Asus 5850 TOP Review

Conclusion

ASUS 5850 TOP

Conclusion

Phew. That was a lot of testing.

One of the things that became apparent very quickly was that the extra headroom allowed by the better cooling, which gave a better overclock, meant this was definitely going to come out on top. In some ways that made testing slightly frustrating because the answer was clear before the benchmarks were run. However, for accuracy, run them we must and it's good we did because the Dirt 2 result was very surprising.

Let's go back a little bit first. The packaging, as we've come to expect from ASUS, is excellent. Nicely following the ASUS standard of a good box, with their standard black box of goodies within. The foam around the card was cut out accurately giving a tight fit and, with the manual box on top, ensuring your precious HD5850 Top wouldn't get bumped by an errant postman.

The box contains all you'd expect and the driver installation process is swift and pain free.The card definitely looks the business in its serious gun-metal coating and is weightier than most we've had through the labs.

Performance is excellent as, thanks to the Voltage Tweak BIOS and the brilliant cooler, even a monster 250MHz overclock didn't stress the card at all. Our benchmarks also bore this out with it coming out on top in all our tests.

The real star of the show though is the DirectCU cooler. For comparable results we always run all our graphics card fans at 50%. More often than not we find an assault on the ears rather than a treat for the eyes. With the ASUS HD5850 Top we had that magical combination between great cooling performance and low noise.

Finally we, as ever, need to consider pricing. It looks like this will hit the streets around £265, which is about the price you'd expect to pay for a reference card and a third party cooler. To get both professionally fitted and with the ASUS warranty is obviously something that, if silence is an element you care about, something that can't be missed. The performance differential between the reference design and this is small enough that you might consider saving a few pennies. I wouldn't.

Good performance and excellent noise levels make this clearly a winner of our Gamers Choice award.

  

We would like to thank Asus for the sample today, you can discuss this review in our forums.

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Most Recent Comments

09-04-2010, 05:40:09

tinytomlogan
Asus 5850 TOP GPU..... But is it top of the pile?

Continue Reading

09-04-2010, 06:27:08

AMDFTW
grammer error on the dirt 2 intro

09-04-2010, 08:41:27

Msm2
Spelling mistake..... AMD

09-04-2010, 08:58:25

a8875624
There's an error on the Dirt2 graph labels. I think 'Top Stock' and 'OC Ref' are the wrong way around - according to the description you gave.

09-04-2010, 10:09:29

AMDFTW
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Msm2'
Spelling mistake..... AMD
alryt my bad

09-04-2010, 12:38:54

VonBlade
Glad you boys pay attention. Helps us feel good about our work.

Graph key on Dirt2 graph was backwards. Fixed. So words are right, graph is right, key was wrong.

Danke

09-04-2010, 12:39:40

VonBlade
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='AMDFTW'
grammer error on the dirt 2 intro
Everyone's a critic. Care to be a little more specific?

09-04-2010, 13:11:27

a8875624
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='VonBlade'
Glad you boys pay attention. Helps us feel good about our work.

Graph key on Dirt2 graph was backwards. Fixed. So words are right, graph is right, key was wrong.

Danke
Lol, sorry but I was surprised that the stock Top settings beat the OC Ref on FPS - I guess I just needed confirmation. Sorry if it sounded a bit anal.

09-04-2010, 13:34:17

emax27
Any idea if DirectCU comes on reference design pcb?

09-04-2010, 15:15:00

alders
you need to add other cards to the graphs, 5870, 5850 normal, etc.

09-04-2010, 16:01:29

VonBlade
@alders

You do realise that all our reviews are on the site already? You can look through them if you'd like.

We did a 5 series round up you can look at. We've just done a 5870 both stock and overclocked. They are all easily visible within the website.

Rather than many sites that regurgitate their data month after month, we retest every single time for each review. If we covered every card you could think of, including reformatting between cards, we'd put a review up every couple of months.

So we prefer to test what needs to be tested to get sensible results. If you wish to compare further, feel free to make the effort of reading our other reviews.

@ emax27. No it doesn't. It's the cooler design itself and therefore specific to this model.

12-04-2010, 09:42:45

AMDFTW
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='VonBlade'
Everyone's a critic. Care to be a little more specific?
it was in the dirt 2 intro when you was writing about the card,but it has been changed now anyay

12-04-2010, 18:01:17

VonBlade
Hmm. Strange I didn't change a word.

Thanks anyway
Reply
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