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  #21 (permalink)  
Old October 13, 2009, 09:22 AM
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Great review as always.
For us old slow guys.....Ok....just me... can you explain why this card wouldn't run three monitors if none of them had Display Ports? I must have missed something. I see two DVI and a HDMI besides the DP on the back of that darned card! Thanks for this, and all your help in the past.
Can't wait to see if this thing overclocks:-)
Apparently when you use one HDMI, it disables a DVI connector, though I've read on another forum that it's a "software" switch.. There have been rumours that ATI will be providing a software solution to allow all three non-displayport connectors to be concurrently used (correct me if I'm wrong), though I don't think you'll be allowed to run 3x30" displays as HDMI won't support dual-link DVI bandwidth
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old October 20, 2009, 08:30 PM
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Great review, SKYMTL.

A couple of questions:

1. In the review you show an image of the card with the cover off exposing the heat pipes. Is this the reference design or is this something that XFX have created?
2. What is your opinion of the cooling system - say, versus the Vapor-X design from Sapphire?
3. If the cooler being used by all the 5850s are reference is this fair to say it is usual practice by all of the partners? If so, is this to enable them to release early and later bring out their own cooling designs?
4. If we take a look at Sapphire's Vapor-X design (which Hardware Canucks have reviewed previously) why would Sapphire not simply put their cooling design on the new 5850?
5. I have been looking at the 4890 Toxic cooling system and have been at a loss as to why:
- a) the vapor-x revisions do not have a shroud like the Toxic and Atomic revisions; and
- b) why the new 5850 from Sapphire does not have their design.

I guess I am trying to understand how the cooling of the release versions might stack up against custom designs that will be released later down the track. I have a smallish case (well, an Antec Mini-P180 which isn't that small) and am looking at minimising heat and noise (as well as power consumption). None of the reviewers have commented on the design of the release versions. It would be good to have information as to why none of the partners have included custom implementations. And, how the new reference designs compare to previous custom designs (such as the Vapor-X).

Cheers,
Nick
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Old October 20, 2009, 08:33 PM
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The reason why they don't put their own special coolers is because they don't have the time to engineer a board for the release date. They take the stock design and try and gain entry into the market to make most of their profit, then they show off their stuff. It takes a lot of R&D to develop a custom heatsink/PCB just to fit another demand.
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Old October 20, 2009, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bojangles View Post
The reason why they don't put their own special coolers is because they don't have the time to engineer a board for the release date. They take the stock design and try and gain entry into the market to make most of their profit, then they show off their stuff. It takes a lot of R&D to develop a custom heatsink/PCB just to fit another demand.
It's funny how some things don't happen until you ask the question, then you get all the answers. I found a couple of reviews I didn't find before, which detail the reference cooler design and answer just about all my questions:

Sapphire HD 5850 Review Page 2 - Closer Look (The Video Card) - Overclockers Club [pulling apart the reference design]
HEXUS.net - News :: PowerColor teases liquid-cooled Radeon HD 5870 : Page - 1/1 [powercolour using the EK 5870 waterblock in an upcoming release]
Radeon HD 5850 reviewed: The DirectX 11 bargain - Radeon HD 5850 review, HD 5850, HD 5800, DirectX 11, Benchmark - PC Games Hardware [detailed look at reference design]
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old October 20, 2009, 09:32 PM
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Interesting. All of the initial releases are simply rebadged ATI hardware from the reference design. This means every partner is currently selling identical products, right down to the same capacitors, paint and tracings. No wonder they are all the same price and are all relatively inexpensive. It is interesting that none of the reviews highlight this fact... no differences between brands with the initial release hardware.

If you go to Sapphire's site, there is no mention of Solid Capacitors, Patent Pending Choke or Vapor-X (of course), because all they've done is slap a sticker on the cooler shroud. Damn, I think I'll just get the 1GB Vapor-X version of the 4890 and wait for the actual partner designs to hit the market later this year. I wonder if the ATI hardware has the good quality capacitors?
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Old October 20, 2009, 10:32 PM
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Oh man, I've been searching around forever trying to find some 5800 series card pr0n just to alleviate the curiosity I had about what was inside that black shroud. Thanks! I've got an HD 5850 and its doing quite well. Quiet in 2D and if I am playing games? The game sound effects easily overpower the extra noise caused by the increased fan speeds.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old October 21, 2009, 06:30 AM
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Toast,

If you look at the end of this video, there is an image of the upcoming Radeon 5870 Vapor-X edition. I suspect they will do the same for the 5850.


YouTube - SAPPHIRE HD 5870 and Direct X 11 introduced by Bill Donnelly


Cheers!
Helpful_Canuck :)
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old October 21, 2009, 08:14 AM
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Every manufacturer I know of will be releasing overclocked and custom cooled HD 5000-series cards within the next two months. Stay tuned for a few roundups as I have already begun receiving the cards. ;)
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old October 22, 2009, 04:39 AM
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Thanks Surfer and SKYMTL. That Sapphire video was good, cheers.

I am probably going to get a Sapphire 4890 Vapor-X 1GB. Pretty cheap here at the moment.
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Old October 22, 2009, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by toast View Post
I am probably going to get a Sapphire 4890 Vapor-X 1GB. Pretty cheap here at the moment.
I don't know for sure, but I am pretty certain that there is a guy in the Buy & Sell section of this forum who recently put a Sapphire Vapor-X 4890 up for sale for 200$ shipping included. You may want to go check that out.

Cheers!
Morning_Tea_Canuck :)
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