ATI Radeon HD 5750
A lacklustre graphics card as a result of cutting back too far on the core technology
Price £97 Manufacturer Sapphire Technology GPU Clock 700MHz Unified Shaders 720 Memory 1GB GDDR5 1,200MHz Memory bus 128-bit Requires 450W PSU
The raw specification of this core is unexciting – contending as it does with a reduced unified shader count of 720 units, a 700MHz core clock and the same 128-bit memory interface of its sibling, the 5770.
From this specification alone you can guess that this isn't a card destined to outperform all comers but, even so, we were surprised at how poorly it faired when compared to the 512MB Radeon HD 4850 in pretty much every test.
You can get those 4850 cards for under £80 – that's up to £30 cheaper than this new card – and yet it's the older card that produces better performance.
Brave new world
To be fair to AMD, the Radeon 4850 is an incredible card to try and beat, but even so it should be able to match it better than it has managed here. So who should upgrade to this brave new world of graphics?
If you've bought a graphics card in the last 12 months, then the chances are you're not going to get that much out of the 57xx series.
The 5850 is a lot more tempting an option – boasting a serious performance boost for your current run of games, while at the same time upgrading your API support to DirectX 11. It will even drive larger screens, though, if you do have a 30-incher, we'd recommend going for the big boy of the family, the 5870.
The 5850 is a quality offering that makes the power of the 5870 available to more modest budgets.
Admittedly it does suffer quite a performance hit in doing so, but if you're looking for a DX11 card, this is where the sensible money is.
Things are a little trickier if you've haven't upgraded for a while. This is because, as we saw recently in the budget graphics roundup, there's an incredible amount of power to be had at the moment for not a lot of the folding stuff.
It's early days for the 5750 and 5770, and prices are currently inflated due to the lack of competition, so things should calm down a little over time.
Even so, exactly the same is true of the outgoing generation of cards, and while at some point in the foreseeable future these will start to disappear from production lines, if you're looking for a bargain, the graphics card you're looking for probably starts with a 4, not a 5. See benchmarks on the next page.