Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB graphics card (Game Edition)
Following in the only slightly larger footprints of the sizzling 5870 graphics card comes this downscaled version, the Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB.
- Good price, can support up to three screens, decent performance
- Until more DirectX 11 games are on the market we won't be able to test this card's performance fully
While the 5870 is all about showcasing innovation, the Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB also boasts plenty of power, with many of the same features. The clincher, though, is the price.
Price$ 422.00 (AUD)
While the 5870 is designed for ultimate single-chip performance, the ATI Radeon HD 5850 aims to be a more modest version, yet one fast enough to satisfy demanding gamers.
You don't lose a great deal. Both use the 40nm manufacturing process, but the Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB card is shorter, runs cooler and consumes a little less power - although still requires a pair of 6-pin power connectors.
It offers the same useful duo of HDMI and DVI ports, and can support up to three screens. There's the potential to stretch some games across three flat-panels using Eyefinity - creating an immersive cockpit in a flight sim or racing game, for example, or giving a wider range of view in a First Person Shooter.
The basic architecture remains the same. The 256-bit memory interface has been retained, but other specs are trimmed. Not by an awful lot, though, so the 5870's 850MHz core clock becomes 725MHz in the Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB, and the memory clock slides from 1200MHz (4800MHz DDR effective) to 1000MHz (4000MHz). And the number of stream processors is sliced from 1600 to a still impressive 1440.
We'll have to wait a while yet to see DirectX 11 games in full glory. A small number of titles tuned for DX11 are due out before next year, but right now, all we have to judge is Battleforge, taking a small sampling of DX11's promised capabilities.
The most significant use of DX11 in the Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB is in improving performance through compute shader, giving an extra 19 percent framerate in our tests.
But until we see games showcasing a range of DX11's artillery, we can't honestly assess these cards of their DirectX11 worth.
The Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB is a clear contender on performance - never quite reaching the heights of the 5870, but neither finishing too far behind. Both the nVidia GTX 295 and ATI's 5870 remain ahead, but those cards are an awful lot more expensive. And the 5850 gives the 4870 X2 a good fight, beating it comfortably in a number of tests.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P30 Pro review: A photography powerhouse that leans into and elevates its natural strengths
- 2 Samsung Galaxy S10 review: Messy decisions mar smart evolutions
- 3 Nokia 8.1 review: The more things change, the more they stay the same
- 4 Huawei Watch GT review: Battery life isn't everything
- 5 Oppo AX7 review: New looks, same old budget buy
Latest News Articles
- IEM Sydney adds Overwatch Contenders 2019 finals
- Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory is set to arrive later this year
- Blizzard tag in Good Old Games to re-release original Warcraft
- Weaker-than-expected sales have thrown Phantom Doctrine dev CreativeForge into disarray
- Apex Legends hands on preview: Swinging at the king
PCW Evaluation Team
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
- Huawei P30 Pro: Full, in-depth review
- Panasonic Lumix S1 review
- Want to play Apex Legends?
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?