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ATI Radeon HD 5570 review

Another graphics card finds its way out of the ATI labs, but this time with a half-height PCB

Our Verdict

Although we are not too happy about the price, if you are building a media centre PC then you can't go far wrong with this graphics card

For

  • Good performance
  • Half-height board
  • 1GB of RAM

Against

  • Expensive for what it is

Here we go again on the ever-expanding product merry-go-round with AMD. This time it's the ATI Radeon HD 5570 sloting in at twenty five notes short of a ton. Another price point covered then!

If you've checked out the HD 5830 review then you'll already have an idea how we feel about the sheer weight of graphics cards being disgorged by the AMD product machine. If you want the perfect example of just how confusing the situation is then look no further than the Radeon HD 5570.

Essentially it's a slightly lower-clocked HD 5670 that's been put on a diet so it's a half height card. Despite the fact that it's a lesser card it seems most retailers are looking at the HD 5570's diet as an eminently desirable quality hitting as it does the same pricepoint of its weightier sibling.

The HD 5570 does come with a full 1GB of graphics memory, but unfortunately it's limited to the cheaper DDR3, and compared with the stock HD 5670's 512MB GDDR5 it doesn't make a lot of difference. In fact thanks to the lower clockspeed you're still actually losing about 20% of the performance of the HD 5670.

Still, we were able to get almost playable framerates out of the HD 5570 at 1680x1050 on the highest settings with 4x AA. This then is where the card starts to be interesting and almost justifies its seemingly high price; with this li'l GPU you'll be happily playing the latest 3D games, maybe not on the highest settings, but on your tiny media centre.

It's still frustrating that you have to pay a specific price premium just to get your hands on a weaker card because it is slapped on a thinner PCB, and for a little cheaper we'd be more than happy with the wee beastie.

So it's only the pricing that lets AMD's HD 5570 down; a half-height card with a heart then...

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