XFX Radeon HD 5830 Video Card Review
By Gabriel Torres on April 2, 2010


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Silver Award

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.

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 5830
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Figure 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 5830
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Figure 2: Video connectors.

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

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

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

XFX Radeon HD 5830 (Contíd)

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 5830
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Figure 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 5830
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Figure 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 5830
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Figure 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 5830
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Figure 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 5830
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Figure 9: Accessories.

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

Main Specifications

XFX Radeon HD 5830 main features are:

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

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: 2560x1600 @ 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.

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, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600. 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

1680x1050

Difference

Radeon HD 5830

10076

 

GeForce GTX 275

8713

15.6%

GeForce GTX 260/216

7181

40.3%

XFX Radeon 5830

3DMark Vantage - Performance

1920x1200

Difference

Radeon HD 5830

8062

 

GeForce GTX 275

6816

18.3%

GeForce GTX 260/216

5614

43.6%

XFX Radeon 5830

3DMark Vantage - Performance

2560x1600

Difference

Radeon HD 5830

4750

 

GeForce GTX 275

3940

20.6%

GeForce GTX 260/216

3208

48.1%

XFX Radeon 5830

3DMark Vantage - Extreme

1680x1050

Difference

Radeon HD 5830

7270

 

GeForce GTX 275

6753

7.7%

GeForce GTX 260/216

5622

29.3%

XFX Radeon 5830

3DMark Vantage - Extreme

1920x1200

Difference

Radeon HD 5830

5849

 

GeForce GTX 275

5351

9.3%

GeForce GTX 260/216

4444

31.6%

XFX Radeon 5830

3DMark Vantage - Extreme

2560x1600

Difference

Radeon HD 5830

3553

 

GeForce GTX 275

3096

14.8%

GeForce GTX 260/216

2526

40.7%

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, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600, 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

1680x1050

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

1920x1200

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

2560x1600

Difference

GeForce GTX 275

75.1

43.3%

GeForce GTX 260/216

65.8

25.6%

Radeon HD 5830

52.4

 

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, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600, 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 High1680x1050Difference
Radeon HD 583020 
GeForce GTX 275195.3%
GeForce GTX 260/2161811.1%

XFX Radeon 5830

Crysis Warhead - Very High1920x1200Difference
Radeon HD 583020 
GeForce GTX 275195.3%
GeForce GTX 260/2161811.1%

XFX Radeon 5830

Crysis Warhead - Very High2560x1600Difference
Radeon HD 583020 
GeForce GTX 275195.3%
GeForce GTX 260/2161811.1%

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, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600. 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

1680x1050

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

1920x1200

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

2560x1600

Difference

GeForce GTX 260/216

53.5

3.1%

Radeon HD 5830

51.9

 

GeForce GTX 275

51.5

0.9%

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

1680x1050

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

1920x1200

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

2560x1600

Difference

GeForce GTX 275

27.1

55.5%

GeForce GTX 260/216

26.5

51.7%

Radeon HD 5830

17.5

 

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

1680x1050

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

1920x1200

Difference

Radeon HD 5830

39.6

 

GeForce GTX 275

33.4

18.6%

GeForce GTX 260/216

28.8

37.5%

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 1920x1200 resolution and above – at 1680x1050 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.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/XFX-Radeon-HD-5830-Video-Card-Review/962


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