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Sapphire HD 5750 1GB Vapor-X Video Card Review

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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Feb 26, 2007
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12,840
Location
Montreal
Heat & Acoustics / Power Consumption

Heat & Acoustics


For all temperature testing, the cards were placed on an open test bench with a single 120mm 1200RPM fan placed ~8” away from the heatsink. The ambient temperature was kept at a constant 22°C (+/- 0.5°C). If the ambient temperatures rose above 23°C at any time throughout the test, all benchmarking was stopped. For this test we use the 3DMark Batch Size test at it highest triangle count with 4xAA and 16xAF enabled and looped it for one hour to determine the peak load temperature as measured by GPU-Z.

For Idle tests, we let the system idle at the Vista desktop for 15 minutes and recorded the peak temperature.


HD5750-VAP-70.jpg

The performance of Sapphire’s Vapor-X heatsink is simply a wonder to behold even when it is operating on such an efficient core. The temperatures we saw were nothing short of miraculous but to our ears, there really wasn’t any acoustical difference between this card’s fan and the one on the reference cooler. That being said, they are both extremely quiet while in operation


Power Consumption


For this test we hooked up our power supply to a UPM power meter that will log the power consumption of the whole system twice every second. In order to stress the GPU as much as possible we once again use the Batch Render test in 3DMark06 and let it run for 30 minutes to determine the peak power consumption while letting the card sit at a stable Windows desktop for 30 minutes to determine the peak idle power consumption. We have also included several other tests as well. Please note that after extensive testing, we have found that simply plugging in a power meter to a wall outlet or UPS will NOT give you accurate power consumption numbers due to slight changes in the input voltage. Thus we use a Tripp-Lite 1800W line conditioner between the 120V outlet and the power meter.

HD5750-VAP-68.jpg

Power consumption for this card is right in line with the reference-clocked product due to its limited overclocks. Granted, there was a 1W gap during each test but this can be chalked up to margin of error rather than any real difference between the two HD 5750 cards.
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,840
Location
Montreal
Conclusion

Conclusion


I’ll admit to being quite unimpressed with the HD 5750 when it was first released due to its close proximity to the HD 5770’s price versus the massive performance gap between the two cards. After using it and its bigger brother extensively for the last few weeks, I’m still not singing the HD 5750’s praises but have developed a better understanding of ATI’s reasoning behind its market placement. It competes extremely well against similarly-priced NVIDIA cards while offering DX11 compatibility and ground-breaking efficiency; features the sub-$200 market would have gone without for some time if it wasn’t for the HD 5750. Unfortunately, in our eyes it is still beat on a purely price / performance scale by the HD 5770 1GB.

On the flip side of the coin, the whole problem with the mainstream market is that a few dollars north or south of a recommended price point could put a product into a whole new continent when it comes to expected performance. While high end cards can be separated by 50 or sometimes even 100 dollars for small gains in performance, the difference of a mere $20 means a stock HD 5750 is treading dangerously close to the HD 5770’s $180 price point. A few dollars can make or break a budget-friendly card since this market is so full of competitors.

This whole discussion about price provides a perfect opening to talk about Sapphire’s HD 5750 Vapor-X because it is a perfect case study about what happens when a relatively small price increase can have huge consequences. When asked, Sapphire said this card would end up retailing for between $160 to $165USD which have put it uncomfortably close to the HD 5770’s price tag. Luckily, we have actually found it for as low as $150USD making its $5 premium over a reference HD 5750 look like money very well spent. Here in Canada though, things come crashing back to reality since the few retailers that carry it have it priced in line with some HD 5770 cards. That’s simply unacceptable and even though we can’t fault Sapphire for the dealings of their supply chain, prices like those do tend to reflect negatively on the Vapor-X.

Pricing however is fluid so what might not look like a great value today could resemble an excellent purchase in a few months depending on which way the market goes. Without a doubt, the Vapor-X heatsink works extremely well and proves itself to be a strong selling point for this particular card. The addition of a voucher for a full download of the upcoming DiRT game also adds quite a bit of value to Sapphire’s new HD 5750 over those of the competition.

We have seen in the past that Sapphire can release a single-slot Vapor-X heatsink with some great results so it boggles the mind why they decided to go with a totally oversized heatsink for this relatively cool-running card. It just seems like needless overkill to us. Hopefully, future revisions will look at giving us a slimmed down heatsink design.

To conclude, if you can find it for a few bucks more than a standard HD 5750, we wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Sapphire’s HD 5750 Vapor-X. Just pay very close attention to what HD 5770s are going for because a few dollars more could net you a card with heaps of additional performance.


Pros:
- Efficient
- Quiet
- Amazing Vapor-X heatsink
- Inclusion of a voucher for a full game
- Small price premium in the USA


Cons:
- Longer than a reference card
- High price in Canada
- Huge performance gap between it and the HD 5770



 
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