HIS Radeon 5850 Review

By on October 9, 2009, 1:19 PM
Having just recently reviewed the ATI Radeon HD 5870 and bearing witness to its power, we were keen to get our hands on the cheaper, cut-down version known as the Radeon HD 5850. Though both cards were announced last September 23rd, AMD waited an extra week until the Radeon HD 5850 could be showcased. And now - admittedly a bit late - we have finally dug up a production model from HIS to put to the test. The more affordable HD 5850 shares the same technological advances as its higher-end sibling. That includes support for DirectX 11, HDMI bitstreaming, Eyefinity, angle-independent anisotropic filtering, and supersample anti-aliasing. A slightly toned down configuration, however, allows it to sell for just $260.
At this price the Radeon HD 5850 is not much more expensive than the HD 4890 or Nvidia's GeForce GTX 275, and it is considerably cheaper than the GeForce GTX 285. It's also about $120 more affordable than the Radeon HD 5870, which currently holds the fastest single-GPU graphics card crown. Read the complete review.




User Comments: 30

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Nirkon said:

Great stuff!

Makes me glad to be in the ATI camp again

I won't be upgrading anything anytime soon though

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I maybe an Nvidia fan (but I am also an AMD Proccessor fan) I have to give it this much that, that is a pretty impressive bit of kit, plus its size is also a god send for some of the guys I know. Overall, I think I may have to convert to ATI!

Reloader2 said:

Damn that's a hot card! I got my 4890 2 weeks before these cards came out. But damn that is a hot card.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Excellent review - thanks!

Rage_3K_Moiz Rage_3K_Moiz, Sith Lord, said:

This looks like a sweeter card than the 5870!

Question: Can I Crossfire this with an HD 4870 or HD 4850?

Guest said:

What about Supreme Commander? Am I the only one who noticed that they listed it in the benchmark info, but didn't bench it?

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Guest said:

What about Supreme Commander? Am I the only one who noticed that they listed it in the benchmark info, but didn't bench it?

Supreme Commander has been dropped and the list is updated!

Guest said:

Yeaa... Finally, the card that can fit my cheap casing.... :)

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Rage_3K_Moiz said:

This looks like a sweeter card than the 5870!

Question: Can I Crossfire this with an HD 4870 or HD 4850?

I really wish someone had the answer to Moiz's question. what an upgrade path it would be if you could.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm thinking about this for my holiday wish list. Looks like a good deal at a good price. My only problem is that it still isn't creamy smooth in Crysis and my 8800 GTX OC is preforming well enough. I'd hope for triple digits in Crysis after waiting 2 years for a new GPU.

Crysis is my most watched benchmark - when a card can play that game smooth on a 22" in full quality I'll be most likely able to play anything really well at full quality.

For the past 3 card series (2xxx, 3xxx, 4xxx series / R600, R700, R800 GPU's), has prices come down but performance stayed about the same?

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

I'm thinking about this for my holiday wish list. Looks like a good deal at a good price. My only problem is that it still isn't creamy smooth in Crysis and my 8800 GTX OC is preforming well enough. I'd hope for triple digits in Crysis after waiting 2 years for a new GPU.

Crysis is my most watched benchmark - when a card can play that game smooth on a 22" in full quality I'll be most likely able to play anything really well at full quality.

For the past 3 card series (2xxx, 3xxx, 4xxx series / R600, R700, R800 GPU's), has prices come down but performance stayed about the same?

ummm, boy its hard to know where to start with that 9. firstly, "creamy smooth" starts well before 100+ FPS, your eye cant detect anything over 60 FPS, secondly, if you really cant see the difference between the 2xxx series and the 5xxx series, maybe you should stick with your 8800 GTX, because its not getting anywhere near 35 FPS on high in crysis at 1680x1050 or 1920x1020. and if you purchased your card back then....you paid more for it then the 5850.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

Performance has definitely improved across the board in newer generation cards, but perhaps even more relevant than that, you can get a very fast card for less money today. The Radeon 5750 is a great example of this, but this wave of uber-fast mainstream cards started with the last generation of GPUs.

As for Crysis performance, sure it's a good benchmark because it remains one (if not the most) demanding PC game out there. But at the same time PC developers have shifted their focus and today 99% of new game releases can do with less horsepower than Crysis, a two year old game.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Performance has definitely improved across the board in newer generation cards, but perhaps even more relevant than that, you can get a very fast card for less money today. The Radeon 5750 is a great example of this, but this wave of uber-fast mainstream cards started with the last generation of GPUs.

