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Sapphire Radeon HD 5830 Xtreme Video Card

sapphire radeon hd 5830 xtremeThis new card is labeled as an Xtreme model, but specifically why we’re not sure. because it still carries the reference clocks. Maybe it is due to the ‘extreme’-ly affordable price point. The card comes bundled with the new looking cooler that resembles those on some of the Sapphire 6xxx series. Perhaps also is because the card can be overclocked with Sapphire’s GPU tweaking TriXX application. Whatever is the case, we’ll definitely find this out for you, so join along and fine out if it is really Xtreme or not.



sapphire radeon hd 5830 xtreme

sapphire radeon hd 5830 xtremeThis new card is labeled as an Xtreme model, but specifically why we’re not sure. because it still carries the reference clocks. Maybe it is due to the ‘extreme’-ly affordable price point. The card comes bundled with the new looking cooler that resembles those on some of the Sapphire 6xxx series. Perhaps also is because the card can be overclocked with Sapphire’s GPU tweaking TriXX application. Whatever is the case, we’ll definitely find this out for you, so join along and fine out if it is really Xtreme or not.


Introduction to the Sapphire Radeon HD 5830 Xtreme

When Sapphire approached us about reviewing a new model of graphics card, we jumped on the chance, as we always do. You’d be hard pressed to find a hardware review site that does not want to bring it’s fellow enthusiast the newest products on the market! Then we were told the review sample would be a Radeon HD 5830 model. We were pretty surprised as we thought we had seen the last of the HD 5830, considering there have been several 6xxx models released in the past year. So, what the heck man?

After doing some research and investigation, Sapphire is taking the last of it’s stock of 5830 chips and offering it to the public at a great price. For under $120, you can have a new graphics card that can outperform the Nvidia GTX 550 Ti, has a 256bit memory bus and still supports all the current DirectX standards. Sapphire wants to give the public a way to gaming at a high level without having to choose something from the Green Camp.

This new card is labeled as an Xtreme model, but specifically why we’re not sure. because it still carries the reference clocks. Maybe it is due to the Xtreme-ly affordable price point. The card comes bundled with the new looking cooler that resembles those on some of the Sapphire 6xxx series. Perhaps also is because the card can be overclocked with Sapphire’s GPU tweaking TriXX application. Whatever is the case, we’ll definitely find this out for you, so join along and fine out if it is really Xtreme or not.

Sapphire’s take on the Radeon HD 5830 Xtreme and HD 5850 Xtreme

Hailed as the most exciting development in graphics for several generations, the original SAPPHIRE HD 5800 series not only included the fastest single GPU available, but was also the first family of video cards in the world to support the advanced graphical features of Microsoft DirectX 11 and multi-monitor displays in Eyefinity mode. Now it’s back – with the exciting new SAPPHIRE HD 5800 series Xtreme Editions!
Two models will be available from April 2011 – the SAPPHIRE HD 5850 Xtreme and the SAPPHIRE HD 5830 Xtreme. Both will represent spectacular value for money – and support all the latest games and applications.


  1. Product Position
    1. Successful 5800 series reintroduced at aggressive prices
    2. Original and first DX11 architecture
    3. Exclusive to Sapphire
  2. Spec
    1. 1GB fast DDR5 memory – 256 bit interface
    2. DVI, HDMI, DP
    3. Supports Eyefinity 3 (only with DisplayPort monitor or active adapter)
  3. Product Features
    1. New ID with quiet heatpipe cooler – similar to 6800 series
    2. Optimized Voltage regulation circuitry
    3. Overclocking supported with FREE Sapphire TriXX tool
    4. UVD (Universal Video Decoder) Dual HD streams
    5. HDMI 1.3a (NOT 3D)
    6. AMD Eyespeed – Accelerated processing with Stream Processors
  4. NO Direct Competition from nVidia – easily beats 550, low price than 560
    1. 3 Screens with ONE card
    2. Transcoding and acceleration of applications with Stream Processing is FREE
    3. Sweet Spot on Price vs. Performance

Closer look

Like the first class of the HD 5830 GPU, this model also is based on the TSMC’s 40nm process, coming equipped with the same 2.15 billion transistors. The shader cores count is also still numbered at 1120, with the texture units sitting at 56. The original HD 5830 in its time was a gap filler, falling in just below the HD 5850, and above the HD 5770. However, looking back at the details for each GPU on AMD’s website we see that, oddly enough, the HD 5830 has a power consumption of 175 watts versus the 151 watts from the HD 5850.

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The Core clock of the card is 800MHz, while the GDDR5 memory clock is at 1GHz (4GHz effectively) through a 256bit bus. Not considered blazing speeds, but fast enough to game at high level. Promises of greater speeds are obtainable via Sapphire’s own TriXX software. The better clocks are achievable because of a better cooling system, as well as optimized voltage regulation. So maybe it’s the overclockability they are implying that is Xtreme?

