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Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5850 Video Card 21162-00-50R E-mail
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Written by Olin Coles   
Thursday, 15 October 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5850 Video Card 21162-00-50R
Radeon HD 5850 Features
Sapphire 5850 Closer Look
Video Card Testing Methodology
ATI Eyefinity Multi-Monitors
3DMark Vantage GPU Tests
BattleForge Performance
Crysis Warhead Tests
Devil May Cry 4 Benchmark
Far Cry 2 Benchmark
Resident Evil 5 Tests
SPECviewperf 10 - Pro/E
Radeon HD 5850 Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
Radeon 5000-Series Final Thoughts
Radeon HD 5850 Conclusion

BattleForge Performance

BattleForge is free Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) developed by EA Phenomic with DirectX 11 graphics capability. Combining strategic cooperative battles, the community of MMO games, and trading card gameplay, BattleForge players are free to put their creatures, spells and buildings into combination's they see fit. These units are represented in the form of digital cards from which you build your own unique army. With minimal resources and a custom tech tree to manage, the gameplay is unbelievably accessible and action-packed.

Benchmark Reviews uses the built-in graphics benchmark to measure performance in BattleForge, using Very High quality settings and 8x anti-aliasing with auto multi-threading enabled. BattleForge is one of the first titles to take advantage of DirectX 11 in Windows 7, and offers a very robust color range throughout the busy battleground landscape. The first chart illustrates how performance measures-up between video cards when Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) is disabled, which runs tests at DirectX 10 levels.


When SSAO is disabled, older GeForce and Radeon products are compared on a more even playing field (so long as you discredit the fact that we have a few DirectX 11 cards in the mix, and that BattleForge is a DirectX 11 game). Looking at performance using the 1920x1200 resolution, the ATI Radeon HD5770 Juniper GPU does extremely well and slightly outperforms the overclocked GTX 260 model with 29.1 FPS. The ASUS GeForce GTX 285 TOP comes in right behind them, scoring 34.0 FPS. ATI's Radeon HD 4890 still has muscle to flex, rendering 36.2 FPS and trailing just behind the Radeon HD 5850's score 38.8 FPS. Even when Screen Space Ambient Occlusion is disabled to give older cards their last chance for high frame rates, the ATI Radeon HD 5870 reminds them that SSAO isn't a challenge it has to concern itself with. Scoring 45.3 FPS, the Radeon 5870 outperforms an overclocked GTX 285 by more than 33% when settings accommodate all products.

The next chart (below) illustrates how BattleForge reacts when SSAO is enabled, which forces multi-core optimizations that only DirectX 11-compatible video cards can utilize.


NVIDIA's GTS 250 has already demonstrated how poorly it performs in DirectX 10 tests, and DirectX 11 is just that much worse for the DirectX 9-era rebranded 9800 GTX+. Suffice it to say, NVIDIA should not have included this product in their current product family because it's well past-due for retirement and DirectX 11 games won't tolerate it.

As expected, the DirectX 11-compatible ATI 5800 series runs rings around everything NVIDIA currently offers. In respect to EA's BattleForge, a reference-design mainstream ATI Radeon HD 5770 is able to outperform the overclocked ASUS GeForce GTX 285 TOP by 29% at 1920x1200, thus proving that Windows 7 will re-center the definition of 'mainstream' products. What was top shelf in Windows XP or Vista will soon become the low end with DirectX 11 in Windows 7. For gamers who plan to use Windows 7, and especially those who play BattleForge, the Radeon HD 5850 offered excellent performance and topped our overclocked GTX 285 by 91%. If that wasn't proof evident that NVIDIA should be worried, the Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5870 DirectX 11 video card 21161-00-50R was able to easily outperform NVIDIA's GTX 285 by more than 125% at the same price point when DirectX 11 is called into action.

Product Series GeForce GTS 250 Reference Radeon HD 5770 Reference Palit GeForce GTX 260 Radeon HD 4890 Reference Radeon HD 5850 Reference ASUS GeForce GTX 285 Radeon HD 5870 Reference
GPU Cores 128 800 216 640 1440 240 1600
Core Clock (MHz) 738 850 625 850 725 670 850
Shader Clock (MHz) 1836 N/A 1348 N/A N/A 1550 N/A
Memory Clock (MHz) 1100 1200 1100 975 1000 1300 1200
Memory Amount 512 MB GDDR3 1024 MB GDDR5 1024 MB GDDR3 1024 MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR3 1024MB GDDR5
Memory Interface 256-bit 128-bit 448-bit 256-bit 256-bit 512-bit 256-bit


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