Feeds
65%
Sapphire Radeon HD 5970

AMD ATI Radeon HD 5970 two-GPU graphics card

Serious performance, serious price

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The reason for this tiny overclocking headroom is that AMD has set the core voltage to 1.105V and the memory voltage to 1.1V. For this reason, AMD issued copies of its ATI OverVolt tool to favoured reviewers but not us, or punters. We are told this software allows you to raise the voltages to 1.1625V and 1.15V in a single step as on On/Off switch.

Sapphire Radeon HD 5970

Sapphire's Redline utility lets you up the GPUs' voltages

We installed Redline tool which allows you to increase the voltages in steps. We immediately hit a snag when the utility refused to run as, apparently, it was developed on Windows Vista and doesn’t much like Windows 7. We created a short cut to the utility and set it to run in compatibility mode with Windows XP and, lo, all was well.

We ramped up the voltages to the max and were able to overclock to 890MHz/4600MHz which means we effectively restored the HD 5870 clock speeds. We measured an increase in power draw at the mains plug from 350W to 380W. That’s a modest amount of extra power but you have to wonder just how much more load the next generation of DirectX 11 games will place on this type of hardware.

Put it this way, we strongly suspect that AMD has chosen the voltage settings and clock speeds with very good reason. Overclockers, proceed with caution.

If you prefer to throw caution to the wind you might like to consider the Asus HD 5970 Voltage Tweak which allows a core voltage of 1.35V and has a claimed overclocking potential of 950MHz core and 5012MHz memory. And presumably you can also use it to grill sausages.

Verdict

Spending more than £500 on a graphics card is a serious decision. When you consider that we thought the HD 5870 was over the top, it will come as no surprise that we classify the HD 5970 as a frivolous toy. But, darn it, what a toy. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

65%
Sapphire Radeon HD 5970

AMD ATI Radeon HD 5970 two-GPU graphics card

Well over the top, but it's the fastest AMD graphics card money can buy.
Price: £520 (HIS) £530 (Sapphire) RRP

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.