Our Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: All things considered, the Radeon HD 5830 proved to be a strong performer. At its expected $239 price point, the Radeon HD 5830's closest competition from NVIDIA is currently the GeForce GTX 275. In that match-up, strictly from a performance standpoint, the GeForce GTX 275 has a slight edge overall. In the games and applications we tested, the Radeon HD 5830 wins a few tests and the GeForce GTX 275 wins a few. But the GTX 275 pulled ahead more often than not. The deltas separating the two cards, however, were always relatively small. Factor in the Radeon HD 5830's lower power consumption, and support for DX11 and Eyefinity, however, and it easily becomes the better buy in our opinion.
When we started this article, we explained that the Radeon HD 5830 was being introduced to fill in the gap in the Radeon HD 5000 series separating the Radeon HD 5850 and the 5770. Looking back at the numbers, it's blatantly obvious that's exactly where the Radeon HD 5830 falls in AMD's current graphics card line-up in terms of performance. And with an SEP (suggested e-tail price) of $239, the Radeon HD 5830 falls smack dab in the middle of the $319-ish Radeon HD 5850 and $165-ish Radeon HD 5770 too.
Although it's clearly a solid performer, the Radeon HD 5830 is a tricky recommendation. If you've got a monitor with a native resolution of 1680x1050, it may be advisable to save a few bucks and go with the 5770, which was right on the 5830's heals at that resolution throughout testing. If you've got a monitor that supports a native resolution of 1920x1200 or higher though, the additional investment necessary to score a Radeon HD 5850 may be worth it. See our L4D2, H.A.W.X., and ET:QW results if you need more convincing.
Regardless, the Radeon HD 5830 is clearly the best card to purchase at its price point. Unless you've got to have PhysX support, we'd trade the GTX 275's slight performance advantage overall for the Radeon HD 5830's support for DX11 and superior power consumption/thermal characteristics.
So, with the Radeon HD 5000 series fully fleshed out and covering virtually every meaningful price point, you may think AMD is done with product launches for a while, but you'd be wrong. The Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition is slated for release sometime in the not too distant future. As you can see in the slide above, the card is essentially the same as the current Radeon HD 5870, but with a larger 2GB frame buffer and of course, support for up to 6 monitors. Power consumption is marginally higher as well, due to the increased number of chips and outputs on the card.
Stay tuned to HotHardware for more details on the ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition as they become available. We promise, it won't be long.