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HIS Radeon HD 5850 - HIS Radeon HD 5850

By Edward Chester



  • Recommended by TR
HIS Radeon HD 5850


Our Score:


The new output configuration also impacts on the airflow for the cooling system. Instead of hot exhaust air being expelled through vents that fill one entire 'slot' of this dual-slot card, only half the 'slot' is available as one of the DVI sockets is in the way. The rest of the exhaust air is directed out the top of the card and back into your case. This concerned us when we saw it on the HD 5870 but we found that in practice it wasn't a problem, so we expect it to be a similar situation with this card.

It should come as no surprise that this card requires two six-pin PCI-Express power sockets and they can be found nestling inside the faux venting on the front of the card. There are also two CrossFire connectors on the top of the card so you can of course run multi-card configurations for more performance.

Taking a closer look at the technology inside this card, like the HD 5870, you get AMD's brand new RV870, or Cyprus, graphics chip that is built on TSMC's latest 40nm process. In its HD 5870 form it housed 1,600 stream processors and 80 texture units (collectively split up into 20 'SIMD' blocks containing 80 stream processors and 4 texture units each) accompanied by 32 ROPs. All of this lot ran at 850MHz and talked to 1GB of GDDR5 RAM running at 4.8GHz.

With the HD 5850, two of the SIMD blocks have been disabled resulting in a total of 1,440 stream processors and 72 texture units. The 32 ROPs still remain, though. All this lot runs at 750MHz while the accompanying 1GB of GDDR5 RAM runs at 4GHz.

Other features of this new chip are improved anisotropic filtering that is now completely angle-independent and super-sampling anti-aliasing support. It is of course ready and waiting to run all the new DirectX 11 games that will be coming in the not too distant future.

So that's the card, now let's get onto the important bit, the testing.


October 17, 2009, 5:19 am

I read this review but it wasn't necessary. My next graphic card=Sapphire HD5850 soon.


October 17, 2009, 9:59 am

Hi I can't find any power consumption & temperature page. Are they not important?


October 17, 2009, 5:00 pm

@stranded: I read your comment and it wasn't necessary.

Good review by the way. Might get 2 of these in Crossfire.


October 17, 2009, 6:53 pm

@stranded, your post was not necessary too.

Mr Chester, could you please give relative noise levels of fans in future graphics card reviews? It would be good to know if this particular HIS card is loud or not relative to other manufacturer models and previous generation cards. Including the decibel levels of the fan at idle operation and during heavy load would be very informative. Apart from this omission, good review.

Tim Sutton

October 17, 2009, 7:50 pm

@ guy

I'd say having a *subjective* opinion on noise levels in a review is very worthwhile, but an actual decibel level is only useful if its done while the card is inside a PC case in an acoustically shielded room.

Which would add a lot of expense and time to every review, and really wouldn't add much to a reviewer just saying "a bit louder than x card, but not as loud as y card. Perfectly usable in a HTPC in your living room."

OT: I've just ordered 2 of these, will try some geekery Crossfire action before they go into their separate PCs :-)


October 17, 2009, 8:00 pm

Noise and temps would be good (idle and load).


October 17, 2009, 8:49 pm

@guy - I would also like to know the noise levels but after reading Bit-tech's 5850 review and why they don't give noise levels, I think it's quite difficult to get accurate measurements.

Although I'd still like to know, even if it's just a subjective opinion, and even if it's just to say that the 5850 is quieter/louder then the previous generation of ATi cards.


October 24, 2009, 5:12 pm

Pleas note, I've now added sound level testing to this article.


January 2, 2010, 9:57 pm

Thanks Ed for the sound level testing. Didn't realise it had been added until I did a Google search for 5850 noise levels, and this review came up first.

Hopefully, it'll prove slightly quieter then my 4870 when idle or, if not, I'll maybe have to consider the higher-spec Vapor-X cards.


February 25, 2010, 7:55 pm

A nice card, but I think my 5770 Vapor-x for over £90 less is better value.

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