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AMD’s HD 5550 & 5570 – Now Equipped with GDDR5 Goodness
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by Rob Williams on June 28, 2010 in AMD-Based GPU

To retain modest pricing, it’s common to see lower-end graphics cards equipped with either DDR2 or DDR3. That design choice, though, can have a major effect on performance, something that’s proven twice over with AMD’s Radeon HD 5550 and HD 5570, both of which have just been upgraded with a move to GDDR5 memory.

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood

When the original Call of Juarez was released, it brought forth something unique… a western-styled first-person shooter. That’s simply not something we see too often, so for fans of the genre, its release was a real treat. Although it didn’t really offer the best gameplay we’ve seen from a recent FPS title, its storyline and unique style made it well-worth testing.

After we retired the original title from our suite, we anxiously awaited for the sequel, Bound in Blood, in hopes that the series could be re-introduced into our testing once again. Thankfully, it could, thanks in part to its fantastic graphics, which are based around the Chrome Engine 4, and improved gameplay of the original. It was also well-received by game reviewers, which is always a good sign.

Manual Run-through: The level chosen here is Chapter I, and our starting point is about 15 minutes into the mission, where we stand atop a hill that overlooks a large river. We make our way across the hill and ultimately through a large trench, and we stop our benchmarking run shortly after we blow up a gas-filled barrel.

The performance increases continue here, with almost identical gains to what we saw with Modern Warfare 2. Although it’s not that surprising, it’s still rather incredible to me that with a simple memory change, we boosted our 20 FPS on the HD 5550 to 36 FPS at 1680×1050. Given that these cards are set to cost the same as the older models, that’s quite a nice free gain. Even overclocking isn’t that effective!

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Min FPS
Avg. FPS
ATI HD Radeon 5870 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail
58
82.863
NVIDIA GTX 480 1.5GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail
58
82.711
ATI HD 5770 1GB CrossFireX
2560×1600 – Max Detail
59
87.583
NVIDIA GTX 295 1792MB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail
37
80.339
ATI HD 5850 1GB (ASUS)
2560×1600 – Max Detail
51
69.165
ATI HD 5830 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail
35
54.675
NVIDIA GTX 285 1GB (EVGA)
2560×1600 – Max Detail
45
54.428
NVIDIA GTX 275 896MB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail
41
51.393
ATI HD 5770 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail
28
45.028
NVIDIA GTX 260 896MB (XFX)
2560×1600 – Max Detail
35
44.023
ATI HD 5750 1GB (Sapphire)
2560×1600 – Max Detail
27
38.686
NVIDIA GTX 250 1GB (EVGA)
2560×1600 – Max Detail
25
33.751
ATI HD 5670 512MB (Reference)
1920×1080 – Max Detail
38
47.23
NVIDIA GT 240 512MB (ASUS)
1920×1080 – Max Detail
29
39.446
ATI HD 5570 512MB (Ref. GDDR5)
1920×1080 – Max Detail
33
41.434
ATI HD 5570 1GB (Sapphire)
1920×1080 – Max Detail
25
32.696
ATI HD 5550 512MB (Ref. GDDR5)
1920×1080 – Medium Detail
29
35.391
ATI HD 5550 1GB (Sapphire)
1680×1050 – Medium Textures / Materials, Low Detail
20
33.362

In another repeat, both the HD 5570 cards shared identical settings, but the GDDR5 version delivered a sweet 9 FPS boost. The GDDR5 HD 5550 gave us the ability again to increase the graphical detail but retain near-identical framerates.