
ATI has indeed filled the gap in their lineup with the Radeon 5830. For the most part, the ATI card isn’t terribly impressive, but MSI has managed to counter that with the 5830 Twin Frozr II. Built like a tank, this card has some outstanding headroom available, and when overclocked, it can match the 5850 for considerably less money.
MSI 5830 Twin Frozr II 1GB
Our thanks go to MSI for providing the 5830 Twin Frozr II for this review.