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  • ATI Radeon HD 5970 (Graphics Card)
Technology Articles > Hardware > Graphics Cards > ATI Radeon HD 5970 (Graphics Card)

If you are looking for one of the best graphics cards to improve your gaming or video viewing pleasure, you'll want to turn to the AMD Radeon 5970. Despite the fact the 6000 series has been released the 5970 still takes the performance cake.


The ATI Radeon HD 5970 is similar to Nvidia's GTX 295 in that it is a dual core graphics card. The only way to outperform these dual core cards as of right now is with two 5870s or Nvidia's GTX 480s. The cost, however, would be steeper so choosing the dual core card just makes sense. The dual core card is like having a CrossfireX system all wrapped up into one card. It essentially doubles just about every attribute, such as the core clock speed of 725X2MHz, giving you roughly 1450MHz. This is what sets it apart from the other graphics cards on the market.

The 5970 features 3200 stream processors, giving fill rates of 46.4GPs and 116GTs to give you a higher FPS ratio, in turn giving you a video playback or gaming experience like no other.


The Radeon HD 5970 offers GDDR5, the latest in video memory. Out of the box, they feature a frequency of 1.0GHz x 4, but are rated for up to 1.25GHz for overclockers. It comes underclocked because it is already at 294 watts, just below the PCIe 300 watt limit.

With 2GB capacity, RAM shouldn't be bothered and speeds won't be impacted. If you have a graphics card that provides a decent amount of memory, like the 5970, you effectively decrease the amount of RAM you need on the motherboard. This is why everyone, not just gamers and videophiles, would benefit from a graphics card such as the ATI Radeon HD 5970.

The card uses ATI's standard Stream parallel computing technology. Avivo HD powers video decoding from the CPU when offloading. AMD's new HD3D was released with this graphics card powering the display, and also the Eyefinity which gives you the power to use up to 6 monitors at the same time.

Additional Features

The ATI Radeon HD 5970 supports a resolution of up to 2560 x 1600 on not only one, but up to three monitors. This is thanks to Eyefinity technology. It is a pretty big card, measuring over 12 inches long, just about 4 inches wide, and roughly an inch and a half tall. Increased size equals increased weight, and is actually one of the heaviest graphics cards you can buy at 3.5 pounds.

A 36 fin aluminum heatsink, about half the size of the whole card, sits on the GPUs, cooling not only the GPUs but the memory as well. This keeps the card running more efficiently. A 75x20mm fan pushes the heat out the back of the card from the heatsink, and runs quietly with an idle consumption rate at 42 watts. If you are pushing the load the card is handling, as when playing a game, the fan can use up to 294 watts. Despite this, it is still quiet. With this high energy usage, it features a 6-pin and 8-pin set of PCI Express power connectors.

If you are a gaming enthusiast, love watching or editing video, or just want to improve your display, this card will not disappoint. The price, however, might scare away the average everyday user at $1,117.99. Gaming enthusiasts and videophiles will likely see the value and have no problems paying, knowing it is the best card for their needs