ASUS EAH5750 Formula Video Card Review

Today we have the ASUS EAH5750 Formula video card on our test bench and we put it through its paces. The ASUS EAH5750 Formula offers a big custom heatsink and fan unit, but the big question is does it offer any advantages to gamers or is it just a lot of hot air?

Introduction

ASUSTeK Computer Inc. is one of the largest and most successful computer hardware manufacturers in the world. A Taiwan-based company, it manufactures a wide variety of computer hardware, including motherboards, video cards, optical drives, notebooks, networking equipment, barebones desktop, and server systems, among many others. In 2008, it sold over 24 million motherboards, grossed 8.1 billion U.S. dollars, and won 3,056 awards from various enthusiasts and IT related outlets.

Today we are going to be taking a look at ASUS’ flagship Radeon HD 5750 model: the ASUS EAH5750 Formula/2DI/1GD5. From here on though we will just be referring to it has the ASUS EAH5750 Formula for a bit of simplicity. If you go to ASUS' product page you will find that three Radeon HD 5750 based video cards. The EAH5750 Formula we are evaluating is the 1GB model; there is also a 512MB Formula model available. There is also a 1GB model available with a reference AMD fan in place.

Article Image

ATI Radeon HD 5750

AMD and their add-in-board partners have been very busy lately. Just this month (January 2010) it has added a sixth video card based on the Radeon HD 5000 series that sits at the $99 price point, the Radeon HD 5670. The current flagship in the Radeon HD 5000 series is a dual-GPU video card, the Radeon HD 5970. Its fastest single-GPU model is the ATI Radeon HD 5870, launched first on September 22nd and was later followed by its brother the ATI Radeon HD 5850 on September 30th. On October 12th the ATI Radeon HD 5770 and ATI Radeon 5750 GPUs were launched.

We will be focusing on the ATI Radeon HD 5750 GPU, AMD's budget option at $129 for the 1GB model. This puts the Radeon HD 5750 around $20 more than the Radeon HD 5670. While it may be positioned on the bottom half of the Radeon HD 5000 series, it retains all the same features as the high-end GPUs. This includes the 40nm manufacturing process, full DX11 support based on the TeraScale 2 architecture, full Eyefinity support, as well as the impressive power management features. There are 720 Stream Processors on board with 36 Texture Units and 16 ROPs. The Radeon HD 5750 has a GPU frequency of 700MHz and 512MB or 1GB of GDDR5 at 4.6GHz. Most impressively though is that it has an idle board power of 16 Watts and a maximum board power of 86 Watts.

ASUS EAH5750 Formula

The ASUS EAH5750 Formula’s main claim to fame is its heat management arrangement. It uses a Formula 1 inspired dual-slot cooling solution along with a few other notable improvements. However, for those seeking a heavily out-of-box highly clocked video card over reference specifications, this isn’t it. The ASUS EAH5750 Formula uses the reference Radeon HD 5750 frequencies of 700MHz on the GPU and 4.6GHz on the memory.

The marketed benefit of this particular ASUS model video card lies in the fact that it uses a custom cooling solution that ASUS claims is 13% better compared to the generic heatsink and fan. This improved cooling could then, in theory, be used to gain higher overclocks than if it was using a generic heatsink and fan. The Formula heatsink and fan combination is such that it provides better airflow through a more efficient design that benefits from utilizing air pressure, as well as improved heatsinks. Therefore, while it has a Formula 1 racing appearance, it is also functional according to ASUS.

Article Image Article Image Article Image

Article Image Article Image Article Image

The front of the ASUS EAH5750 Formula’s box artistically represents its heatsink shroud along with a pronounced declaration of being 13% cooler. Opening the front cover reveals more information and a view of the video card. The top goes over information about the cooling solution. The heatsink fins have been textured with ripples, an aerodynamic shroud design, and a "Dust-proof" fan. Along with the window, the bottom shows a small infrared image comparison of the EAH5750 Formula to a reference Radeon HD 5750 and a list of features.

Article Image Article Image Article Image

Article Image Article Image

In the first image above we can see the EAH5750 Formula’s cooling solution in all of its glory. It brings a unique look to the video card; however it does come at the sacrifice of using an extra slot of space. You will also note that the EAH5750 Formula has only a single bracket, so there is no vent to let hot air flow out the back of your case.

The ASUS EAH5750 Formula also deviates from a reference Radeon HD 5750 in board layout and output options. Where a reference Radeon HD 5750 has 2 DVI ports, an HDMI port, and a DisplayPort, the EAH5750 Formula only has a DVI, a D-Sub, and a HDMI port. This means if you have an older monitor with a D-Sub port you won’t have to worry about using an adapter. This also means that this model has less display output options than other Radeon HD 5750 video cards.

The third image above is a close shot of the video cards heatsink showing the ripples in the cooling fins. In the next image we see the tail end of the video card and its auxiliary power connector. Our last image is another close up shot of the Crossfire connectors and again of the rippled cooling fins.

Article Image Article Image Article Image

On the back of the video card we can see the last four memory chips and the four screws holding the cooling solution to the Printed Circuit Board (PCB.) The EAH5750 comes with a SpeedSetup Guide, a Driver CD, a Manual CD, and a HDMI to DVI adaptor, a two 4-pin to 6-pin power adapter and a Crossfire bridge.