The recently-launched ATI Radeon HD5850 has been getting rave reviews from all and sundry, and we felt it was only appropriate to showcase a roundup of the reviews. All of the sites listed below have given it great marks and the conclusion is almost the same: this is the best card around in its price range ($299, or Rs. 15,000, in the US), the best value for your money, and something that Nvidia isn’t going to have a reply to for at least a few months.
Here are excerpts from some of the popular reviews online:
Hexus: Indeed, absolute performance of the Radeon HD 5850 is the best of any graphics card in its price range, beating out the Radeon HD 4890 OC and GeForce GTX 275. The card's smaller dimensions mean that it's suitable for a greater array of chassis than the extra-long '70. Thermals and noise also continue to be good, and power-draw drops by almost 40W, opening up the way for the likes of Sapphire to design an in-house dual-GPU card. (Read full review)
Tech Report: The Radeon HD 5850 manages to outshine the fastest single-GPU GeForce card overall while costing less, drawing less power, and producing less noise. We wouldn't be surprised to see Nvidia cut prices in the near future, but in any case, the 5850 is hands-down the second-fastest single-GPU graphics card on the market. (Read full review)
Legit Reviews: Since the Radeon HD 5850 PCB is only 9.5-inches in length and the load temperatures have gone down, the Radeon HD 5850 is something that would work great in a mid-tower system as it should fit and not cook everything else inside the chassis. Far too often people try stuffing massive amounts of hardware into smaller cases only to find out that heat and noise becomes an issue. From just a size perspective alone you can tell that this card is aimed at the mainstream market. (Read full review)
Tom's Hardware: At the outset of this piece, I said we were looking to the Radeon HD 5850 to best Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 285. And I was looking to a pair of 5850s to serve up a sufficient-enough lead over the GeForce GTX 295 to warrant a $20-ish dollar premium. On both counts, that’s exactly what we see. At $259, the Radeon HD 5850 offers enough speed, idle power savings, and display flexibility to warrant its price tag. Undoubtedly, it’ll turn out to be a more popular solution than the Radeon HD 5870 $120 higher up the stack, too. (Read full review)
HardOCP: AMD has delivered the best performance we have seen yet in a video card series. The GeForce GTX 285, NVIDIA’s fastest single-GPU video card can climb down and make room for the ATI Radeon HD 5850. The ATI Radeon HD 5850 is less expensive and provides a better gameplay experience than the GeForce GTX 285.
On the flip side of this, many hardware enthusiasts are asking, where is NVIDIA? The fact is that NVIDIA has no products to immediately answer AMD’s 5800 series and it is our understanding that it will be late February at the earliest before we actually see a next-gen GPU show up from NVIDIA in the retail channel. (Read full review)
AnandTech: When you take the Cypress-based Radeon HD 5870 and cut out 2 SIMDs and 15% of the clock speed to make a Radeon HD 5850, on paper you have a card 23% slower. In practice, that difference is only between 10% and 15% depending on the resolution. What’s not a theory is AMD’s pricing: they may have cut off 15% of the performance to make the 5850, but they have also cut the price by well more than 15%; 31% to be precise.
The result of this is clear: the 5870 is the fastest single-GPU card, and the 5850 is the value alternative. Couple that with the fact that it’s cooler running, quieter, shorter, and less power hungry, and you have a very interesting card! (Read full review)