Can you add an expensive Radeon HD 5750 to your Radeon HD 5770 and get the performance of a Radeon HD 5870? Our test session answers in the affirmative. As opposed to Nvidia’s SLI, AMD’s CrossFireX technology works perfectly on such asymmetric multi-GPU tandems as Radeon HD 5770+5750 and we had no stability or compatibility issues whatsoever.
At a resolution of 1280x1024 this asymmetric tandem is an average 2% slower than the Radeon HD 5870, the largest gap of 14% being observed in BattleForge. The Radeon HD 5770+5750 pair is occasionally even faster, enjoying an advantage of nearly 15% in Resident Evil 5.
The overall picture remains the same at the higher resolution. The Radeon HD 5770+5750 tandem never falls behind the Radeon HD 5870 by more than 15%. Its biggest advantage lowers to 7%, though. The CrossFireX tandem beats or equals its single-chip opponent in eight tests.
The total number of draws and wins is six now and the asymmetric CrossFireX tandem falls behind its opponent in Resident Evil 5, yet it still looks appealing, especially as you can hardly buy a Radeon HD 5870, let alone a GeForce GTX 295, for less than $400.
It is in Crysis Warhead that the asymmetric CrossFireX configuration fails noticeably at 2560x1600. In the other games it delivers as much comfort as the premium Radeon HD 5870 and GeForce GTX 295, though.
Thus, the idea of using a Radeon HD 5750 together with a Radeon HD 5770 in CrossFireX mode does make sense. The former card can be found in retail for $130-150. Considering its performance, it can make a good starter for an inexpensive graphics subsystem. And when you need to boost your computer’s graphics performance later on, you can add $170-190 more, buy a Radeon HD 5770 and play games like on a Radeon HD 5870 which would cost you $400. A Radeon HD 5850 would cost about the same money as the asymmetric CrossFireX tandem but would be slower.
This upgrade method can help you save your money and can also be done in two steps, without investing a large sum right away. The only shortcoming of the asymmetric Radeon HD 5770+5750 configuration is that it depends on software support on the side of the driver and game engine, but this is a common feature of all modern multi-GPU solutions.