PowerColor HD 5750 Green Review

Author: Chris Barry
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/s/powercolorhd5750green/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.

Going Green!

One of the current themes of our society is the environment. At first it was only the hippies who would preach about protecting the environment. However, the "Fad" eventually spread to the ordinary community. People started to recycle more, use less water, and try to decrease overall waste in their every day lives. In fact, "Protecting" the environment has gotten so huge in our society, big companies have started to "Go Green."

What exactly is going green? It could actually be a few things. For instance a company could use less electricity or producing less waste. Really anything that ultimately reduces your carbon foot print could be considered "Going Green." Even video card manufactures such as PowerColor believe in protecting the environment. Because PowerColor cares so much about the environment they've developed a video card that will help both them, and you, Go Green!

The card I earlier mentioned is none other then the HD 5750, however it's no ordinary 5750. This card is the PowerColor HD 5750 Green. But what exactly is so special about this card? Could it be it's 1GB of GDDR5 memory, or it's ability to utilize Eyefinity? NO! What's special about the PowerColor HD 5750 green is that it consumes 21% less power then the average 5750. Not only that, but it does so without compromising any performance. PowerColor was able to do this by using "Efficient Energy Transforming Technology." This newly developed technology has allowed PowerColor to create their "Unplug" line of products, the HD 5750 Green being the first in this series. If you haven't yet guessed the "Unplug" tells us that no extra power cables will be needed to power this card. The PowerColor HD 5750 should be able to draw all of its power from the PCIe slot.

PowerColor developed a 5750 that draws all it's power from the PCIe slot, and consumes 21% less power then reference cards. However, they didn't stop there. PowerColor gave the HD 5750 Green a passive cooler, so we should expect the card to be absolutely silent. How hot will this card get, and how well will it perform? Read on and let's find out!

Closer Look:

The most eye catching feature of the card is the massive cooler it's sporting. This beast is not equipped with a fan, but it looks so huge that it probably doesn't need one. Flipping the card over reveals four memory modules, but that's not all. Each of these memory modules has its own individual finned heat spreader. This is not something I see on to many cards, so I was actually happy to see it on the PowerColor HD 5750 Green.

As far as connectivity goes you'll be able to utilize two dual link DVI ports, an HDMI port, or a Display port. If you wanted to you could use all four in order to power four monitors, however, I predict that most users will not be doing so. If you feel the need to use two or even three of these little beasts you'll be able to so via the two CrossFire connectors.

 

The card utilizes a PCIe X 16 2.0 interface, but that's not all. Through this interface it is able to draw all the power it needs to run. For this reason something is missing from the back of the card, can you spot it? That's right there aren't any 6pin or 8pin power connectors back there!

 

Now that we've looked at the outside of the card, we'll need to pull the cooler off. Usually the act of actually pulling the cooler off isn't to interesting, however, this time around I noticed something. While the card was not designed to have a fan on its cooler. There is indeed a fan connector. Whether or not you'll be able to slap a fan on there I don't know, but it's interesting to know it's there.

 

The cooler itself uses both copper and aluminum. The part that actually comes into contact with the HD 5750 Green's core is indeed copper. From here the heat will be transferred to four copper heatpipes. These will then move the heat to the large array of aluminum fins. The cooler is equipped with a plastic bracket which appears to serve no cooling purposes. That being said, this cooler is so huge it looks as though it could dissipate a ton of heat, even without a fan!

 

With the cooler completely removed we can see the PowerColor HD 5750 Green in all of it's glorious nakedness. One feature that really impressed me was that just about every component had some sort of heatspreader of its own. This should keep the card nice and chilly. Arranged in a square shape around the Juniper core are four memory modules. These modules make up 512MB of the HD 5750 Green's 1GB of GDDR5 memory. Directly at the center of the card is the Juniper core. The HD 5750 Green's core is stock clocked at 700MHz, so we'll change that in just a bit!

