|PowerColor Radeon HD5850 PCS+ Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 28 January 2010|
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PowerColor Radeon HD5850 PCS+ Review
NVIDIA and AMD build such great products that it's not always easy for their partners to improve upon the initial design. A perfect example is the ATI Radeon HD 5850, which has earned accolades from consumers and critics alike. While the original ATI design worked well, there's always room for improvement. Offering a robust PCS+ (Professional Cooling System Plus) feature that adds better thermal management over the Cypress GPU, the PowerColor Radeon HD5850 is designed with overclocker enthusiasts in mind. Delivered with a factory overclock, Benchmark Reviews tests the HD5850 PCS+ AX5850-1GBD5-PPDHG model against the original reference ATI design, and a large collection of competing graphics cards.
While the list of DirectX 11 video games has just started to grow, with one of the first being a free Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) named BattleForge. Perhaps ATI has created the perfect storm for their Radeon HD 5800-series by offering a price-competitive graphics card with several free games included or available. While NVIDIA toils away with CUDA and PhysX, ATI is busy delivering the next generation of hardware for the gaming community to enjoy.
AMD launched their Radeon 5800-series as the first assault on their multi-monitor ATI Eyefinity Technology feature, using native HDMI 1.3 output paired with DisplayPort connectivity. The new Cypress GPU features the latest ATI Stream Technology, which is designed to utilize DirectCompute 5.0 and OpenCL code. These new features improve all graphical aspects of the end-user experience, such as faster multimedia transcode times and better GPGPU compute performance. AMD has already introduced a DirectCompute partnership with CyberLink, and the recent Open Physics Initiative with Pixelux promises to offer physics middleware built around OpenCL and Bullet Physics. This looks like ATI's recipe for success, since NVIDIA does not have a GPU to compete against the Radeon 5800 series or support DirectX 11. It doesn't help matters any that NVIDIA GPUs do not support OpenCL and DirectCompute 11 environments, leaving them out in the cold for the coming winter months.
From these developments ATI has distanced themselves ahead of NVIDIA by placing gamers first in their consideration, and have positioned the ATI 5xxx-series to introduce enthusiasts to a new world of DirectX 11 video games on the Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System. While most hardware enthusiasts are familiar with the back-and-forth competition between these two leading GPU chip makers, it might come as a surprise that NVIDIA actually remarked that DirectX 11 video games won't fuel video card sales, and have instead decided to revolutionize the military with CUDA technology. Perhaps we're seeing the evolution of two companies: NVIDIA transitions to the industrial sector and departs the enthusiast gaming space, and ATI successfully answers retail consumer demand.
As of 23 September 2009 AMD was rightful to claim that the ATI Cypress GPU inside the Radeon HD 5800 series could achieve 2.72 TeraFLOPS, more powerful than any other known microprocessor. ATI's next-generation Radeon HD 5800 graphics card share also the world's first and only GPU to fully support Microsoft DirectX 11, the new gaming and compute standard that ships with the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system. The ATI Radeon HD 5800 series effectively doubles the value consumers can expect of their graphics purchases, beginning with the release of two cards: the ATI Radeon HD 5870 and the ATI Radeon HD 5850, each with 1GB GDDR5 memory. With the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series of graphics cards, PC users can expand their computing experience with ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology, accelerate their computing experience with ATI Stream technology, and dominate the competition with superior gaming performance and full support of Microsoft DirectX 11, making it a "must-have" consumer purchase just in time for Microsoft Windows 7 operating system.
Modeled on the full DirectX 11 specifications, the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series of graphics cards delivers up to 2.72 TeraFLOPS of compute power in a single card, translating to superior performance in the latest DirectX 11 games, as well as in DirectX 9, DirectX 10, DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL titles in single card configurations or multi-card configurations using ATI CrossFireX technology. When measured in terms of game performance experienced in some of today's most popular games, the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series is up to twice as fast as the closest competing product in its class; allowing gamers to enjoy incredible new DirectX 11 games - including the forthcoming DiRT 2 from Codemasters, and Aliens vs. Predator from Rebellion, and updated version of The Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online Eberron Unlimited from Turbine - all in stunning detail with incredible frame rates.
PowerColor, established by Tul Corporation in 1997, is a graphics industry leading brand name now and well known for its outstanding performance and innovative technology. As a leading provider of graphics card, PowerColor offers powerful, reliable and cost-effective solutions to customers worldwide.
PowerColor is the platform of choice for avid PC gamers and video prosumers looking to get the best possible performance out of the latest graphics processors from ATI. PowerColor graphics cards deliver every-last-drop of super-charged performance from ATI's most advanced visual processing units (VPU). Running a PowerColor graphics card, today's gamers are able to unleash the 3D graphics performance of their favorite game playing it the way it was meant to be played.