The new HD

June 17th, 2010 in .Blogs
Suds McSoapdish
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The numbers 720p and 1080p have entered the common parlance for most tech-aware people as the main screen sizes, or resolutions, associated with high definition. To give them their full descriptions, they stand for 1280X720 and 1920X1080 pixels, respectively, with the “p” simply denoting the screen refresh method, which is progressive.

While in most marketing speak these numbers still cling to some form of “new arrival” and buzzword cachet, they are in fact quite obsolete. Good old PCs of the desktop variety, not bound by smaller screen sizes, have long been able to render images much bigger than the so-called full HD 1080p.

However, even they are limited by the prowess of the rendering hardware, namely the graphics processors. Thank goodness modern graphics cards, those of the DirectX11 era, are more than able to deal with the new screen resolution to watch out for: 2560X1600.


For comparison’s sake, think of screen resolutions as an equation to figure out just how much data goes on each screen frame. For 720p, you get roughly 0.92 megapixel, 1080p is 2.07 megapixel, while 1600p equals some 4.1 megapixel. Because traditionally PC monitors have a 16:10 aspect ratio, common resolutions to consider are also 1920X1200 (2.3 megapixel) and 1680X1050 (1.76 megapixel). You may also still encounter 19” monitors in the 1440X900 resolution (1.3 megapixel). 


However, in PC gaming the two new resolutions to note above all others are 1920X1200 and 2560X1600, and today’s graphics cards are more than up to the task of delivering new titles in glorious detail on those screen sizes.

The good news is that the console effect has lowered prices for PC gear, so what used to be top shelf performance can now be had for budget costs with no compromise in computing power. Sure, getting a monster like MATRIX5870 or the 5970 will net you a power surplus, but we’re here to recommend saner options.

                 Get these


For people building a new PC or upgrading a desktop with a new graphics card, consider these members of the AMD 5000 series. Both this EAH5750 and this EAH5770 will run every game currently available for PC, and titles coming in the next year, in 1920X1200 in high detail. For 2560X1600 performance, expect to dial down some details to mid settings. Conversely, the more powerful cards we mentioned in the previous paragraph cost three times more. 

EAH5750 Formula

The key aspects of the 5750 and 5770 to consider are the facts that they are native DirecX11 cards and pack a nice 1GB of GDDR5 each. They’re both efficient 40nm fabrications, so they don’t run as hot as previous gen cards, and the overclocking potential is considerable. They both ship with Smart Doctor and Gamer OSD overclocking utilities, plus the 5770 adds the Voltage Tweak interface, which makes it possible to alter voltages for even deeper clock bumping, something the AMD Juniper GPU variants on both are very accepting of. 

The crux of the issue is that you don’t have to spend a bankful to get the satisfying performance you need out of new games on PC. You could spend that money if you have it, but rest assured the mainstream option is a more valid one than ever before.

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