ATi Radeon 5770 Performance Test


The video cards used in this article were boxed retail editions purchased with my own money. By including a given video card in this review, I’m not necessarily implying it’s either price and/or performance competitive with other cards in the review.


Today I’ll be testing the performance of ATi’s Radeon 5770. This article is part one in the series and future installments will analyze bottlenecking and image quality.

ATi is positioning the 5770 as an upgrade for the 4850/4770, so the comparison to a 4850 will be of particular interest. Also given the retail price of a GTX260+ is only about $20 USD more than a 5770, a direct performance comparison between the two will also be useful. I’ve also included a GTX285 as a matter of interest because it signifies nVidia’s current single GPU flagship, and because it’s my primary gaming card.

But first, here’s a brief introduction about the card. The 5770 chip is codenamed Juniper (unofficially RV870) and is based on ATi’s second generation 40 nm technology. It adds notable features such as DirectX 11, Eyefinity (multi-display gaming), full-scene super-sampling, and angle invariant anisotropic filtering. In terms of processing power and memory bandwidth, a 5770 is basically a 5870 (Cypress) chopped in half.

Here are the theoretical specs of the four cards I’ll be testing today:


As you can see, the two nVidia boards have a substantial advantage with respect to pixel and texel fillrate, along with memory bandwidth. This is courtesy of more ROPs, TMUs and a wider memory bus. In particular, the GTX285 has over twice the bandwidth of the 5770.

The Radeon cards have the advantage in shader processing, courtesy of their Vec5 shader design. Notice that the 5770 is able to get away with only a 128 bit memory path, courtesy of GDDR5. Also at just 166 mm2, the 5770’s die size is positively tiny compared to the other cards.

Of course theory doesn’t always translate into reality, which is why we run gaming benchmarks. The benchmarks have two columns labeled % 4850 and % 260+. They represent the performance gain (or loss) of a 5770 compared to the listed card in that column. If the column is highlighted red then the 5770 is faster relative to that specific card by that percentage. If it’s yellow or orange it means the 5770 is slower than the listed card (GTX260+ or 4850) by that negative percentage amount.

Since TrAA isn’t comparable to AAA due to the vendors using different techniques, all benchmarks are tested with it off. For more information about this, please see my image quality comparison between the two vendors.


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17 Responses

  1. Driftingnfsc3 says:

    When i had a 5870, I would always leave the fan speed at 45% and i never touched it after that. temperature would never go above sixty degrees celscius despite being overclocked beyond 1 ghz, i dont know if the 5770 is any different. apparently, my other friend who got an xfx 5870 (i had sapphire) was getting temperatures of 70 degrees on load with 100% fan, no over clock.

    In my opinion, every heatsink is diffent in a way, it might be the thermal paste.

    still, its a nice review to have a whole variety of games. this makes choosing a graphics card much easier for people.

  2. BFG10K says:

    Yes, I like testing a lot of different games (especially older titles) using a mixture of different settings. This gives a more accurate representation of how the cards behave in gaming.

  3. eriqQ says:

    This review was very helpful and informative, thank you very much.

  4. Daniel says:

    Very helpful review, thank you very much. I was looking to change my old GTS 250 (512MB) and I think the HD 5770 (probably a Sapphire Vapor-X edition) would still be a little good upgrade with DX11 support and Eyefinity support (I actually need a 8400GS that I use for PhysX to plug in a 3rd monitor). Moreover, my board doesn’t support SLI but does support Crossfire (P45 chipset).

  5. Gernads and Strife says:

    Outliers are the problem here, when comparing the HD 5770 and the GTX 260. There are some massive outliers i can see straight off like Ut 2004 and Fear 2 for the HD 5770. I thought both of those games were terrible, so i wont be playing them. The would drag the average down to a more (for me) comparable level.

  6. BFG10K says:

    Gernads and Strife, that’s exactly why I like testing a lot of games. The more games that are tested, the more readers can pick and choose based on what titles they’re interested in.

    Also UT2004 doesn’t influence the ranking against nVidia because that game was only tested against a 4850 using 24xAA.

  7. Squall says:

    Your results are skewed and there is a large amount of abnormality for your Older OpenGL game results.

    A GTX 275 is capable of running Quake 2 at at 1920×1200 80FPS WITH 8xSQ Hybrid AA enabled.

    The wolfenstien scores are also questionably, as are doom and prey.

    I expect the configuration was incorrect and you were infact benching the games in 16bpp, which will infact be much slower on new hardware, then if you were to use 32bpp.

  8. BFG10K says:


    I’m not running Quake 2, I’m running a source port. There’s a big chunk of text pointing that out, right above the results.

    As for the rest of the OpenGL benchmarks, there’s nothing questionable about them. ATi’s exceptional performance with the Doom 3 engine is a known fact, dating back to the X1950 XTX days. Also known is nVidia’s large performance hit with 8xAA on G80 parts (and later) in said engine.

  9. michael says:

    one of the best reviews i have seen for this card but the results would vary. it depends on what model of card you get eg. evga 260 or msi twin frozer 260 (big difference) the overclocked vapour x version of the card over clocks alot better than the ati 5770 and mine runs at 28 idle and 46- 58 full load and i got for $15 less only games i have come along that i cant max at playable frame rates are crysis and gta iv but awsome review anyways. thanks also 2 2 vapour x are running the same as a stock gtx295 so i recomend it.

  10. Sam says:

    Please Help me i am not using more than one monitor so which is BEST for GAMEs ? which is more powerful
    4890 has 256 bit but 5770 has 128 so why 5770 should be a better VGA ?

  11. nic says:


    Just read the comments above and you will see what card is best. They are situational. It depends on what you are using your Video Card for primarily. If you want more indepth information email me at

    High Performance PC Enthusiast
    Tehnology Nutcase

  12. Compuse says:

    Thnx, those numbers were very helpful !!

  13. gardenia says:

    “Also given the retail price of a GTX260+ is only about $20 USD more than a 5770.”

    Closer to $50 nowadays. Just bought a Sapphire 5770 1GB for $155. I’d say the 260 would retail at $205 atm.

  14. BFG10K says:

    The article is a year old. Things change. :)

  15. Just read the comments above and you will see what card is best. They are situational. It depends on what you are using your Video Card for primarily. If you want more indepth information email me at

    High Performance PC Enthusiast
    Tehnology Nutcase

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