Performance-wise, Radeon HD 5830 sits between the HD 5850 and HD 5770. Unfortunately, AMD was supposed to launch the HD 5830 priced at $200, as this price segment was begging for an addition, but the price turned out to be priced at about $240, which is far from being a bargain in our book.
Sapphire is locked and loaded with its version of the HD 5830, and it comes with non-reference dual slot cooling and reference clocks. Our testing shows that the card indeed packs some nice punch for gamers on the budget, but the pricing still leaves a lot to be desired.
The mere fact that Radeon HD 5830 is an HD 5800 series card is proof enough that the card is a nice performer. Our today’s card is, just like the fastest single-GPU card HD5870, based on Cypress, but unlike the HD 5870, AMD disabled a few SIMD cores. So, the new HD 5830 features 1120 shaders whereas the HD 5870 comes with 1600. Furthermore, the HD 5830 comes with only 16 ROP units whereas the HD 5850 has 32. In order to compensate for these cuts, AMD clocked the card to 800MHz, which is not the case with the HD 5850 (725MHz). Unfortunately, while this will add to the performance it will also add to your power bill and the card consumes more power than HD 5850 when in 3D.
Sapphire did a nice job with its HD 5830 and ended up using an efficient and quiet cooling solution. Furthermore, the company thought about the gamer portion of its customers and included a free game as well – Call of Duty – Modern Warfare 2.
Reaching a verdict on the HD 5830 is not an easy task as its pricing is a really tough nut to crack. It’s very unfortunate that the lack of other (read Nvidia’s) DX11 hardware on the market resulted in AMD punishing its customers by such pricing, but they’ll get away with it as long as Fermi is away. So, we’ll cordially recommend the HD 5830 for some DirectX 11 gaming, as soon as its price drops to about €200.