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Review: MSI Radeon HD 5770 HAWK Edition: the very best mid-range graphics card?

by Tarinder Sandhu on 20 February 2010, 05:00 3.5

Tags: Radeon HD 5770 Hawk edition (10.2), MSI

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qav7q

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System setup and notes

Graphics cards MSI Radeon HD 5770 HAWX 1,024MB Sapphire Radeon HD 5770 1,024MB Inno3D GeForce GTX 260 OC 896MB
Current pricing, including VAT £155 £125 £140
Shader model 5.0 5.0 4.0
Stream processors 800 800 216
GPU clock speed (MHz) 875 850 620
Shader clock speed (MHz) 875 850 1,242
Memory clock speed (MHz) 4,800 4,800 2,100
Memory bus width (bits) 128 128 448
CPU Intel Core i7 965 Extreme Edition (3.20GHz, 8MB L3 cache, quad-core, LGA1366)
Motherboard Foxconn Bloodrage X58
Motherboard BIOS P08
Mainboard software Intel Inf
Memory 6GB Corsair DOMINATOR PC12,800
Memory timings and speed 9-9-9-24 1T @ DDR3-1,333
PSU Corsair HX1000W
Monitor Dell 30in 3007WFP - 2,560x1,600px
Disk drive(s) Seagate 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 (3Gb/s mode)
Graphics driver Catalyst 10.2 Catalyst 10.2 ForceWare 196.21
Operating system Windows 7 Ultimate, 64-bit


3D Benchmarks DiRT 2, London map - ultra quality
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X v1.2, internal benchmark: DX10/10.1 - very high quality
Far Cry 2 v1.03 - very high quality
Crysis: Warhead v1.1.1.711 - train map - enthusiast quality


We're comparing the MSI Radeon HD 5770 HAWK directly against a stock-clocked Sapphire Radeon HD 5770 and pre-overclocked GeForce GTX 260 from Inno3D.

Comparing it against just the basic HD 5770 will show how great a performance improvement is realised by increasing the core clock by 25MHz, and looking at the also-pre-overclocked GTX 260's numbers will provide a means of evaluating how it fits into the bigger picture.