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PCB Design and Specifications

This graphics card looks interesting than the previous one as it seems to be an original product. However, the red color of the PCB should not mislead you. The card has the standard PCB wiring developed by AMD. The color and the cooler are the only original things about it.


PowerColor PCS HD5750 Premium (left) and ATI Radeon HD 5750 reference (right)

It is easy to see that the PowerColor PCS HD5750 Premium is akin to the reference Radeon HD 5750 even without removing the cooler although an inexperienced user may be confused by the tilted chokes of the voltage regulator. They are installed neatly enough and do not look like a defect of assembly, though. The kinship becomes even more obvious with the coolers removed:


The circuit design is somewhat simplified. PowerColor’s version lacks smaller chokes and some capacitors that were present on the original Radeon HD 5750 but the power circuit is a copy of the reference one. It follows a 3+1 design in which the 3-phase GPU voltage regulator is managed by an uP6201 chip from uPI Semiconductor and the 1-phase memory voltage regulator, lacking one choke, is based on an uP6101 controller.

Like in the senior model of the Radeon HD 5700 series, there is one 6-pin PCIe 1.0 power connector here.

The GPU was manufactured on the 37th week of 2009 and works at a clock rate of 700MHz in full compliance with AMD’s official specs. It is technically an RV830 with some subunits turned off. To be specific, one of its 10 SIMD cores is turned off, with its 80 ALUs and 4 texture processors. Thus, like any Radeon HD 5750, the PowerColor PCS HD5750 Premium has 720 ALUs (grouped into 144 universal shader processors) and 36 texture-mapping units. The number of RBEs is 16, like in the Radeon HD 5770. This card has a memory frequency of 1150 (4600) MHz, providing a peak memory bandwidth of 73.6GBps. Like the senior card of the series, this model has 1 gigabyte of memory. We could not read the marking on the GDDR5 chips as they had small aluminum heatsinks which we dared not tear off as we might damage the card. We guess they are Hynix H5GQ1H24AFR-T2C, the same memory as you can see on the reference Radeon HD 5750 and 5770.

Like the senior model of the Radeon HD 5700 series, the junior one supports up to three monitors simultaneously: two with DVI interface and one with DisplayPort. The card also offers an HDMI connector that supports multi-channel HD audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. This is only available with the fifth-generation Radeons as yet. No other graphics card, not even Nvidia’s GeForce GT 220/240, offer this functionality. Of course, the card supports CrossFireX and has two appropriate connectors that we are going to use today.

So, notwithstanding its brighter appearance, the PowerColor PCS HD5750 Premium is in fact one more copy of AMD’s reference sample. Its cooling system is a different story, though. PowerColor’s website says the company collaborates with Arctic Cooling, but the cooler installed on this model was developed and manufactured by ZEROtherm, a well-known maker of cooling solutions. A brief search on the ZEROtherm site produced the GX810 model that is the same as the cooler on the PowerColor card except for the shape of the base which contacts with the GPU die and for the lack of the thermal sensor which regulates the fan’s speed depending on the temperature.

This solution is technically very much alike to the Zalman VF900-Cu but has different and smaller ribbing. It also has a blower that blows sideways whereas Zalman’s cooler also blows downwards to cool the card's PCB. And finally, there is only one heat pipe here. Anyway, this ZEROtherm solution is obviously superior to the reference Radeon HD 5750 cooler which is an ordinary aluminum "flower" copying the old coolers of Thermaltake's Orb series. And we expect PowerColor’s cooler to be more effective and, probably, quieter. We’ll check this out right now.

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