Asus 5850 TOP Review
3D Mark and Gaming
For our tests we're using two cards at three settings. A reference design HD5850 at our best overclock (940MHz), and the ASUS Top at Stock (765MHz) and Overclocked (1014MHz). We're using the latest Catalyst 10.3 drivers that give a nice boost in most of our test games.
Vantage Performance Test
Vantage, whilst pushing cards very hard indeed, naturally doesn't make a big fuss in the default performance benchmark because the resolution is so low. As you can see the stock performance isn't bad, the overclocked reference is good, but the overclocked Top really stretches its legs pushing past the 20000 barrier. Definitely got plenty of oomph at lower resolutions.
Vantage High Test
Moving to the high test which is much more realistic we find that although the difference between them naturally diminishes as architecture plays as bit a role as clock speed, but still the Top shows its worth by stretching a lead over the stock and reference models.
Modern Warfare 2
Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 2 provides both great looking graphics and also isn't too hard on the system requirements. Although the overclocked Top has a clear lead they all are well clear of the 60FPS rock-solid frame rate we need for smooth gaming.
Crysis Warhead Gamer
Crysis Warhead gives us our first slight stumbling block in that we're not past 60FPS. But the new drivers are clearly working a treat because with Gamer settings we're not far off a fully playable experience on all three, although once again the power of the Top shows through.
Crysis Warhead Enthusiast
Moving to Enthusiast settings with 4 x Anti-Aliasing we really get a feel for what is under the hood. Sure none of our cards on test provide a particularly glorious experience, but the gap between the ASUS HD5850 Top overclock and the reference design overclock stands out a mile at these low frame-rates. When you're down here one or two frames can make all the difference and the playing experiences was unquestionably smoother.