Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 Toxic OC Edition Reviewccokeman - February 17, 2010
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Before you can start fragging, you have to install the drivers so that you don't sit there utterly disappointed by the graphics performance of this shiny new card. Thankfully, Sapphire has included a disc to get you started although the manufacturer website is a great alternative. I will browse through the disc to see what is included.
After you insert the disc and allow the autorun to start the process you end up with the Sapphire GUI on the desktop. There are three options to choose from, ATI Easy install, Online Manual, and Adobe Reader. Of course, the ATI Easy install is for installing the drivers and proprietary software to gain the most functionality from your new purchase. You have a choice of operating systems to choose from so just choose the appropriate OS and you get to start the ATI driver install wizard. The Online Manual is a link to download the manual while Adobe Reader links to Adobe's website to so you can download the latest version of Adobe Reader.
When you choose to install the drivers from the disc, just move forward through the process and check the options best suited for your needs. You have two options; you can choose either the Express install that manages the whole process for you or the Custom Install that allows you to choose what software you will install from a list. Agree to the EULA, let the wizard finish, and do the customary reboot to finish the installation.
One of the big knocks on the 5-series cards is the fact that there were really no games available at launch to showcase the DX 11 technology. Fast forward 3+ months and you have a few games to play. Dirt 2 was just released at the beginning of December and Battle Forge has been out and patched for DX 11. Dirt 2 has been a significant part of the bundle in many 5-series cards to get the end user a game that uses the DX 11 features such as tessellation. With Battle Forge you can play online for free or if you like the game you can sign up and buy the game.