Packaging & Initial Impressions
Our Asus Radeon HD 5850 sample arrived in a well styled box with contrasting colours of black and orange. The use of a warrior on a slightly narcotic looking horse draped in armour should indicate that this is no tame product. Let's open it up to see what we find...hopefully not a horses head anyway...
The detailed outer box slid right off, revealing a far more solid and thick cardboard box. After opening the top of this box, I was greeted with yet another box, containing CD's, Drivers, Molex Adapters, a DiRT2 Game coupon and a Manual. Only when I lifted this box did I find the Radeon HD 5850, packed in it's anti static bag and wrapped around cut out polystyrene.
The graphics card is pretty much your run of the mill Radeon HD 5850. Asus have applied a small badge towards the I/O shield and another badge in the middle of the blower fan. If you are keen on having cartoon style graphics plastered on your graphics card's heatsink then prepare to be disappointed, however we aren't too fussed...
Asus have also placed plastic covers on the main segment of the PCI-Express 16x slot connector and DVI ports. Nice touch.
Asus' overall presentation of the overall package really makes you feel as though you've bought a quality product. The packaging was also very practical by keeping everything out of harms way, regardless of how careless or clumsy your delivery provider may be.
The installation process was trouble free using the included installation CD. We do however recommend using the latest drivers from ATi's website, which is what we did after uninstalling the included drivers.