As for Crysis performance, sure it's a good benchmark because it remains one (if not the most) demanding PC game out there. But at the same time PC developers have shifted their focus and today 99% of new game releases can do with less horsepower than Crysis, a two year old game.

not to mention that Crysis code is very inefficiently written. (i think that's what Julio just said)

Staff
Steve Steve said:

red1776 said:

Rage_3K_Moiz said:

This looks like a sweeter card than the 5870!

Question: Can I Crossfire this with an HD 4870 or HD 4850?

I really wish someone had the answer to Moiz's question. what an upgrade path it would be if you could.

Someone would have sooner but someone was super busy testing the Radeon HD 5770.

Anyway I just tried to Crossfire the two cards but it wouldn't work, at least not with current drivers. You could use either card of course but not both together in Crossfire mode. I will keep looking into this when I have some free time

Rage_3K_Moiz Rage_3K_Moiz, Sith Lord, said:

Thanks for the reply Steve.

When can we expect the 5770 review?

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Thanks for the reply Steve.

When can we expect the 5770 review?

How long can you stay awake Its not too far away....

Ritwik7 Ritwik7, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

The 5850 hits the sweet-spot of price and performance! Would be a lovely card to get.

Eagerly awaiting the HD 5770 review...

Rage_3K_Moiz Rage_3K_Moiz, Sith Lord, said:

Erm, what? :S

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

ati grarphic card always driver problem. ati always use "HD" as marketing.

nividia the gretest graphic devolepes not just for game other like architreture ,medical science,designing and etc.

just earn bit more money in your graphic card and buy ' msi N275GTX Lightning ".

better,best and mind blowing.

I see in addition to spell check....Techspot needs a fact check.

mailpup mailpup said:

A grammar, syntax, punctuation and capitalization check wouldn't hurt either but no one is perfect.

Guest said:

I was just wondering, what cpu heatsink are they using here? looks very nice

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Its the Noctua NH-C12P....

[link]

Guest said:

Thank you very much

Guest said:

Are you on crack? The GTX295 clearly won almost every test you threw at it. Why does your conclusion state that the 5850 wins everything? Did you just phone the conclusion in?

Rage_3K_Moiz Rage_3K_Moiz, Sith Lord, said:

When you pay $500, you do expect it to be faster than every other card that's tested. The fact that a card half the price comes even close is a marvel in itself IMO.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

It's crystal clear by now that AMD has managed to deliver the fastest and second-fastest single-GPU graphics cards money can buy over the past month.

Have a re-read guest, this is a single GPU card VS the GTX 295 that is a dual GPU card (actually its two GTX 275's with a heat sink between them) but be that as it may, it beat the GTX 295 in a few games and came within 20% in most others. its the hands down winner for a single GPU card, and its not even the flagship.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Are you on crack? The GTX295 clearly won almost every test you threw at it. Why does your conclusion state that the 5850 wins everything? Did you just phone the conclusion in?

Please don't embarrass the guest account, other people have to use it.

DarKSeeD DarKSeeD said:

When the time will come, I mean the card will be in stock without a problem, I will get my old GTX 260 out and put two of these babies in my P5Q Deluxe (Crossfire all the way). One card at a time, only to see how much heat it will generate and how much power it will draw.

I love the curves of the HIS 5850 and overall aspect.

whiteandnerdy said:

this is a great card. the fan is really loud when you wind it up...my computer might take off from my desk

Guest said:

I bought HIS HD 5850 iCooler V (plain, non-reference) card 2 weeks back and I am very happy with its performance. I have used XFX cards before both ATI and nVidia based and this is my first HIS card. I had never heard of this brand before so I was a little apprehensive in buying it at first, but the reviews on newegg led me to believe that it is the one I wanted, although it sounded a little overpriced to me.

After almost 2-3 hours of intense gaming (Metro 2033 ish games) the card did NOT cross 65 degrees CELSIUS which in my book is great! just like those old smaller cards (my old XFX GeForce 6600GT used to run at this temperature!)

Almost all the games today are fully playable with all settings maxed out at 1680x1050. 60% of games are playable at the 1900x1200 resolution with all settings maxed out. On a 22" screen, 1680x1050 is more than enough.

The fan on the card also runs quiet and just fit in my mid-atx case but I had to move my hard disk up a couple of slots in that bay.

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