Specifications:

The PowerColor HD 5750 Green uses the 40nm Juniper core. It's stock clocked at 700MHz, but should overclock fairly well. The card is equipped with 1GB of GDDR5 memory on a 128Bit bus. The card uses a PCIe X 16 2.1 interface, and supports DirectX 11, as well as Shader Model 5.0. The card is cable of using ATI Stream technology, ATI Avivo HD video decoding, and ATI CrossFireX technology. Not only that, but the cards built in HDMI port is capable of 7.1 surround sound!

Not Full Size!: Nvidia GTX 260 Core 216, PowerColor HD 5750 Green, Diamond 4770

The PowerColor HD 5750 Green requires no power cables from the PSU. The card is designed to consume 21% less power then reference designed 5750's, so it should help improve the environment... at least a little! But enough of the card, let's find out how this baby performs!

The Box:

The PowerColor HD 5750 arrived in a "Green" box. The front of the box sports the card's name, as well as a few slogans saying "Go Green". The rest of the box gives some specifications on the card. Inside the box is another card board box. Inside that is the card, it appears to have been packaged very securely, so you shouldn't need to worry about it getting damaged during shipment. Included with the PowerColor HD 5750 Green was a DVI to HDMI adapter, a Driver CD, and a quick start guide.

Overclocking:

Overclocking is always fun, and it's shameful to leave a video card at stock settings. That being said, I will not be overclocking the PowerColor HD 5750 Green. Instead I will be playing, what seems like, musical chairs with clock speeds. I say this because the card did not want to stay stable at any clock speed I set it at. I began my overclocking endeavors the way I usually do. I increased the Core and Memory clocks individually by increments of 5Mhz until instability is reach. At which point I would decrease the clock speeds by 1Mhz. However, as soon as I found a seemingly stable clock I would test it. If it past I would begin to put it through the Neoseeker Benchmarking Suite. At this point, the instabilities came back to bother me. I ended up lowering the clock speed five times, after I thought I had a stable overclock. Usually it's only one or two times that I have to go through this process. However, in the end I was rewarded with a Core clock of 813Mhz and a Memory clock of 1308Mhz.

Hardware

Comparison Cards:

For the drivers, all the ATI cards used the Catalyst 9.10 drivers,  and all the Nvidia cards used Forceware 190.17 drivers.

Benchmarks:

If you would like any further information about our benchmark settings, feel free to ask us in the forums.

3DMark Vantage is the stunning sequel to 3DMark 06. Futuremark's benchmarking programs have always been at the center of every bragging match. The best way to show that you've got the greatest gaming rig, is to show that you've got the highest 3DMark score. Vantage does just that. It puts your system through a series of strenuous tests, and provides you with a score to brag about!

I was very pleased to see that in our Vantage benchmark the PowerColor HD 5750 Green was able to perform the same as a regular 5750. Not only that, it even managed to outperform it in a few benchmarks!

Crysis Warhead is one of the most graphically intensive games on the mainstream market. It's graphically breathtaking, and can bring any system crashing to it's knees.

I was once again pleased to see the two HD 5750's performing the same. This just goes to show that PowerColor wasn't kidding when they said there was no performance compromise!

Bioshock is an older game, but it can still stress the heck out of your hardware. This game combines a thrilling story with beautiful graphics. This combination makes for an overall great benchmark.

The PowerColor HD 5750 Green once again performed the exact same as the regular 5750. This puts it right between the HD 5770 and the GT240. Not to shabby for a card that draws all it's power from the PCIe slot!

Far Cry 2 Is another one of those graphically breathtaking games. The only difference is that it depicts the African desert. The intensive graphics can make for a very intensive, and stressful benchmark.

I was once again very pleased to see the PowerColor HD 5750 Green performing the same as the reference design 5750. Keep it up PowerColor!

Blunderbuss is an odd little demo created by Fairlight. It's an extremely particle heavy benchmark, that features what looks like a flame flying around.

The PowerColor HD 5750 Green came in right under the GTX 260 and right next to the reference HD 5750. It seems as though we'll continue to see these results, and I hope we do.

