There are a lot of things that we want in life. It's human nature to want something, although of course some of us may take this a step further and replace want with “need”. These “things” could be anything. A glamorous holiday in a place that's always warm and is always sunny when you want it to be. That new BMW coupe that you saw on the streets the other day maybe... Or a really big house, that can cater for all your nearest and dearest. All of this is probably a tad irrelevant for a tech based website... Perhaps we don't care for extravagant holidays. A new sports car? Not at all, that's what Racedriver GRID is for. That big house...all our friends are accessible via Skype! I'm going to stop trying to get myself killed by means of stereotyping and turn one's attention to the release of the Radeon HD 5800 series of graphics cards codenamed “Cypress”. There are some things in life which can't be had because they're a little out of one's reach at a given point in time. However, in this case (thanks to ATi and TSMC) would seem that whether you have the money or not, you can't have any high end Direct X 11 goodness in your life because there is a pitiful quantity in distribution relative to the current demand for them. To make things worse, it seems ATi may take it upon themselves to raise the value of these products. As these graphics cards trickle through the supply chain and relevant Add in Board Partners, Wholesalers and Retailers profiteer on these highly demanded graphics cards, this will in turn affect pricing greatly. As shown below, the trend of Radeon HD 5850 pricing over the last two months hasn't been particularly promising.
It's not too great on nVidia's side either as they appear to have cut production of their GT200 based graphics cards (GTX 260, 275, 285 and 295) and thus the price gauging continues. We shall not let this affect our view on the products themselves but it should be mentioned that these graphics cards are as good as gold dust right now. We were however very grateful that Asus were able to supply us with today's review item, the Asus Radeon HD 5850 1GB GDDR5 Graphics Card.
Asus shouldn't need any introduction, offering product solutions to all ends of the market from systems components for the retail and OEM as well as their own laptops/netbooks and desktops. The brand has been in the graphics card business for a very long time and have brought a number of memorable products to market including the Asus GTX 295 MARS
graphics card. With that in mind, we have very high expectations from the product that we're about to review.
|Asus Radeon HD 5850 |
|Asus Radeon HD 5870 |
|Core Name ||Cypress ||Cypress |
|Core Frequency ||725MHz ||850MHz |
|Stream Processors |
|1440 ||1600 |
|Memory Frequency ||4000MHz (1000MHz x 4) || |
(1200MHz x 4)
|Memory Interface ||256bit ||256bit |
|ROP Count ||32 ||32 |
|TMU Count ||72 || |
|Original Retail Price ||£199.99 ||£299.99 |