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AMD ATI Radeon HD 5830 - AMD ATI Radeon HD 5830

By Edward Chester



Our Score:


Something else that might change from card to card is the display configuration, though we suspect most will stick with the standard layout. When ATI introduced the first 5xx0 series card, the HD 5870, it also debuted its new Eyefinitiy technology, which let's you run up to three monitors simultaneously (and even six on some special cards). To accompany this they also introduced a standard choice of four display connections; two DVI, one HDMI, and a DisplayPort. Any combination of the DisplayPort and two of the other connections lets you run up to three 1,920 x 1,200 pixel resolution monitors for surround 3D gaming. All four connections also allow output of digital audio.

To boost the performance of this card, ATI has specified the chip should run at 800MHz or over, which is actually higher than the 5850. The result is it has quite high power consumption figures with stated idle power consumption of 25W and a maximum Thermal Design Power (TDP) of 175W. This compares to respective figures of 27W and 151W for the HD 5850 and 18W and 108W for the HD 5770. It also means the card requires two auxiliary PCI-E power connectors to keep it supplied with enough juice. However, these power figures didn't quite hold up in our testing. While the HD 5830 certainly consumed quite a bit more power than the HD 5770, it remained comfortably below the HD 5850.

Looking then at game performance, except for Call Of Duty 4, the HD 5830 performs pretty much as we'd expect – it lies almost exactly half way between the HD 5770 and HD 5850, with a slight leaning towards the former. However, in Call Of Duty 4, it really seems to struggle and at some settings only just pips the HD 5770. Perhaps of more concern is that the HD 5830 consistently falls behind the HD 4890, which was available for around the same price when it came out almost exactly a year ago. So, if you invested in that card, all you're getting for spending around the same money again is support for DirectX 11 games and lower power consumption, and frankly neither of these are big enough draws to make it worthwhile.

This doesn't make the HD 5830 a bad card. If you're looking for an upgrade from an even older card or want to make the step up from an entry-level £100 card to something with a bit more grunt then it's definitely worth looking at. The key thing to note is that prices and specs will vary. In particular, looking around etailers now, there only seem to be three cards on offer; one each from Sapphire, Powercolor, and XFX. The Sapphire and Powercolor cards seem to use the long HD 5870 board with a different cooler and they're both well over £200 and as such are probably worth skipping. The XFX card, however, uses a small board and cost £189.99. At this price, it's definitely worth considering.


ATI's latest addition to its graphics card lineup doesn't set any new records but does strike a good balance between price and performance, and of course brings support for the latest DirectX 11 games and triple monitor setups. Just make sure to check carefully which card you're actually getting, as different board partners will have different configurations.


March 24, 2010, 6:39 pm

Why is value so high? it's a £200 card with performance mid-way between the £125 5770 and the £220 5850, leaning towards the cheaper one slightly. At £160-170 it'd be a good buy, at the current prices you may as well spend the extra 10% and get the 25% faster 5850.


March 24, 2010, 7:00 pm

I'd note that quite a few retailers do 5850s for £200 when they get them in. I got a Powercolour 5850 for £195 just last week. Obviously the majority are more but it is possible, so worth looking around as its a good step up from the 5830


March 24, 2010, 7:04 pm

The 5830 has absolutely the worst price/performance ratio of the 5K series. Can't believe that TR has given it those scores. Almost all reviewing websites unanimously agree that the 5830 is too expensive at its current price point and should be priced at £155-£165 at the very max. Add to the fact that the 5850 makes this one look completely reduntant (got my 5830 from ebuyer for £199)! Some one needs to re-evaluate the value scores (seems like TR gets this aspect wrong most of the time)


March 24, 2010, 8:29 pm

Nobody needs a graphics card anyway, what with all developers intentionally f**king up the PC market and going to develop for the noobPhone. I am a hardcore PC gamer, and the last game that came out for PC worth talking about (non-multiplatform) was Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance way back when.


March 24, 2010, 9:08 pm

@Kaiser202, absolutely. That and the galactically stupid DRM systems now being deployed (e.g. Ubisofts permanent Internet connection requirements), I gave up on PC gaming a while ago - even though my PC is more than capable of running pretty any game. Got fed up with all the crap they install on your PC. It was enough to drive you to piracy! ;-)


March 29, 2010, 12:30 pm

Yep pay a little bit more and get the 5850,some of tr scoring over the past months has been very strange especially value

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