Feeds
85%
HIS 5850

AMD ATI Radeon HD 5870 and 5850 DirectX 11 GPUs

Next-generation gaming

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Review Before we dive into our review of the HIS Digital HD 5850 and Sapphire HD 5870 graphics cards, let’s take a quick look at the technology behind the AMD’s new family of graphics chips.

Sapphire Radeon HD 5870

Sapphire's Radeon HD 5870: a 50 per cent gaming performance boost...

These DirectX 11 graphics cores use the same 40nm fabrication process that we saw in the ATI Radeon HD 4770 and this has allowed AMD to increase the transistor count by a huge margin. The 55nm HD 4870 packed 956m transistors into a die size of 263mm² while the new 40nm HD 5870 has 2.15bn transistors - 2.25 times more - in a die area of 334mm², 27 per cent bigger than the previous one.

Most of those extra transistors have been used to double the number of stream processors, or unified shaders, and the remainder support the DirectX 11 features that will be introduced with Windows 7.

The HD 4850 and the HD 4870 each have 800 shaders, but we step up to 1440 shaders for HD 5850 and an enormous shader count of 1600 for the HD 5870. Like the HD 4890, the 5870 has an 850MHz core speed and a 256-bit memory controller. The 1GB of GDDR 5 memory it connects to has a clock speed of 1200MHz (4800MHz effective).

The short version is that HD 5000 is HD 4000 with double the number of shaders, more than double the transistors and the addition of DirectX 11. That may sound like a recipe for a volcano of a graphics chip but the 40nm die shrink has done the trick. The fully loaded power draw of the HD 5870 card is 188W, a tad lower than the HD 4890’s 190W.

HIS Digital HD 5850

HIS' 5850: ...but with an incredibly low idle power consumption

But the amazing thing is that the idle power draw of the HD 5870 has been reduced to a mere 27W. AMD is emphasising that this is one third of the 90W idle power draw of an HD 4870, but we feel it's more appropriate to focus on the 60W draw of the HD 4890. No matter how you look at it, the 27W power draw of the HD 5850 and 5870 is incredibly low.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.