Asus 5850 TOP Review
The 5850 TOP Up Close
The first thing that strikes you, apart from the racing stripes, is that this isn't a full length cooler. This is something we're always concerned about as the heat is expelled into the case and the less of that the better. With a good sized case and decent airflow this isn't a major problem, but with graphics cards just situated under the processor and heat rising any degree is one we could do without.
The rear view gives us our first glimpse of the huge heatpipes and how well laid out the board is.
Unlike the standard reference design ASUS' DirectCU cooler has a large amount of fins, two big heatpipes and a very large fan that should dissipate the heat far more efficiently than the standard one, and with the the size of the fan hopefully much quieter too.
Despite the size it's still well within a double-card depth, and has a nice little ASUS logo on the side, to go along with the one on the fan, and the one on the cooler shroud, and the one on the board. Nobody will be in any doubt about who makes this when it's in your show case.
Finally we have the three outputs on the rear of the HD5850 Top. One DVI-D, one HDMI and one DisplayPort, providing Eyefinity compatibility right out the box without needing adaptors.
One of the things the pictures don't do full justice too is how solid this thing feels. This is definitely a well built piece of kit.