Sapphire HD5830 Xtreme & HD5850 Xtreme Reviewgotdamojo06 - April 11, 2011
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The Sapphire HD5850 Xtreme edition graphics card is completely different from the Sapphire HD5830 Xtreme card, not only by the name, specifications and features but also simply by looks. The cooling solution Sapphire put on the HD5850 is still a full coverage air cooler, but that is where the similarities end. The cooler on the HD5850 Xtreme has the fan positioned further back towards the end of the card, there is still a little bit of chrome accents on the cooler to make it a little more pleasing on the eyes, however the stickers are not the same greenish color, they are a grayish purple color. The Radeon HD5850 name is printed on a sticker towards the front of the card while the AMD Radeon Graphics badge is proudly printed at the end of the card. Sapphire has the same colored PCB on the HD5850. Sapphire also has the same four compression screw mounting system installed on the HD5850 as they put on the HD5830 Xtreme.
Looking at the front I/O shield, you are going to be getting three display adapters installed on the card. These three adapters are the DVI, HDMI, and DisplaPort adapters. Having all three of these connectors on your card by default is going to make it more versatile, allowing you to keep the same monitor that you currently have. Above the display adapters on the shield, there is a ventilation cutout where the hot air from inside the cooler is going to be able to escape. Hot air is also going to be able to escape through the back end of the graphics card and go directly into your chassis. At the top front corner of the HD5850 Xtreme, Sapphire has placed a single CrossFireX connector allowing you to connect your card with a second of its kind to increase your graphics performance. There are two 6 pin PCI-E power adapters on the HD5850, like the HD5830, however these ones are placed on the back end, not on the top of the card.
Just like the Sapphire HD5830 Xtreme, the HD5850 Xtreme has a very similar cooler installed on it as well as just about the exact same layout on the PCB. Around the GPU you are going to find eight memory modules that are 128MB a piece coming in for a total of 1024MB of GDDR5 memory. Sapphire's choice for a cooler on the HD5850 Xtreme is a little bit odd. While it does still have a copper base and copper heat pipes, there are only two heat pipes while the HD5830's cooler has a total of three. You can see that the heat pipes leave the base of the cooler and travel into the fin array to dissipate the heat. One going towards the front while the other goes towards the rear of the card.
Once you get the card naked, you are going to see that there is a Cypress GPU installed on the Sapphire HD5850 Xtreme graphics card. This is going to be coming in at stock clocks of 725MHz while being built on 40nm technology with a total of 2154 Million transistors all on a 334mm2 die with a total of 32 ROPs. The GDDR5 memory installed on the HD5850 Xtreme is the Elpida W1032BABG memory chips and these chips are rated to operate at 1.5V, have 8K/32ms refresh cycles and be lead and halogen free.
Since we have taken a good hard look at both of Sapphire's new cards, we should compare the specifications and features of the cards.