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Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5750 1GB Review

Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5750 Review

Manufacturer: Sapphire
UK Price (as reviewed): £110.99 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $144.99(ex. Tax)

Core Clock: 700MHz
Memory Clock: 1.15GHz (4.6GHz effective)
Memory: 1GB GDDR5
Warranty: Two years

Major hardware releases can be a little befuddling for a tech journalist, as there’s a whole load of new numbers to learn. While this is very much par for the course, ATI’s new Radeon HD 5000-series of cards are a particular headache for me. There are just too many fives, sevens and eights. The last of ATI’s launches we're looking at is the low end Radeon HD 5750, a cut-down version of the HD 5770, which itself is a cut-down version of the Radeon HD 5870 and HD 5850. See what I mean?

Like the HD 5770, the HD 5750 is based on ATI’s Juniper GPU, comprising effectively half of the Cypress GPU of the HD 5800 cards. The HD 5750 flavour of Juniper has nine cores, meaning there are 720 stream processors and is clocked at 700MHz, with the faster HD 5770 equipped with ten cores (800 stream processors) and clocked twenty percent higher at 850MHz.

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HD 5750 cards are available in either 512MB or 1GB flavours, but this Sapphire card has 1GB of GDDR5 clocked with a stock rated frequency of 1.15GHz (4.6GHz). Like the HD 5770, the HD 5750 has a 128-bit memory interface, meaning that this card has 73.6GB/sec of memory bandwidth.

Fabricated on TSMC’s new 40nm technology, the chip uses less power and generates less heat than previous GPUs. ATI has eschewed the Batmobile cooler of the rest of the HD 5000-series for the HD 5750 in favour of a simple aluminium heatsink and fan. However, Sapphire has ditched the stock ATI cooler in favour of its own aluminium heatsink-plus-fan cooler. It looks a bit better than ATI’s, as the fan and heatsink are both larger, and the fan blows directly down on to the heatsink, rather than being embedded in it. The cooler looks neat, but throws hot air in all directions and not out of the rear of your case as the coolers of the other HD 5000-series cards do.

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The card has two DVI outputs, plus HDMI and DisplayPort; as with the HD 5800 cards, you can use three of these outputs concurrently. In the box you’ll find the usual gubbins such as a driver disc, a Molex-to-PCI-E power adaptor (for the single 6-pin PCI-E power input) and a DVI-to-D-Sub adaptor. More exciting is the pre-order Steam key for Colin McRae Dirt 2 which will be one of the first DirectX 11 games when it hits shelves in December, so it could potentially show off some of the features in Microsoft’s new graphics API. However, the game will have to be relatively undemanding if the entry-level HD 5750 is to have a chance of running it in its full DX11 splendour.

Warranty

The Sapphire Radeon HD 5750 1GB comes complete with a two-year warranty that includes cover for parts and labour. During the first year of the product’s life, your point of contact should be the retailer. However, if you’re having problems getting hold of the retailer (or the retailer goes out of business), you should contact Sapphire’s support team directly. During the second year of the warranty period, you should talk directly with Sapphire. This is pretty much in line with what other ATI board partners offer, and while the two year warranty is more than you’re legally entitled too, it isn’t as comprehensive or as long lasting as what’s available from some of Nvidia’s board partners.