Batman: Arkham Aslyum mixes extraordinary visuals with great gameplay, in order to make an excellent benchmark. It's not a stressful as Crysis, but it can still push cards to their limits.

At this point I'm absolutely in love with the PowerColor HD 5750 Green. Sure the 5750's performed at the bottom of the charts, but hey, they did perform same!

World In Conflict comes with a built in benchmark that will stress any system. How does it do this? By using large amounts of smoke effects and bright lights of course!

The PowerColor HD 5750 Green for the most part performed the same as the reference 5750. This placed it between the HD 5770 and the GTS 250.

Unreal tournament is one of the most fast paced shooters I've ever played. It's also graphically stunning. Every single weapon has been designed to the finest of detail. This makes for not only a graphically intensive benchmark, but for a fun one as well.

I was again pleased to see the two HD 5750's performing the same right in between the GT240 and the HD 5770.

Resident Evil V is the new installment of the Resident Evil series. The game comes with a built in benchmark that features a bunch of zombies walking around the center of a village. Believe it or not this seemingly simple benchmarks can push video cards way out of their comfort zone!

The PowerColor HD 5750 Green again performed the same as the normal HD 5750. This placed the two cards right above the GTS 250.

Furmark is a very interesting synthetic benchmark. It depicts a furry doughnut object spinning around in circles. This does however give very accurate results on your systems performance.

The two 5750's once again performed exactly the same just under the HD 5770.

H.A.W.X. is one of Tom Clancy's newer games. It's also a very detailed flight simulator type game. The jet planes are extremely detailed, and the extensive dogfights make for a very stressful game.

In our final benchmark the PowerColor HD 5750 Green performed exactly the same as the PowerColor HD 5830 PCS+, the Leadtek GTX 260 Extreme+, and the VisionTek 5750.

Temperature

To measure core GPU temperature, we used the hardware monitoring program in RivaTuner 2.24. The idle temperature was taken after leaving nothing running, on Vista's desktop, for a minute. The load temperature was taken after a few hours of running OCCT.

I literally fainted when I saw how well the PowerColor HD 5750 Green's cooler performed. I mean, the thing had no fan, I was expecting the card to hit the mid 80's at load. Boy was I wrong. This thing performed like a beast. It outperformed cards with fans, it even outperformed smaller cards. If the 5750 Green's performance didn't impress me, its' cooler definitely did!

Power Usage

To measure power usage, we used a Kill A Watt P4400 power meter. Note that the above numbers represent the power drain for the entire benchmarking system, not just the video cards themselves. For the 'idle' readings we measured the power drain from the desktop, with no applications running; for the 'load' situation, we took the sustained peak power drain readings at the end of a 3 hour run of OCCT.

The PowerColor HD 5750's power consumption at idle was almost the same as the VisionTek HD 5750's power consumption. I was slightly disappointed by this, because I thought it was supposed to use 21% less power. At load, however, we saw the difference! The PowerColor HD 5750 Green consumed a great deal less power when compared to the VisionTek HD 5750.

Conclusion

Before I say anything else, I must say that the PowerColor HD 5750 Green is now one of favorite video cards. Seriously this thing is great. It consumes 21% less power then a reference 5750, it does not require any cables from the PSU, and you're not sacrificing any performance. Not only that but the card is dead silent! It is completely passively cooled and the cooler, amazingly, does an outstanding job.

Overclocking the card took slightly longer then usual, but it did overclock decently and the performance was just outstanding. Sure the card is not meant for the high end gamer, but for everyone else it should do just fine. In everyone of our benchmarks it gave framerates that can be considered playable.

The PowerColor HD 5750 Green is the first card in PowerColor's "Unplug" series. It uses PowerColor's new innovative Efficient Energy Transforming Technology, which is what allows the card to consume so little power. All without the sacrifice of performance. I personally can't wait to see more of PowerColor's Unplug series, because this one was just so awesome!

I'm going to recommend this card to anyone looking for a decent, silent, and great video card. This baby will cost you about $170, which is more then worth it in my opinion. As long as you're not looking for a high end video card, pick this baby up!

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