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XFX HD 5850 Review

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Overall, the XFX 5850 did great in testing, overclockability was huge also - without going for the maximum overclock I easily reached 1 GHz on the GPU core, while remaining stable and running under 70C. The memory overclocked very well too, from 1GHz to 1.21GHz. For the price, this card can be overclocked to around 5870 performance, which is a steal considering the price of 5870's. The XFX box was small and sturdy as usual, and the packaged accessories were plentiful. The free game voucher is a nice touch for users to get a hold of a free DirectX 11 game when they become available. ATI Catalyst Control Suite worked just fine in overclocking through Overdrive as well - although this card can go much further with third party software. Overall, the XFX Radeon HD 5850 brought great performance for a price point slightly higher than its competitors.

The only downsides are the fact that the fan can get a bit noisy when set to above 40% mark, something still needs to remedied. But if the majority of people don't play with the fan speeds, there is no concern. While there are not any true DirectX 11 games out yet to allow the HD 5800 series to take advantage of the technology, it means that we are still playing a waiting game. One more thing is the availability of the 40nm 5800 series - the same problem that ATI had with the HD 4770. Currently, there is only one 5800 series card in stock at the online retailer Newegg: no 5870 and only one 5850 SKU. It seems like ATI is missing the golden goose on this launch. Otherwise, this card is awesome!

The 5850 overclocked extremely well, brought high-end performance in benchmarks, operated smoothly at a modest temperature, and came with a code to get a free copy of Dirt 2 when released - XFX has brought another winner to to the table.



  • Solid packaging and accessories
  • Fan is quiet at default
  • DX11 capable
  • Overclockability
  • ATI Eyefinity
  • Performance/Price
  • Warranty


  • Fan can be loud when turning it up
  • Availability
  • No DirectX 11 games currently


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