The HD 5830 is not just for the gamer though, as it does have an integrated Unified Video decoder (UVD) to help reduce the load placed on the system’s processor during video playback, to offload more on the GPU. Sapphire says this helps in the higher resolutions, such as for high definition playback. The HDMI port is 1.3a compliant, supporting Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

The cooling system used on the Sapphire HD 5830 Xtreme is the same as seen on the Sapphire HD 6870 FleX we reviewed last month. The main portion of the cooler is made of aluminum and consists of copper heat pipe and center core. The fan that is use forces the air down over the surface of the card, exhausting the air back into the case. Like mentioned before, a case with good air circulation should have no issues with this and heat.

On the back of the card we find one HDMI, one DisplayPort and one DVI port, so this does have support the famous Eyefinity multi-monitor setup. As a result of it supporting this feature one has to use a combination of all three. If you have a monitor that does not support DisplayPort then an active adapter will be needed.

The Sapphire HD 5830 Xtreme uses two 6-pin power connectors to obtain its power. And naturally, for additional performance one can add another card as it also supports Crossfire. AMD does recommend at least a 500 watt power supply for use with this card.

Test Hardware:
Motherboard:  Gigabyte P67-UD4
Processor: Intel Core i5 2500K @ 4.5GHz @ 1.35 voltages
Ram: Patriot Sector 5 1333 4GB Dual Channel (9-9-9-24)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 5830 Xtreme
HDD: Hitachi 1TB
Power: Thermaltake Tough Power XT 850 (Sponsored by Thermaltake)
Case: Open air
Cooling: Xigmatek Aegir SD128264
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
Thermal compound: Arctic Silver 5

Testing Software:
Futuremark 3DMark11: DirectX 11, 1280×720, Default (Performance Preset)
Stalker: Call of Pripkat: Ultra, 1920×1200, 4xAA, Max FPS Recorded
Heaven 2.5: DirectX 11, 1920×1200, 4xAA, 8xAF, Tessellation Normal, Max FPS Recorded
Alien vs. Predator:  DirectX 11, 1920×1200, 16xAF, Tessellation On, Average FPS Recoded
Street Fighter 4: 8xAA, 16xAF, 1920×1200,
Cinebench: OpenGL
Devil May Cry: DirectX10, 1920×1200, 8xAA, Texture Super High
ARMA 2: 1920×1080, High
Final Fantasy 14: Hyur, 1920×1080
Dirt 2: 1920×1200, 8xAA, Preset High, Average FPS Recorded
Resident Evil 5: DirectX10, 1920×1200, 8xAA
H.A.W.X. 2:  1920×1200, 8xAA, No Tessellation, Maximum FPS Recorded

Windows Seven Ultimate 7 64-bit
ATI Cat 11.2  (Radeon HD 6870, Radeon HD 6850)
ATI Cat 11.3 (Radeon HD 5830)

Futuremark 3DMark 11
3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world’s most popular benchmark for measuring the graphics performance of gaming PCs. Designed for testing DirectX 11 hardware running on Windows 7 and Windows Vista the benchmark includes six all new benchmark tests that make extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. After running the tests 3DMark gives your system a score with larger numbers indicating better performance. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
We are glad to present you a special version of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat Having your PC tested with benchmark you will be able to get detailed information about its performance on various graphical modes and find out how well your system is balanced for gaming and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat in particular.
This benchmark is based on one of the ingame locations – Pripyat . The testing process includes four stages, those utilizing various weather and time of the day settings (day, night, rain, bright sun). In order to test your system thoroughly the benchmark is provided with a number of presets and options including different versions of DirectX (9.0, 10.0, 11), screen resolutions, antialiasing etc, all at your disposal.

Capcom Devil May Cry 4
Long ago the Dark Knight Sparda rebelled against the dark emperor and waged a one-man war to save humanity. Thousands of years later, a religious organization worships this renowned savior and has taken it upon themselves to rid the world of all evil. Residing in Fortuna, this organization is known as the “Order of the Sword,” and is made up of an elite group of “Holy Knights.” One day, a young knight named Nero witnesses Sparda’s legendary son Dante slaughter his fellow warriors. Has the renowned devil hunter turned his back on mankind? What does the encounter mean for these two individuals?

Unigine Heaven 2.5
New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

Capcom Resident Evil 5
Capcom officially announced Resident Evil 5 on July 20, 2005. Jun Takeuchi, the director of Onimusha and producer of Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, took over producer duties from Hiroyuki Kobayashi. Keiji Inafune, who served as promotional producer for Resident Evil 2 and executive producer for the PlayStation 2 version of Resident Evil 4, oversaw the project.[26] In February 2007, members of Capcom’s Clover Studio were also called upon to help develop the game.

Capcom Street Fighter 4
All the characters and environments in Street Fighter IV are rendered as 3D models with polygons, similar to the Street Fighter EX sub-series Capcom produced with Arika. However, there are a couple of key differences. Art director and character designer Daigo Ikeno, who previously worked on Street Fighter III 3rd Strike, added cel-shading to give them a hand-drawn look, with visual effects accented in calligraphic strokes, ink smudges and ink sprays during the fights.

