The Test

We are once again using beta driver version 8.66 for this review, the same drivers we used for the 5870. We should see the first WHQL driver next month in Catalyst 9.10.

CPU: Intel Core i7-920 @ 3.33GHz
Motherboard: Intel DX58SO (Intel X58)
Chipset Drivers: Intel 9.1.1.1015 (Intel)
Hard Disk: Intel X25-M SSD (80GB)
Memory: Patriot Viper DDR3-1333 3 x 2GB (7-7-7-20)
Video Cards:

ATI Radeon HD 5870
ATI Radeon HD 5850
ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2
ATI Radeon HD 4890
ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB
ATI Radeon HD 4850
ATI Radeon HD 3870
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 275
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 core 216
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250
NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT

Video Drivers:

NVIDIA ForceWare 190.62
ATI Catalyst Beta 8.66
ATI Catalyst 9.9

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Battleforge: The First DX11 Game Crysis: Warhead
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  • merin - Monday, October 12, 2009 - link

    Any idea what producer I should choose if I'm getting a 5850?
    Is there even any difference between them?
    Reply
  • ambientmf - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    At this point, I doubt there's much difference between vendors. Since the card is still relatively new and supply still low, I would think most vendors are sticking to the reference design.

    Warranties and support aside, they're all identical.
    I'd investigate the warranties offered, any trade-up programs (not that they'll be much to trade up from but still good to know) and any info like that.
    Reply
  • hsew - Sunday, October 11, 2009 - link

    I find it rather peculiar that even though Crysis Warhead runs better on ATI single GPUs (4890 faster than GTX275, 4870 faster than GTX260, 4850 almost as fast as GTX 260) it scales well enough in SLI to take the performance lead from ATI, as shown by the 5850 CF losing to GTX285 SLI (SLI scaling almost 100%!!). It makes one wonder just what the heck all the hype is about ATI releasing a new driver once a month if they don't seem to do make much of a difference in the performance department. Reply
  • maomao0000 - Sunday, October 11, 2009 - link

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  • cosminliteanu - Tuesday, October 06, 2009 - link


    Thanks for this kind of article, I would also to see some Fallout 3
    testing.....
    Thank you ,again :)
    Reply
  • bhougha10 - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    sorry the f-bomb quote was in the previous artical. But kinda adds to the point. Please no silly fan boy comments as I have stock in amd and nvidia :) (ya, in know probably silly to have stock in these two companies) Reply
  • bhougha10 - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    Probably get locked out of the site for saying this. But it seems like there is always an agression toward NVIDIA. Kinda like ATI gives free samples and NVIDIA does not, or not in a timely manner. I mean why would an F-Bomb be quoted on a professional site. It's not just this one statement and not just this one artical that makes me wonder.
    otherwise, as usual, great artical, with great content.
    Reply
  • Malachite - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    I wish you guys would put together Company of Heroes, World in Conflict and Supreme Commander so we could see clearly the differences between the cards. Today we see only reviews based on FPS, I like FPS, but my main games are all RTS.... I bought the HD4890 based on reviews but it didnt run as good as my GTX 275 for RTS titles.... Reply
  • merin - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    I'm wondering what the text that says "Floor @ 40.6dB" on the noise diagram means. Is it the background noise or something?

    I'm wondering if it can compete with the Sapphire HD4890 Vapor-X in the noise-department...

    "The dual slot Vapor-Chamber Cooler has a noise level under 20 dbA in 2D operation and is still under 30 dbA in 3D operation before it reaches 85 degrees Celsius." ( http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1056/1/">http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1056/1/ )
    Reply
  • Pastuch - Monday, October 05, 2009 - link

    From what I've heard at other sites the Vapor-x 4890 is significantly quieter than the ATI cooler on the 5850. Thats not a knock on the 5850, it's just that the Vapor-x cooler on the 4890 is dead quiet. I love mine. It even has HDMI, VGA, Displayport and DVI on the back of the card! Reply

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