If you have been keeping a close eye on the computer graphics industry, you have probably noticed that, for a few months now, Advanced Micro Devices has managed to stay one step ahead of its main competitor, NVIDIA. That's mainly because of the Radeon HD 5xxx-series
of GPUs the outfit released back in late September 2009, a move that put AMD ahead of NVIDIA, thanks to the features enabled on the new cards.
Since then, AMD had just enough time to refresh its entire line of Radeon cards with the fresh GPUs, bringing DirectX 11 support to the masses. Now, just ahead of the much-anticipated release of NVIDIA's Fermi-based cards, the Sunnyvale, California-based GPU maker has announced another card, namely the Radeon HD 5830.
This new GPU has been expected for some time now, especially considering the company's strategy with its previous generation of GPUs that saw quite a number of HD 4000-series cards outed.
Designed as a scaled-down version of the Radeon HD 5850, this card is expected to allow consumers to take advantage of the performance of AMD's Cypress GPUs for a price point of around $220. It comes to fill the price and performance gap between the HD 5850 and the 5770, following AMD's strategy with a product for each price segment.
Aside from its role to fill a price gap, it will also stand out as the last the company launches before the outing of NVIDIA's upcoming Fermi-based GeForce cards. Considering the performance expectations behind NVIDIA's upcoming release, AMD could soon slash the prices on its current lineup. However, that is a matter of NVIDIA managing to deliver new products that will enable it to reclaim the highest performance crown.
Until then, we are left with AMD's latest graphics cards, with the Radeon HD 5830 becoming the latest to deliver support for DirectX 11, CrossFireX and the much appreciated Eyefinity technology. This is a card for those that want to take advantage of the performance capabilities of AMD's Cypress GPU without paying around $300 for the HD 5850.
That being said, we will proceed to the testing part of our review, looking at the card's design, specifications and overall performance.