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  • soccerplayer88 - Thursday, February 25, 2010 - link

    I'll give you all a hint for overclocking it further. Flash the bios.

    Hell I just told you what to do, now you just have to google it.

    Anyways, I've pushed my card to 880/1220. And by the way, what's up with your temps?! My card overclocked to hell is about 10C cooler than your setup. Sounds like poor airflow to me.
  • dvdreplication - Thursday, February 25, 2010 - link

    Well it looks like a giant. Is it fixed or not? I hope that it 'll prove to be a great product. Thanks for sharing such an informative article.

  • darthbinky - Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - link

    For what it's worth, I thought I'd mention that I saw this card for sale on for $310 with a promo code. Everywhere else seems to be selling them for upwards of $350, with stock running out.">

    I haven't ordered from this site before (I usually go Newegg), so don't consider this a recommendation.

  • v12v12 - Monday, February 22, 2010 - link

    Goooood LORD look at the power requirements at load!? The noise and heat?! The GPU industry is LAUGHABLE Vs CPU Vs common-sense engineering. Still more brute-force crapware being metered out to the public. While CPUs are completely in another universe regarding TDP.

    SINGLE-core? Why in the hell are there still these relics being mass produced? METERED-TECHNOLOGY folks... you're all getting hustled w/every release of the market spin-masters "toxic, lava, HAL9000, Halo3" edition releases. Stop buying this crap and they'll stop producing it!?

    Lastly: I've noticed that with many of these so-called "performance" stock HSFs= the engineering tolerances are WAAAAY off! There's all kinds of gaps between the HSF and the ram ICs! They use the cheapest POS, filler TIM (thermal-interface-material) they possibly can to omit real design tolerances! White zinc-gunk is what I call it... When are we going to start demanding some real innovations here with these fraudsters? 3-pipe, aluminum HSF? Ummm GARBAGE! I'll take Zalman's VF-900 and all the custom brackets and stuff that people have been making for YEARS—will still outperform this crap metal, shived lump of a HSF.
    __What a joke... soon as you buy one of these cards, you're dropping another $30-50 on real after-market HSF + TIM + time if you want anything livable and not an in-case heater unit. Come on folks... this is the best you can spend your dollars on? Over-priced, under-equipped, cheaply cooled junk... Kids these days are even more the suckers than they assume their parents are. You guys have no clue how to smart-shop if you're buying into all this gimmick-marketing.

    Give me a damn OEM card, no cooler, no cheap TIM; nothing but the PCB! No fancy ass colors and sh!t esp. WHO CARES what color it is, if it's adding another $10+ to the cost of the card. The whole point of the card is to go INTO a box and PERFORM. I don't want to hear, nor see the card glowing from LEDS or marvel at some "awesome" paint job. When are people going to get that, FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION! Oh wait not in marketing-sucker's-world-2.0....

  • ThermalVent - Friday, March 05, 2010 - link

    Erm why not take your ass out of your head.. I brought one of these at a cut price.
    I get 900Mhz + out of the core and 1300Mhz memory, completely stable and thoroughly tested.
    Not once does it go over 50 Degress celcius under full load for several hours, when idle at these clocks it sits at 23 degrees....................
  • ThermalVent - Monday, March 08, 2010 - link

    make that 1050 core and 1300 memory, completely stable and 28c idle 52 full load after several hours of playing games! Reply
  • austonia - Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - link

    lame attempt at trolling or just ignorant and off medication? hard to tell. Reply
  • v12v12 - Friday, February 26, 2010 - link

    Cut the ad hominem and refute my claims then if you've got something intelligent/on topic to say? If not, please stop wasting time with juvenile 1-upping; douche. Reply
  • austonia - Monday, February 22, 2010 - link

    for a custom card the OC capability is pretty weak, especially considering the additional expense. i have a stock Sapphire 5850 that runs at 900 core/1300 memory at stock voltage, and 1000/1300 at 1.25v using AMD GPU clock tool and MSI Afterburner utility. stable in Crysis benchmark looping and Furmark. this was from an early batch too, about a month after they came out. Reply
  • araczynski - Monday, February 22, 2010 - link

    after all these years i'm still seeing no reason to upgrade my 4850x2. Reply
  • Alouette Radeon - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    Agreed, I see no reason to upgrade my HD 4870. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Monday, February 22, 2010 - link

    Umm, the 4850x2 hasn't been available for "years", it was released Q3 2008. Reply
  • Iketh - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link

    Hey Ryan, just a small tip for your writing technique. Page 5, first line: "amount of heat it will be generating" can be "amount of heat it will generate" or furthermore "amount of heat it generates" Reply
  • d4a2n0k - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link

