AMD has been spitting out new graphics cards like crazy since launching the Radeon HD 5000 series five months ago, a record eight cards to be precise. With today's version, almost two new graphics cards are created every month. While not all of them left us tingly feeling, the series overall is very impressive and has allowed them to cover almost every price point in the discrete graphics market.
The Radeon HD 5450 currently starts at around $ 50, followed by the 5570 at $ 85. On the way to the mid-range segment, we find the Radeon HD 5670 for $ 100, which delivers just enough power to outperform Nvidia's lackluster GeForce GT 240. Then things get interesting with the Radeon HD 5750 and 5770 graphics cards, which offer decent gaming performance for $ 140 and $ 165, respectively.
The next step brings the Radeon HD 5850 for $ 300 and the Radeon HD 5870 for $ 400. You could say the first offers the best value for money for high-end graphics cards, while the Radeon HD 5870 remains the fastest single GPU card money can buy. For those with deep pockets and craving for nothing but the best, the dual-GPU Radeon HD 5970 is available for around $ 700 – if you can find one.
If you look at the budget and mid-range segments, you will find that there is no more than $ 40 between each card. So why the big gap between the Radeon HD 5770 and 5850? As it turns out, AMD has planned to close that hole along with another bid. The Radeon HD 5830 is expected to cost around $ 250, ~ 15% cheaper than the 5850.
The prices for this new card are not yet set in stone, however. As we understand it, AMD has stated that prices will be below $ 250, but how much lower is not yet decided. Ultimately, it will likely depend on what type of cooler the AIB (add-in board) partner chooses and how much they modify the PCB design.
Expect custom PCB designs from various manufacturers offering the Radeon HD 5830
Our test device from AMD is very similar to the Radeon HD 5870, but as usual, other manufacturers can develop their own designs. Gigabyte, for example, went with the full-length board that was covered with a massive heat sink and two fans. HIS, Sapphire, and PowerColor all did something similar, while XFX went a little more creative and downsized the board to make their Radeon HD 5830 no longer than the 5570.
Looks and form factors aside, we're most excited about a new Radeon HD 5800 product at a cheaper price, that is, as long as AMD kept the value proposition and track record as good as it sounds on paper. Let's find out.