It's a dead heat between the GTS 450 and the HD 5770. Just don't expect high resolutions
Good CrossFire performance
Not so hot at high res
Soon to be replaced
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AMD's pokey little mid ranger, the HD 5770, has been around for some time now. AMD is in the process of refreshing its range with the new 6-series cards, so we have to ask: is there still a place in the world for this little fellow?
The answer is a resounding yes. At £100, the 5770 offers pretty decent value for money. And while this example from XFX trades HDMI for DisplayPort and a single DVI-D connection to keep the costs down, it's also a more elegant solution than most 5770s due to its single-slot nature and compact heatsink.
The 5770 always did run cool and quiet – so who needs a chunky lump of copper on there taking up space and weight?
When a card is this cheap, the upgrade path that Crossfire represents is an option too. Priced to compete with Nvidia's GTS 450, can it match it in the performance stakes?
On a smaller scale to AMD's beefier cards, the 5770 demonstrates the company's ability to build GPUs which tail off less, performance-wise, than Nvidia's, when it comes to rising resolutions in DX11. Not that you'd want to crank your games past 1,680 x 1,050 with the HD 5770.
But broadly speaking, it trades win-some-lose-some blows with Nvidia's GTS 450, depending on the game in question. If you have £100 in your pocket and you're desperate for a competent midrange card, it comes down to this choice: the GTS 450 or the HD 5770.
There's really very little to choose between them, as they take turns outperforming each other, depending upon which game you run. So which way do you turn? There's only one answer, and it's really another question: what else does the card do?
The HD 5770 can utilise AMD's EyeFinity multi-screen technology. Is that any use to you? Do you have three panels on your desk? Let's be honest, most people don't.
Then there's the DisplayPort; handy for HD TVs. If you're combining media consumption with gaming potential, the HD 5770 isn't a bad choice. All that said, most people, we suspect, would choose on brand loyalty.
If you're a fan of their cards, with that elegant architecture, cooler temperatures and quieter operation, it'd be hard to say no to the HD 5770.
However, AMD is right in the middle of a range-refresh with its 6-series cards, and you can bet your boots that there'll be a direct replacement for the HD 5770 along soon enough.
Whether that's worth waiting for is anybody's guess, but in the meantime, the 5770 does the business if you don't give it too much real-estate to tool around in.
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