It goes without saying how AMD has kept us busy for the past few months, showing us new generation GPUs targeting all possible price points. From the performance-oriented HD 5850/5870 to the mainstream HD 5770 to the extreme HD 5970 with dual GPU power supply.
The budget models had to wait a little longer. Just last week we took a look at AMD's latest GPU listing and the cheapest Radeon HD 5000 series graphics card to date. The Radeon HD 5450 is already available for $ 45-60 and is set to replace the HD 4350, which currently retails for just $ 35. As we quickly discovered, you shouldn't expect to be playing graphically intense games with a card at this price point. The only additional benefit this card has over a modern IGP is the ability to cost-effectively run a triple-monitor setup using AMD's Eyefinity, and for HTPC users, HDMI-bit streaming support built into each GPU HD 5000 series.
Back in January, the company released the budget-conscious Radeon HD 5670. That $ 100 card put the similarly priced GeForce GT 240 away in most tests, but the speed margins were disappointingly close, not to mention seriously outperforming the older one and the slightly more expensive GeForce 9800 GT and Radeon HD 4770.
Needless to say, AMD has barely shocked us with its Radeon HD 5000 offerings under $ 100. In a perfect world, we always want a performance increase of at least 20% from generation to generation across the board, just as the Radeon HD 5870 and 5850 graphics cards have managed to deliver at the upper end of the scale. However, with no major competition from Nvidia, we feel that the mid-to-budget markets are suffering to some extent.
Today AMD introduces another new member to the Radeon HD 5000 family – the eighth installment in the series. The ATI Radeon HD 5570 will be somewhere between the aforementioned Radeon HD 5450 and 5670 in terms of price and performance, which means it should deliver a similar level of performance as the Radeon HD 4670 for the same starting price of ~ $ 79.
The Radeon HD 5570 is a more powerful GPU than the HD 5450 but retains some of the HTPC-friendly features that made the latter an attractive buy. Cards that use this chip should be kept low-profile and relatively low in the power usage department, though a fan is the standard option to keep the GPU cool.
For the same reason, in response to strong demand from you, our readers, we have added a number of new benchmarks to this review to test cards at this price level for game titles with a resolution of 720p (1280 x 720). While we don't expect this card to revolutionize the budget GPU market, it should be interesting to see how AMD rounds off its attack on this segment. Without further ado, let's take a closer look at the latest budget GPU offering.