Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 graphics card
Following in the only slightly larger footprints of the sizzling 5870 graphics card comes this downscaled version, the Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB
- Excellent value for money, good performance
- Less well-equipped for future use than more expensive cards
The Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB boasts plenty of power, with many of the same features as the 5870. The clincher, though, is the price. Four hundred dollars is fantastic for a card hard on the heels of a GTX 295 or HD 5870. If you're shopping anywhere near to this price point, nothing tops the ATI HD 5850.
Price$ 406.00 (AUD)
The Radeon HD 5870 first showed us the joys of ATI's DirectX 11.0 technology, but it was the 5850 that shoe-horned it into a package that offered real value for the fervent gamer.
Both graphics chips are manufactured using the 40nm process. The 5850 is a little shorter than the 5870, but it also runs cooler and consumes less power at 151W under maximum load. It requires a pair of six-pin power connectors. You get both HDMI and DVI ports, and the 5850 can support up to three screens. Eyefinity adds the ability to stretch some games across those three displays.
The basic architecture is based on a 256bit memory interface. The specifications have been trimmed slightly, so the 5870’s 850MHz core clock becomes 725MHz in the 5850. The memory clock speed has been turned down from 1.2GHz to 1GHz, and the number of stream processors is sliced from 1,600 to a still impressive 1,440. All this should give the 5850 the edge over both the GTX 470 and 480. Its floating point of 2.09TFlops is almost twice that of the GTX 470’s 1.09TFlops, while the fill rate sees it beat even the GTX 480 by more than 10.2GTps. This is due to a generous sampling of texture units.
But superiority on paper doesn’t always result in a commanding lead in real-world performance. The 5850 is a slower card than the GTX 470, but the difference wasn’t as great as the $100 price gap might suggest. In Hawx, it trailed by around 8 to 12fps, but in Aliens vs Predator the difference was less than 2fps as detail levels were raised. Our Crysis tests occasionally saw the 5850 beat its rival.
Of the $350-plus cards we've tested recently, the 5850 saw the greatest drop in performance when moving from DirectX 10.x to 11.0. We suspect this card will have few problems with future DirectX 11.0 games, however.
The 5850 is slower than the GTX 470 in most tests. But it costs less and runs cooler and quieter.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Surface Pro 4
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- AMD busts Ryzen performance myths, clearing Windows 10 from blame
- Nvidia supercharges GeForce DirectX 12 performance with new Game Ready driver
- Ryzen works with XMP memory profiles
- Beyond smartphones, Samsung wants its Exynos 9 chip in VR headsets
- Nvidia slashes GeForce GTX 1080 prices, reveals new overclocked memory options
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTLevel 2 Technical Support OfficerQLD
- TPJava DeveloperWA
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- FT.Net Developer - Mid-levelNSW
- CCICT ManagerNSW
- TPTechnical ManagerNSW
- FTFunctional Consultant - CommercialsQLD
- FTResponsive Design Developer, Frontend, PHP, WordpressNSW
- FTLead DevOps EngineerNSW
- CCChange AnalystVIC
- FTService Desk Consultant - Entry Level / GraduateNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst - HealthQLD
- FTL&D ConsultantVIC
- FTAEM Architect - Blue Chip companyNSW
- FTSenior Technical Consultant - Microsoft / VMWareVIC
- CCAgile CoachNSW
- FTData Centre Technical SpecialistACT
- FTGraduate Software EngineerNSW
- FTHyperion SpecialistNSW
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- CCITCM EngineerNSW
- FTSCOM AdministratorACT
- CC.NET Developer!QLD
- FTSenior Desktop Engineer - SCCM / AD / 2012 ServerNSW