XFX Radeon HD 5850 1GB GDDR5 Review

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     October 7, 2009

XFX Radeon HD 5850 1GB GDDR5 Review

Manufacturer's Part Number: HD-585A-ZNFC
Price: Click here to compare prices
Manufacturer's Product Page: XFX HD 5850 1GB
Warranty: Double Lifetime

A few weeks ago, the world’s love affair with ATI’s new 5000-series started with the release of the HD 5870 amid a swarm of positive reviews. Even though there were some small hitches in performance versus the best of the best from the previous generation, ATI’s new product showed itself to be one of the best currently on the market while including some killer features to boot. However, ATI didn’t stop there and went ahead and soft launched the HD 5870’s little brother as well. Today we look at the card that is perhaps making a larger splash in the GPU market pool than any single chip flagship: the HD 5850.

Even though the official launch of the HD 5850 1GB was pushed back a few days, it is still highly anticipated considering on paper it seems to bring most of the performance of a HD 5870 but with a palatable price point. To be honest with you, its present street price of around $269USD / $299CAD could make it an amazing value within its intended market segment which isn’t something we have come to expect from newly launched products. The only issue at this point is availability since the HD 5850 is still hard to find regardless of how many cards are being produced.

Speaking of value, the goal of bringing the best price to performance ratio and performance per watt cards to consumers has been central to the way ATI has done business for their last two product generations. It is this focus that has allowed them to concentrate on specific price segments with higher than expected performance in order to keep the competition on its toes. We have seen the effects of this again and again with NVIDIA’s constant price cutting in a desperate bid to keep their previously high performance cards relevant in a changing climate.

Even though availability may still be a bit spotty and this review is going up a bit later than we may have liked, XFX provided one of their standard-clocked HD 5850 1GB GDDR5 cards. We are particularly excited about this one due to the fact that XFX is currently the only ATI board partner which can boast full North American-based tech support and RMA service along with a Double Lifetime Warranty. These are things no other ATI board partner can attest to and as such pushes XFX to a preeminent position among ATI’s chosen AIBs.

There are very few times when we actually get excited about what a graphics card can bring to the table but this time things are different. Considering the performance of the HD 5870, it should definitely be interesting to see how close the HD 5850 can come to its big brother.


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