ASUS EAH5850 DirectCU TOP/2DIS/1GD5 Graphics Card Review

👤by Sahil Mannick Comments 📅06-08-10

Product on Review: ASUS EAH5850 DirectCU TOP/2DIS/1GD5
Manufacturer and Sponsor: ASUS
MSRP: Not listed
Street Price: £269.99

It's no mystery that ATI have hit Nvidia hard with their latest generation of graphics card. Having released their entire line-up of DX11 cards before the competition could even enter the market is testament to a revolutionized work ethic that saw smaller, more efficient cores trump bigger and hotter GPUs. Below ATI's flagship Hemlock based HD5970 are the Cypress based HD5870 and HD5850. The latter two cards were released back in October last year and since then, have been highly successful to this day. Of course, it's been a rollercoaster ride with prices fluctuating wildly due to high demand and low supply, not helped by the economic crisis and the falling value of the Pound in the UK market. But finally, stabilized pricing has caused a resurgence in their popularity, only marred by growing competition from the Green Team (always a good thing for customers).

The HD5850 has always provided an excellent compromise between price and performance. Compared to its bigger brother, the HD5870, which shares the same core, all the main features are present with the main difference being 8 less texture units, 160 shader cores disabled and a slightly lower clock speed on the former. The question has always been if the £100/$100 price difference is worth the performance difference so the review today will focus on this.

ASUS are renowned for the extras that they bundle with their graphics card offering, namely their voltage tweak utility, which we previously saw in their HD5870 review. The tool is of added benefit to the HD5850 by not only giving ASUS an advantage over other manufacturers but also unlocking its full potential to compete with HD5870. Coupled with a custom DirectCU cooler and a mild overclock, ASUS aim to deliver superior performance without the inconvenience of heat and noise.

A bit about ASUS:

ASUS comes from the last four letters of Pegasus, the winged horse in Greek mythology that represents the inspiration of art and learning. ASUS embodies the strength, creative spirit and purity symbolized by this regal and agile mythical creature, soaring to new heights of quality and innovation with each product it introduces to the market.

ASUS pursues technological and aesthetic perfection through continuous innovation. We place ourselves in our customers’ shoes to develop a deep understanding of, and genuine empathy for, their needs—enabling us to create user experiences that transcend the norm.

ASUS Design Philosophy

ASUS Design develops high-quality solutions our customers will enjoy.
Our design process is built on thorough research, early anticipation and well-planned execution.

We act with a global vision and a focus on local strengths, conditions and heritage.

In this review, our main aim is to investigate if the HD5870 is worth the price premium over the HD5850 so without further ado, let's take a closer look!

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