Product Type: Sapphire graphic cards
Newest Review: ... adequate to run the majority of games on maximum settings without framerate issues. Games such as Bioshock 2 , F.E.A.R. 2, Call of Duty... more
Solid performer, and yes, it can run Crysis.
Sapphire Radeon HD 5850
Member Name: Nitrostar
Sapphire Radeon HD 5850
Advantages: Good card capable of playing most modern games on high to maximum settings.
Disadvantages: Some noise during intense loads. Two year old technology.
Although a couple of years old at this point in time it wasn't that long ago when ATI/AMD's Radeon 5850 was the second most advanced card on the market, behind the Radeon 5870. With both AMD and nVidia having launched higher specification cards for the highly competitive PC graphics market, one could be fooled into believing that the 5850 no longer has anything to offer but they would be wrong.
With the price having dropped significantly from when it was first released, as AMD look to push their more advanced 6000-series line, this has now become an affordable option for those who want good gaming performance on even the most modern titles.
Out of the box, the factory default memory and core speed settings are more than adequate to run the majority of games on maximum settings without framerate issues. Games such as Bioshock 2 , F.E.A.R. 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2/3 and Company of Heroes all run perfectly on maximum settings with framerates holding steady at a more than comfortable 35+ and although Crysis and Grand Theft Auto IV cannot reach their full potential on this card, the results are still good, with a solid 30+ FPS on medium to high settings for both games.
The 5850 supports AMD's "Eyefinity" technology, allowing a single application to be spread across multiple monitors for an even wider "widescreen" appearance, although anybody limited on desk space wouldn't be considering this. Regular multiple-monitor use is also supported.
The card can become hot and adequate cooling is essential. The fan can also become somewhat noisy during graphically intense games and overclocking the core and memory speeds is only recommended with an aftermarket cooler setup and, of course, only recommended for those who are confident in their abilities. Software is included that allows the card to be overclocked from the factory default settings, as well as alter the fan speeds.
For those who have space considerations inside their case, the card is approximately 10.5" in length, which means that it will require a relatively large case. Mine sits in a Coolermaster CM690 with just enough room for connecting the cables and leaving the card secure. It should be fine for most full tower cases but those running small form factor cases may wish to measure the available space before they consider purchasing the card.
The main consideration is that this card is now a couple of years old and the market will only get more advanced from here. Although the slow turnaround towards the next generation of consoles has also slowed the PC gaming market in graphical terms due to developers not wanting to create too many games that the decade-old technology in consoles cannot run, it is worth bearing in mind that rumours of a next-generation Xbox in 2012/13 are around and as a long-term purchase, the Radeon 5850 will show its age sooner rather than later if these rumours are true. If you're looking for a long term investment you will be better served looking towards a 6000 series Radeon but if you're looking for a relatively cheap card for the next year to eighteen months then the 5850 should serve you well.
Summary: For the price, this is very good. If you want to run Crysis maxed out though, look elsewhere.
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