ATI Radeon HD 5450 & HD 5570 Graphics Cards

Graphics Cards
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Noise & Cooling Comparison

5570 idling.

5570 at full load.

At one meter distance, our test system measured 17 dBA when idle and 20 dBA at load with the HD 5570 running inside. At idle, The fan emitted a soft hissing type noise, and a slight whine was noticeable when we took the side panel off our case. It was fairly smooth when fully enclosed though. On load, the whine became audible, and there was a lot more turbulent noise.

Noise & Cooling Comparison
SPL @1m
GPU Temp
SPL @1m
GPU Temp
ATI Radeon HD 4670
13 dBA
16 dBA
ATI Radeon HD 5570
17 dBA
20 dBA
ATI Radeon HD 4770
15 dBA
17 dBA
ATI Radeon HD 4830
14 dBA
20~21 dBA
Ambient temperature: 22°C
Ambient noise level: 11 dBA
System noise level: 12 dBA

Compared to the midrange cards from ATI's previous generation, the HD 5570's fan control settings seem overly aggressive, particularly when idle. A reduction in fan speed when the GPU core is only 36°C would hardly be detrimental. A slow down on load would be welcome as well; we'd be comfortable letting the GPU temperature slip into the 80°C range.


The power consumption of an add-on video card can be estimated by comparing the total system power draw with and without the card installed. Our results were derived thus:

1. Power consumption of the graphics card at idle - When CPUBurn is run on a system, the video card is not stressed at all, and stays in idle mode. This is true whether the video card is integrated or an add-on PCIe 16X device. Hence, when the power consumption of the base system under CPUBurn is subtracted from the power consumption of the same test with the graphics card installed, we obtain the increase in idle power of the add-on card over the integrated graphics chip (Intel GMA950). (The actual idle power of the add-on card cannot be derived, because the integrated graphics does draw some power — we'd guess no more than a watt or two.)

2. Power consumption of the graphics card under load - The power draw of the system is measured with the add-on video card, with CPUBurn and FurMark running simultaneously. Then the power of the baseline system (with integrated graphics) running just CPUBurn is subtracted. The difference is the load power of the add-on card. (If you want to nitpick, the 1~2W power of the integrated graphics at idle should be added to this number.) Any load on the CPU from FurMark should not skew the results, since the CPU was running at full load in both systems.

Both results are scaled by the efficiency of the power supply (tested here) to obtain a final estimate of the DC power consumption.

Estimated Power Consumption Comparison (DC)
ATI Radeon HD 5450 512MB
Asus EN9400GT Silent 512MB
PowerColor HD 4650 512MB
ATI Radeon HD 5570 1GB
ATI HD 4670 512MB
ATI HD 4770 512MB
Asus EN9800GT Matrix 512MB
ATI HD 4830 512MB

The HD 5450 is easily the most energy efficient graphics card we've tested, using half the power of the GeForce 9400 GT when idle, and less then a third on load. The 5570 uses about 5W more than 4670 when idle, but 11W less on load.

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