    Ive had an Asus 5850 since September '09 that is not limited by this so called hard limit set in place by AMD. It ships with an overclock program and bios that is not crippled like these Sapphire cards. Ive had it running at 925/1300 at stock voltage for the past five months stable but if I needed to I can mess with the voltage. Now explain to me how this card is worth the premium. Reply
  • AmdInside - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link

    Sounds silly but I ordered this card mainly because of the blue heatsink. I don't know why red is popular for computer hardware. Cars are the only items I can think of that look good in red. My keyboard has blue lighted keys. My mouse has blue backlight and my Dell monitors main button glows blue so I wanted something to match. Reply
  • Alouette Radeon - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    Umm, well, Red IS the Colour of ATi, after all! LOL Reply
  • IDontKnowWhat - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link

    It's now for sale at Newegg for $160 and it features a custom PCB, custom fan, and different connectors (DVI, VGA, and HDMI). Reply
  • spigzone - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Powercolor's had a non-reference card out for a while, it has a larger, quieter fan, runs cooler, has essentially the same factory overclock, and costs $40 less.

    Just saying.
  • Godzealot - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    I OC my old vanilla 5850 to 785/1200 daily right when I turn on the computer no problems Reply
  • leexgx - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    have the VRMs been fixed, as the 5850 i got here is making more noise then my GTX280 i used to have until i cooked it Reply
  • MamiyaOtaru - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    I'd get this if I could run it at stock speeds and power draw. I'm more interested in running cooler and quieter than in taking the overhead offered by a better cooler and jacking up the speed and wasting a good part of the power and noise advantage one would have had. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    You can always downclock it if that's your thing. Although in that case you'd be better off with the cheaper Vapor-X version, if you're in a region where it's offered. Reply
  • MamiyaOtaru - Monday, February 22, 2010 - link

    I'm not :( Still, even with downclocking, is it going to be at the power draw of the stock card? I thought there were some additional phases or something on this card that made it use more power even without the overclock (could definitely be mistaken here) Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    I was thinking the same thing.

    A year ago, PowerColor had a redesigned 4850 board with HDMI, DP and custom cooling on the GPU, RAM, and VRMs, so I bought theirs instead of other manufacturers' reference boards.

    It has no overclock, but it's the first video card since my Voodoo 3 that I didn't have to rip the stock heatsink off of. No added expense of aftermarket coolers and no voided warranty. Big points for that!
  • kb9fcc - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    "...9W difference ultimately comes down to board differences; remember, the Toxic has a number of additional components compared to the reference card, particularly capacitors..."

    Ideally, capacitors should not dissipate power, they should only store and release stored energy. Any capacitors as small as these losing this much power (9W) are going to get really hot and are not going to continue to be capacitors for very long.

    So, I can deal with the board design differences, but it's not the caps that are the cause of the extra power draw, unless they're really junk, which from the overall performance of this board would suggest, they are not.
  • Deville - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    If you're testing a DX11 video card, Why not test using a DX11 game?

    How about Dirt 2? It's a popular game, has its own benchmarking program in the graphics options section, is a visually stunning racing sim (not everybody likes to see FPS type games being the only ones that make your shootouts), and is one of few titles out right now that can really show off the new DX11 hardware.
  • Voo - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Probably because they could only compare them to other Ati cards, which is only half as interesting as it could be.

    I'm sure we'll get DX11 benches as soon as fermi appears.
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Correct. The plan is to refresh the benchmark suite for Fermi. This takes a bit of time obviously, since we have to redo a very large number of cards. Reply
  • just4U - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    While reading this article I was twice redirected to a online scanner that said I had a crapload of viruses (which ofcourse it wanted to clean) I didn't bother with it and just shut down my browser and restarted I've seen that thing once or twice before.

    Nothing to do with this article tho lol just wondering if those prompts come from the site or not. (according to malware and windows security essentials I don't have any viruses)

    It's almost like a add that tries to trick you into thinking it's your virus scanner.
  • Voo - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    If you don't click on any adds it shouldn't redirect you and I never had the problem with any AT article. Sounds like you've got a homemade problem there. Reply
  • just4U - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Yeah turned out to be Java:selace ... Don't know where the hell I could have picked it up from. Ah well cleaned after a full check. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    It's not from Anand's site, though I've gotten that at work from another site which resulted in a hosed system (they use an old version of IE without popup blocker and won't let 3rd party browsers be used...).