Codemasters Dirt 2
DiRT 2 will feature a roster of contemporary off-road events, taking players to the most diverse and challenging real-world environments. This World Tour will have players competing in aggressive multi-car and intense solo races at extraordinary new locations, from canyon racing and jungle trails to city stadium-based events.
Powered by the third generation of the EGO™ Engine’s award-winning racing game technology, DiRT 2 will benefit from tuned-up car-handling physics system and new damage engine effects. It will also showcase a spectacular new level of visual fidelity, with cars and tracks twice as detailed as those seen in GRID.

Square Enix Final Fantasy XiV
FINAL FANTASY XIV takes the first intrepid steps into an unknown realm, and in doing soa new place for adventurers of all creeds to call home is born — Eorzea.
In the world of Hydaelyn, the term Eorzea denotes the geographical region comprised of the continent of ldenard and its surrounding islands, as well as the civilization which spawned there. Calling the area home are several independent city-states,the most notable being Limsa Lominsa, bustling port and pirate hub;Ul’dah, a desert city rich in mineral wealth; Gridania, nested deep within an ageless wood; and Ishgard, bastion atop the mountains.

Sega Alien versus Predator
Aliens vs. Predator is an entirely new title for PC and high-definition consoles from acclaimed British developer Rebellion, the team behind the 1999 original PC gaming classic. Bringing the legendary war between two of science-fiction’s most popular characters to FPS fans, AvP delivers three outstanding single player campaigns and provides untold hours of unique 3-way multiplayer gaming. Experience distinctly new and thrilling first person gameplay as you survive, hunt and prey in the deadly jungles and swamps surrounding the damned colony of Freya’s Prospect.

Maxon Cinebench 11.5
CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.
CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and Mac OS X). And best of all: It’s completely free.

Bohemia ARMA 2
Reinforcements brings two independent factions – British Armed Forces and Private Military Company – onto one DVD. Play it separately in a non-linear campaign or join friends in multiplayer battles with up to 50 players and hundreds of AI units. Find out the sequential dramatic events of Takistan, originally described in Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead.
Deploy a mechanized division of British Armed Forces to reinforce coalition troops battling a large-scale outbreak of guerrilla insurgency, or join Private Military Company, recently contracted, to protect a UN weapons inspection team in Takistan

Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. 2
Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. 2 plunges fans into an explosive environment where they can become elite aerial soldiers in control of the world’s most technologically advanced aircraft. The game will appeal to a wide array of gamers as players will have the chance to control exceptional pilots trained to use cutting edge technology in amazing aerial warfare missions.


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When it came to overclocking the new 5830 Xtreme, I felt a little adventurous, going straight to 880MHz core and 1224MHz mem. I got lucky you could say as the settings ran without any issues, also without adjusting voltages or fan controls. Next, we decided to push our luck more and upped the settings to 902MHz and 1274MHz. The card failed half way through 3DMark11. Decided the memory is what gave up we set it back to the last good setting for the memory which was 1224MHz, leaving the core at 902MHz. Bingo!


Sapphire may raise some eyebrows from people with its release of the Radeon HD 5830 Xtreme, as it is of an older product line. This is something that is not uncommon at all however, as we are seeing companies release old products as new, especially video cards, but under a different name or different model number.

Sapphire’s release of the HD 5830 Xtreme may come based on the original reference numbers, but what makes this card so attractive is an incredible price point of only $120. At this price there is little to no competition. In our test it outperformed a factory overclocked GTX 550 Ti in most of the benchmarks we ran, whose price is approximately $130.

Besides the price, the HD 5830 Xtreme does well in the overclocking area also. Getting an extra 100MHz on the core and 200MHz on the memory is nothing to scoff at. This was done without having to dial in additional voltages or cranking up the fan, which would leave one to deal with the added noise.

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And speaking of noise, the improved cooling system eliminated having to deal with loud fans like some Radeon cards we have had around the lab. The fan and shroud is identical to that of the Radeon HD 6870 FleX we reviewed last month. We love the idea of having a higher performing video card in a low noise environment.

We can’t forget all the other reference features of the Radeon HD 5830 GPU. The core and the memory clocks are set at the reference 800/1000MHz, still carrying the 256bit memory bus of it’s older brothers. But the good stuff goes beyond just its speed. Support for AMD’s Eyefinity is one of the biggest options. A three monitor setup is one of the greatest options, especially when it comes to gaming. But if you do decide to go this route you will have to invest in an active adapter to accomplish it. With such a low price, anyone who purchased an original HD 5830 would do well to buy a second for some very healthy Crossfire action, especially in Eyefinity. In the end, we can say it is rather fitting of it’s Xtreme name.

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ProClockers was founded way back in 2004, with a goal to provide unbiased PC hardware and tech reviews. Whilst the first products we reviewed are long gone, we're continuing to review the latest and greatest every month.

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ProClockers was founded in 2004, and since then we have reviewed thousands of tech products, including motherboards, CPUs, graphics cards, PC cases, cooling solutions and more. Whilst many of the original products we reviewed back then have long bit the dust, we continue working hard to provide unbiased PC hardware and tech reviews.

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