AMD ATI Radeon HD 5970 graphics card
AMD releases its fastest graphics card yet
- Fantastic performance, mini DisplayPort output, can support multiple monitors easily
- Power hungry, can get loud and hot under duress, won’t fit in small cases
AMD’s ATI Radeon HD 5970 graphics card delivers high-end performance for a high-end price. If you’re looking to flaunt the latest PC component or just want to future-proof your new PC, this is the way to do it.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
AMD’s ATI Radeon HD 5970 graphics card combines two Cypress GPUs in one large — and powerful — package. Though hot and power-hungry, the graphics card can easily surpass the competition in most circumstances, making it a must-have for any hardcore gamer.
AMD’s previous Cypress GPU graphics card, the ATI Radeon HD 5870, definitely impressed us. However, looking at what two of these processors are capable of instils us with a sense of awe. The ATI Radeon HD 5970 uses 4.3 billion 40nm transistors and for a total processing power of 4.64 teraflops. The two cores run at a standard clock speed of 725MHz each, and are accompanied by 2GB of GDDR5 memory running at 1000MHz — 4 gigabits per second of bandwidth.
All of this means the graphics card isn't frugal when it comes to power consumption. While it consumes a reasonable 42 Watts when idle, the ATI Radeon HD 5970 reaches a whopping 294W at maximum power; that’s 114W more than the single-GPU ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card. The card is compatible with CrossFire multi-card configurations, though you’ll need a minimum 1000W power supply to even consider running more than one card in the same PC.
The AMD ATI Radeon HD 5970 measures 317mm from end to end, making it a stretch for most ATX cases; it wouldn’t even fit into an Antec Skeleton enclosure. Like the ATI Radeon HD 5870, this graphics card has an all-encasing shroud with just one fan to cool both GPUs. It manages to keep things cool at 47 degrees provided the processors are idle. Put the card under pressure, though, and temperatures shoot to 77 degrees, even in open-air setups.
The video card is compatible with DirectX 11, which is slowly gaining traction with the release of games like DiRT 2. The ATI Radeon HD 5970 is also compatible with AMD’s ATI Eyefinity technology, which scales performance across multiple monitors. Technically, the technology can support up to six monitors per GPU, or 12 displays for the ATI Radeon HD 5970. However, most initial versions of the graphics card will have two DVI ports and a mini DisplayPort, so it will only output to three monitors simultaneously without extra adapters.
You’ll be able to use the card’s grunt for more than just games, thanks to AMD’s ATI Stream technology. Like NVIDIA’s CUDA architecture, ATI Stream offloads processing power from the PC’s CPU to the graphics card, which can potentially speed things up. The technology is still quite young, but can be handy in applications that utilise OpenCL or DirectCompute, as well specifically optimised software like Cyberlink’s PowerDirector 8.
|Model||Chipset||Memory||3DMark 06||3DMark Vantage||Crysis (fps)
||Far Cry 2 (fps)
||Lost Planet (fps)
||Call of Juarez (fps)
||Half Life 2:
Episode Two (fps)
|AMD ATI Radeon HD 5970||ATI Radeon HD 5970||2GB||9968||P13988||41.37||92.70||83||96.8||138.71|
|AMD ATI Radeon HD 5870||ATI Radeon HD 5870||1GB||N/A||P12000||34.5||57.1||N/A||72.3||130.5|
|Manli GTX295||NVIDIA GTX295||1GB||9688||P16245||38.9||74.25||N/A||74.3||129.87|
|ASUS ENGTX285||NVIDIA GTX285||1GB||9708||P13532||35.3||60.17||50.1||52.4||131.32|
|Manli Radeon HD 4890||ATI Radeon HD 4890||1GB||9896||P9379||34.72||49.38||46||57.4||140.11|
|ASUS EAH4870X2||ATI Radeon HD 4870X2||2GB||10360||P10486||32.64||N/A||27.8||66.8||137.27|
Though the AMD ATI Radeon HD 5970 graphics card can’t claim the ultimate performance crown in Futuremark’s synthetic benchmarks, it’s undeniably faster when it comes to real-world gaming. Not only is Crysis playable at high resolutions (for once), but other DirectX 10 games like Far Cry 2, Lost Planet and Call of Juarez are miles ahead of the competition.
Given that these results were delivered at stock speeds, the graphics card’s potential when overclocked is certainly astounding. AMD even encourages aftermarket overclocking by bundling the ATI Overvolt utility, which allows you to directly change GPU and memory voltages without limits. For the inexperienced, the driver’s ATI Overdrive utility has an auto-tune option to overclock your graphics card with fewer risks. In either case, however, AMD’s warranty won’t replace your card if it accidentally catches on fire.
AMD alleges that the ATI Radeon HD 5970 is the “fastest graphics card in the world” and we’re inclined to agree. If spending $850-$1000 on a single PC component seems reasonable, the ATI Radeon HD 5970 is definitely the highest performing choice.
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Kogan Agora 4G Pro review: the final word on Kogan's best smartphone
- 2 Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet (LTE) review: The tablet of choice for anyone on Android
- 3 Bose SoundLink Mini II Bluetooth speaker review
- 4 Apple MacBook Air 2015 review: Only better with time
- 5 Lenovo ThinkPad T550 laptop
Deals on PC World
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Angry Birds 2 is the 'sequel' you've been waiting for
- Rising Thunder is a PC-exclusive robot brawler built by Street Fighter talent
- Nintendo's President Iwata's death comes as firm tries to move to mobile
- Batman: Arkham Knight (PC) review: Holy squandered potential, Batman
- Batman: Arkham Knight: How bad are the issues? Pretty bad.
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCLead Generator - Software SolutionsNSW
- FTDesktop Engineering ManagerNSW
- CCMarketing Coordinator - World's largest search engine!NSW
- FTDevOps Consultant - Microsoft Experience - Digital ConsultancyVIC
- FTField EngineerNSW
- FTTechnical Sales Support Representative - The Worlds largest Search Engine!NSW
- CCAccount Strategist | Sales Executive | Global Search EngineNSW
- FTBusiness Development Manager & Account ManagerVIC
- FTSenior Network EngineerNSW