Asus Radeon HD 5850 1GB GDDR5 Graphics Card

Introduction

Introduction
 
There are a lot of things that we want in life. It's human nature to want something, although of course some of us may take this a step further and replace want with “need”. These “things” could be anything. A glamorous holiday in a place that's always warm and is always sunny when you want it to be. That new BMW coupe that you saw on the streets the other day maybe... Or a really big house, that can cater for all your nearest and dearest. All of this is probably a tad irrelevant for a tech based website... Perhaps we don't care for extravagant holidays. A new sports car? Not at all, that's what Racedriver GRID is for. That big house...all our friends are accessible via Skype! I'm going to stop trying to get myself killed by means of stereotyping and turn one's attention to the release of the Radeon HD 5800 series of graphics cards codenamed “Cypress”. There are some things in life which can't be had because they're a little out of one's reach at a given point in time. However, in this case (thanks to ATi and TSMC) would seem that whether you have the money or not, you can't have any high end Direct X 11 goodness in your life because there is a pitiful quantity in distribution relative to the current demand for them. To make things worse, it seems ATi may take it upon themselves to raise the value of these products. As these graphics cards trickle through the supply chain and relevant Add in Board Partners, Wholesalers and Retailers profiteer on these highly demanded graphics cards, this will in turn affect pricing greatly. As shown below, the trend of Radeon HD 5850 pricing over the last two months hasn't been particularly promising.
 

It's not too great on nVidia's side either as they appear to have cut production of their GT200 based graphics cards (GTX 260, 275, 285 and 295) and thus the price gauging continues. We shall not let this affect our view on the products themselves but it should be mentioned that these graphics cards are as good as gold dust right now. We were however very grateful that Asus were able to supply us with today's review item, the Asus Radeon HD 5850 1GB GDDR5 Graphics Card.
 
Asus shouldn't need any introduction, offering product solutions to all ends of the market from systems components for the retail and OEM as well as their own laptops/netbooks and desktops. The brand has been in the graphics card business for a very long time and have brought a number of memorable products to market including the Asus GTX 295 MARS graphics card. With that in mind, we have very high expectations from the product that we're about to review.
 
Specifications
 
Name
Asus Radeon HD 5850
Asus Radeon HD 5870
Core Name Cypress Cypress
Core Frequency 725MHz 850MHz
Stream Processors
1440 1600
Memory Frequency 4000MHz (1000MHz x 4)
4800MHz
(1200MHz x 4)
Memory Interface 256bit 256bit
ROP Count 32 32
TMU Count 72
80
Original Retail Price £199.99 £299.99
 
Unlike a number of Asus' enthusiast graphics cards, the Asus Radeon HD 5850 operates at reference clock speeds of 725MHz Core and 4000MHz Memory. Aside the clock speed differences, the 5850 is kept away from it's bigger brother by it's reduced Stream Processor count. Regardless, it's specifications on paper look very promising.
 
Let's continue to the next page to have a look at Asus' new Direct X 11 graphics card in the flesh!
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Most Recent Comments

16-11-2009, 06:04:21

tinytomlogan
Mul takes a look at the Asus Radeon HD 5850 1GB GDDR5 Graphics Card.

Continue ReadingQuote

16-11-2009, 06:28:29

kimandsally
Very nice review covered enough to want to buy one.Quote

16-11-2009, 06:47:25

Rastalovich
Awesome card, it's a damn shame that they've seen fit to hype the prices. All said and done, hitting the market at around £200 and slipping to £175-ish would have made it mouth-watering for some.

I think it's gotten to the stage that lack of availabilty needs to be in the bad section 'at the time of writing', in so much that when ASUS see the review/feedback they can perhaps take more notice of what the enthusiasts are saying also. Having a choice, but not being able to find it, is a really bad thing.

Tool looks good, not so good with the voltage thing lacking, perhaps an upd8 will come along to sort that out.

Typical of ASUS gfxcards I've experienced of late, well build, look pretty good and is probably sounds strange, but I bet it felt good when u took it out of the anti static.

Good stuff, bad timing maybe.Quote
Reply
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