HIS Radeon HD 5850 Review :
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HIS Radeon HD 5850 Review

Date: 2009-10-29

   Weaker, but CheaperThe graphics war is looking more and more one-sided these days as ATI continues to pour out its latest Evergreen (Radeon 5000) series of cards. Just weeks after the range-top...

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Weaker, But Perhaps Better

Widely overlooked and quite often unavailable in retail at launch, the less powerful Radeon 5800 series card, the HD 5850 showed us today that it is no pushover. Despite sporting fewer stream processors and markedly lower clock speeds than the HD 5870, the HD 5850 proved that it was still quick enough to oust NVIDIA's single fastest GPU, the GeForce GTX 285, making it presently the world's second fastest GPU. That is impressive, to say the least.

What makes the Radeon HD 5850 even more enticing is its price. At US$259, it is a whopping US$120 cheaper than the Radeon HD 5870. That's quite the sum and personally we think it's a little excessive to pay US$120 more for that increase in performance, especially if you're not a hardcore gamer with fat pockets.

As it is, the HD 5850 makes the GTX 285 completely redundant. Not only does it outperform it in terms of frame rates, it also offers DirectX 11 support, and is less warm to operate and more power efficient. Given that GeForce GTX 285 cards are still going for around US$350 on Newegg, the HD 5850 is also much cheaper than the competition too. It's a no-brainer, really.

In the local scene, the Radeon HD 5850 is going at a slightly pricier S$399, but this is still much more affordable than the Radeon HD 5870's asking price of S$599. NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 285 cards are still commanding a hefty price of at least S$500. Hence, the HD 5850 retains its value buy proposition.

Offering a terrific blend of performance and price, the Radeon HD 5850 is for those who want top-end gaming performance, but don't have the cash to splash on the Radeon HD 5870.

HIS Radeon HD 5850 Review
The Radeon HD 5850 is definitely no slouch. In fact, considering its price and performance, we think its a better buy than its more powerful sibling, the Radeon HD 5870.

With two of the world's fastest GPUs under their belt, ATI is sitting pretty now. And despite unveiling the Fermi architecture powering their next-generation cards at the recently concluded GPU Technology Conference, the fact remains that the guys in green have been comprehensively beaten to the market by ATI. The next few months should be interesting, as ATI prepares to launch their dual-GPU Hemlock cards and NVIDIA rushes against time to get their Fermi cards out before it's too late. But right now, however, all signs point to the Radeon HD 5850 as being the best bang for buck card bar none.

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