  • just4U - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    I am using IE8 here with all security patches in play. Going to do a full scan with Malwarebytes and MS SecurityE and see if they pick anything up.. just did quick scans afterall.

    It bypassed the popup blocker initially and showed a small prompt on screen saying I may be infected. Closing and canceling had no effect as it still re-routed my browser to a look-alike Vista control panel type page.
  • 7Enigma - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Please in the future when testing a factory overclocked card highlight the STOCK card in the graphs. It's frustrating to constantly hunt through the cards in each chart to see the difference between the stock 5850 and the Sapphire card.

  • legoman666 - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    You mention an overdrive clock limit of 775. My 5850 is currently running at 825 overclocked via CCC. It goes even higher; somewhere around 900. Why are you using the 9.9s when the 10.2's are available? Maybe that's why your overclock is so limited. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    It's not a driver issue. The OD limit is hardcoded in to the BIOS. My reference 5850s have the same 775/1125 limit.

    What 5850 do you have? None of them should be shipping with a higher overdrive limit from what AMD tells me.
  • legoman666 - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link"> @ 825 Reply
  • legoman666 - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link">

    I have an Asus EAH5850. It's at stock clocks in the pic, but I've had it up to ~880.
  • Barneyk - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    That was a bit strange to me. The card keeps most of the heat dissipated from the card in the case and it produces more heat then a standard 5850.
    So if you have a very well-ventilated case I guess its not an issue but what if you dont?
    Would you still recommend it?
  • erple2 - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    I don't think that he mentions what portion of the heat the Toxic vents into vs. out of the case. However, it would stand to reason that a well-ventilated case would be important either way.

    That does bring up an interesting point, however, that may be outside of the scope of this article. I'm assuming that all of the testing is done in a well-ventilated case. If the temperatures inside of the case were sufficiently high enough, it would start to impact the temperature of the card significantly. Given that the Toxic runs "cooler" than the stock card, one of two things is true:

    1. The recirculating temperature problem is a non-issue
    2. The case Ryan uses is well ventilated and thus the temperature problem is a non-issue.

    The conclusion, then, is that it's a non-issue. However, who, buying an enthusiast card like this for 300+ dollars, doesn't have a well-ventilated case? I suppose that there are people out there that don't. Perhaps an investment in a quality case would be in order? At least, case performance takes a long time to become obsolete (unlike, for example, video cards).
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    For temperature testing, we use a fully assembled Thermaltake Spedo. So yes, it's a well ventilated case.

    Being an open-ended cooler, a well-ventilated case is something that's of greater importance than on a reference card. But at the same time, you need a well-ventilated case anyhow just to avoid having negative air pressure in the case, because a reference 5800 card is going to be blowing out quite a bit of air.
  • Mr Alpha - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Are we going to get to see new idle power numbers with Catalyst 10.2 at some point?

    What about the availability of the 5970? In this part of the world I haven't seen a single one yet, and prices have been creeping up and are getting to the €700 mark. Is it turning into vaporware?
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    ULPS only impacts the idle power performance of CF setups. It doesn't impact single cards. Reply
  • Calin - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    As it appears in the pictures, it's wrong (Celsius is the correct text, not Celcius as written) Reply
  • Patrick Wolf - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Well, I'm sold. Where do I sign?

    NO! Must...wait...for Fermi. Ugh.
  • phaxmohdem - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Sign now! By the time Fermi actually gets released, it WILL be in super limited quantities, and I highly doubt we'll see any lower end derivatives than the 470/480 models from the original Fermi series. It is already 6 months or so late, so it is encroaching on Fermi 2's timeline.

    My way of thinking, HD5K series now, Fermi 2, when nVidia gets their act together and works out the bugs. It's not like we'll see any useful apps that can harness the purported GPGPU power of Fermi before the HD6K/Fusion series and Fermi2 lines are out anyway.
  • spidey81 - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    I'll have to agree with him on waiting for Fermi. Not that I want a Fermi based card but that I imagine we will see a $20 to $50 price cut off the top and probably $10 to $20 MIRs on the 5850's and 5870's. At the MSRP I would buy a 5870, but not at the market inflated prices that they are at currently. Reply
  • whatthehey - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Okay, a few things I have to get off my chest:

    Page 2: "If any significant number of them could go higher, then AMD would have released them as a higher-end bin."

    I call bunk! What's far more likely is that AMD doesn't want any overclocked GPUs coming out that will end up being as fast as the inevitable 5890 or whatever the speed bumped version is called.

    Second, why are there no power and noise results for the 5870? These really need to be included.

