XFX Radeon 5750 XXX Review


XFX Radeon 5750   XXX Review


Often results lead to a very obvious conclusion, and sometimes despite the results making you expect one thing, you have to conclude quite another.

Such it is with the XFX 5750 XXX.

It's priced around the market one would expect to find HTPC style cards with a little gaming performance in them. As we all know for an HTPC solution we require silence above all else. Normally a reference heatsink isn't the best design in the world as they are usually too loud and have an inadequate fan. However, they do have the benefit of exhausting the hot air out the back of the case.

A non-reference cooler seeks to redress these issues by either installing a larger fan and still exhausting out the rear, or by utilising so many heatpipes that although the hot air stays in the case, it's nowhere near as hot thanks to a large heatsink.

Whilst the XFX 5750 XXX is their premium pre-overclocked model, sadly they have chosen to retain the woeful HD5750 reference design. If you ignore the large plastic periphery it's basically a small, few pronged, heatsink with a fan in the centre of it. Unfortunately this is compounded by the totally needless plastic plate on the top. This serves to do precisely nothing but advertise themselves. Of course once you've brought the card you don't really need it advertising.

If you are the kind of case-modder whereby it's important to make it clear who either are your sponsors or whose hardware you've chosen, then you're unlikely to pick a 5750 to do it. In fact the only thing is does do is ensure the heat that is dissipated by the heatsink gets trapped nicely between the plastic shield and the board itself. All of this could be forgiven if it was whisper-quiet, but as soon as the card gets remotely under load the fan becomes akin to standing at Heathrow in August. Intolerably loud. As the XXX models cost significantly more than their standard brethren this is an enormous disappointment.

So maybe it's a gaming card? In standard guise the 5750 is around a hundred pounds, certainly a price we'd not expect to see gaming performance and so our results would indicate that as long as you understand its limitations you can play reasonable games with good quality at reasonable frame rates. Unfortunately this XXX model is priced £3 less than a standard 5770 and even overclocked it only produces results on a par with the basic 5770. The architecture also means that even with a hefty overclock the card is just too limited to obtain performance beyond expectations, as especially demonstrated in the Dirt 2 Maximum FPS test.

So if it is too loud for HTPC applications it must be a budget gaming card. But as a budget gaming card you'd be mad not to buy the 5770 instead.

We said at the beginning that the paucity of technologies has meant manufacturers need to saturate the market with barely different models in an attempt to cover every requirement. The side-effect of this process is that some cards will be wholly pointless because regardless of your application there is a better or cheaper one available.

That isn't to say that the XFX HD5750 XXX is a bad card, noise levels aside, it's just we can't see anyone who would want it at this price. With a proper custom cooler it might be quiet enough for HTPC or have enough overclocking headroom for the gamers. At £125 for a standard card with a mild overclock that we can easily better ourselves, we can't help but feel it's one model too many.

Thanks to XFX for providing the 5750 XXX for review. Discuss in in our forums.

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