Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB graphics card (Game Edition)
Following in the only slightly larger footprints of the sizzling 5870 graphics card comes this downscaled version, the Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB.
- Good price, can support up to three screens, decent performance
- Until more DirectX 11 games are on the market we won't be able to test this card's performance fully
While the 5870 is all about showcasing innovation, the Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB also boasts plenty of power, with many of the same features. The clincher, though, is the price.
Price$ 422.00 (AUD)
While the 5870 is designed for ultimate single-chip performance, the ATI Radeon HD 5850 aims to be a more modest version, yet one fast enough to satisfy demanding gamers.
You don't lose a great deal. Both use the 40nm manufacturing process, but the Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB card is shorter, runs cooler and consumes a little less power - although still requires a pair of 6-pin power connectors.
It offers the same useful duo of HDMI and DVI ports, and can support up to three screens. There's the potential to stretch some games across three flat-panels using Eyefinity - creating an immersive cockpit in a flight sim or racing game, for example, or giving a wider range of view in a First Person Shooter.
The basic architecture remains the same. The 256-bit memory interface has been retained, but other specs are trimmed. Not by an awful lot, though, so the 5870's 850MHz core clock becomes 725MHz in the Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB, and the memory clock slides from 1200MHz (4800MHz DDR effective) to 1000MHz (4000MHz). And the number of stream processors is sliced from 1600 to a still impressive 1440.
We'll have to wait a while yet to see DirectX 11 games in full glory. A small number of titles tuned for DX11 are due out before next year, but right now, all we have to judge is Battleforge, taking a small sampling of DX11's promised capabilities.
The most significant use of DX11 in the Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB is in improving performance through compute shader, giving an extra 19 percent framerate in our tests.
But until we see games showcasing a range of DX11's artillery, we can't honestly assess these cards of their DirectX11 worth.
The Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB is a clear contender on performance - never quite reaching the heights of the 5870, but neither finishing too far behind. Both the nVidia GTX 295 and ATI's 5870 remain ahead, but those cards are an awful lot more expensive. And the 5850 gives the 4870 X2 a good fight, beating it comfortably in a number of tests.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Surface Pro 4
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
- Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes looks sharp, but will it survive the freemium transition?
- Nintendo's bringing Super Mario Run to Android in March, but Fire Emblem's coming first
- The Switch is a mix of Nintendo's past consoles
- Dead Rising 4 impressions: 'Tis the season to BBQ zombies with your flaming sword
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- 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
- CCCA ITCM / ITCA EngineerNSW
- FTSolutions Software DeveloperVIC
- FTSenior Java EngineerACT
- TPProject ManagerOther
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)VIC
- FTClient Delivery ManagerSA
- CCSAP Billing & Invoicing ConsultantNSW
- CCMarketing SpecialistNSW
- FTSenior Network AdministratorNSW
- FTSalesforce AdministratorQLD
- TPProject OfficerNSW
- TPDatabase Integration SpecialistVIC
- FTPrincipal Architect - Infrastructure | Major BankVIC
- TPSenior Project CoordinatorNSW
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistNSW
- CCPMO ManagerNSW
- TPBusiness Process Analyst (Newcaslte Based)NSW
- FTSenior Software EngineerVIC
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- TPImplementation Business Partner - Business ModernisationNSW
- TPService Desk Analyst - Level 1VIC
- FTJunior ITIL Service AnalystVIC
- CCTelecommunication Operations SpecialistTAS
- CCContract - System Access Administrator - major Telco in MelbourneVIC