    Finally, a grammar rant. You get these enough I'm sure, so feel free to ignore me. Anyway, "in to" versus "into". I don't think you're getting it quite right a lot of the time. I've noticed Ryan never uses "into". There are places to use "in to" (i.e. "I turned in to the driveway." because "turned in" is a phrasal verb), but there are also times where you need to use "into".

    Taking something into consideration is a tough call; I prefer "into" and you use "in to", and I'm not sure which is correct. However, I'd say you definitely throw a wrench INTO gears/recommendations, not throw a wrench IN TO recommendations. Into is typically directional in use. But I could be wrong.

    At any rate, you should probably read this:">

    Here's one source that agrees with "take in to consideration" as correct:">
    But they also say "take into consideration" is correct (and in both cases they list "take into consideration" lower on the page):">

    I still don't like "take in to", but maybe it's because I subscribe to this sort of writing philosophy: Use "into" unless it doesn't make sense that way, like turning a paper into your teacher.">
  • jajig - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the grammar tip. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Agreed. Ryan, call it like it is. We know with no competetion they do not want to be eroding the price premium of the 5870. You can see with your OC you already almost have parity between the 2 in some games. It's all about money, and with no competition it's their right, no matter how much it stinks. Reply
  • DominionSeraph - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Word Origin & History


    O.E. into, originally in to.
  • pattycake0147 - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    There was a lot of talk about the inability to over-volt the card. Is there any way to under-volt the card to decrease the temperatures any more. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Yes. The AMD GPU Clock Tool would let you pick one of the lower voltages that the card uses in its various power modes. However just as you can't go above 1.088v, you wouldn't be able to go below 0.95v. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Man I wish they would release a newer version of the GPU Clock Tool. It has never worked properly with my 4870 for voltage control, and that stinks. I run it undervolted unless gaming, but the program glitch only drops it 0.1v. Underclocking, however, still nets me >40w reduction in power! Reply
  • overzealot - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Doesn't MSI afterburner with unofficial overclocking work with this card? Seems to be fine with other 5850's.
    P.S. I know there's issues with the current catalyst release.
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Unfortunately it does not. Reply
  • overzealot - Monday, February 22, 2010 - link

    :'( Reply
  • Hypernikes - Thursday, February 18, 2010 - link

    It seems the power and temperature graphs need to be switched. Reply
  • blyndy - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    "Process problems over at TSMC and a lack of a competitive card from NVIDIA has resulted in a level of demand that until this year could not be satiated."

    Are you painting Nvidia as a victim? The process problems affected both of them. Whereas ATI built cypress as a 334mm2 chip on a process they had learnt, Nvidia decided to dust off a shelved project, an unfamiliar generic 'compute' design similar to Larrabee, designed it at over 500mm2, and on a process they hadn't fully worked out.

    Cypress has strong demand because because it is the highest performing chip available, has DX11 and eyefinity.
  • philosofa - Saturday, February 20, 2010 - link

    That's a strange interpretation of what the writer said Blyndy, they're clearly not painting Nvidia as a victim. Reply
  • CptTripps - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    That sentence is cut and dry and you are really reaching to cause problems where there is none. Everyone else got what was said and did not feel the need to read between the lines because there is nothing to read.

    I got exactly this from the sentence...

    "Due to intial fab problems and no competition from Nvidia the demand for the 5xxx series has been so high that it could not be filled until now".
  • 7Enigma - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Fanboy sit down. The sentence is clearly saying there are 2 factors as to why the demand has been so high. 1 is due to lack of inventory, and 2 is due to lack of competition. If anything it's ragging on NVIDIA a bit.

    Unbelievable what some people want to harp on!
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Just so that everyone is clear, this is exactly what I mean (other than the ragging on NVIDIA bit). Reply
  • blyndy - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Incorrect. It is not clear.

    "Process problems over at TSMC and a lack of a competitive card from NVIDIA has resulted in a level of demand that until this year could not be satiated." is ambiguous -- it can easily be interpreted in a different way than to your interpretation. A hint for you: it hinges on the word 'demand'.
  • FATCamaro - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

  • Griswold - Sunday, February 21, 2010 - link

    Shaddap nutsack, as well. Reply
  • Rindis - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Gratuitous caps lock was not. Reply
  • Voo - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    I think it's absolutely clear for anyone who doesn't read his own preferences into every other sentence.. Reply
  • b15h09 - Friday, February 19, 2010 - link

    Doesn't sound too ambiguous to me. Low production and no comparative alternative means high demand. Pretty straight forward. Reply
  • Hypernikes - Thursday, February 18, 2010 - link

    Nevermind. Looks like it was fixed. Reply
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