Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB Video Card Review

Though I am a hardware reviewer, I am in no way an insider in the enthusiast hardware industry.  I find out new hardware is coming out at the same time everyone else does.  Probably later than those of you that keep up with the latest hardware happenings, as I really don’t have time to.  I find out when the previews or reviews start coming out, unless I happen to be among the first of those lucky reviewers to get a new item.

So needless to say I was rather surprised when AMD released an entire new line of video cards, the “5000 Series”…not just a card or two, but the whole range from lower end mainstream cards to a powerful new 5870, and just last week a 5890.  This has felt like a rather slow year for hardware, but it really has just been a normal year, with 2008 being a totally insane year.  The global economic situation has affected most industries in a very bad way, but the “consumer electronics” industry has faired very well, including in our sector of that industry, enthusiast hardware.

Our friends at Sapphire, the world’s largest builder of AMD/ATI Radeon video cards, sent me a nice box the other day.  Today I will be looking at the Sapphire Radeon HD 5850, the latest successor to two great video cards, the HD 3850 and HD 4850.   When I first received an HD 3850, I was pleasantly surprised by its performance.  I called the HD 4850 “the most significant product to enter the market in 2008”, and I still stand by that comment.  Will the Radeon HD 5850 do its predecessors proud?  Read on to see!

Special thanks to Sapphire for providing us with the Radeon HD 5850 1GB Video Card to review!

Product:  Sapphire Radeon HD 5850
Part #:  100282SR
Interface:  PCI-E x16
Chipset:  AMD/ATI HD 5850
Manufacture Process:  40nm
Transistors:  2.15 billion 40nm transistors
Engine Clock Speed:  725mHz
Stream Processors:  1440
Memory:  1GB GDDR5 memory
Memory Clock Speed:  1gHz (4.0 Gbps)
Memory Interface:  256-bit
Memory Bandwidth:  128GB/sec
Idle Board Power:  27 watts
Maximum Board Power:  151 watts
1 x HDMI
1 x DisplayPort
2 x DVI
RAMDAC:  400mHz
Max Resolution:  2560 x 1600
Power Connectors: 2 x 6-pin PCI-E
DirectX Support:  Supports DX 11
OpenGL Support:  Supports OpenGL 3.1