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Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 Toxic OC Edition Review



As ATI's largest partner, Sapphire usually can put together something special once the reference cards are released. Time and again we have seen the Atomic, Vapor-X, and Toxic cards come spilling out the doors with special cooling setups, as well as better components used throughout to offer a video card that is built to run cooler, clock higher, and provide a higher level of gaming satisfaction. Sapphire has hit this mark with the Toxic HD 5850 OC Edition. With the use of Black Diamond Chokes, Solid capacitors, and Sapphire's exclusive Vapor-X technology, they have built a card that outperforms the reference version across the board - as it should. Out of 40 benchmark tests, the results show 37 of them favoring the Toxic over the reference card. The other three tests had the performance tied at the same FPS.

As a specialty card, something has to differentiate it from the rest of the pack. The cooling solution and looks are two of these things that have been added to the Toxic HD 5850. You get a cover for the Vapor-X cooling solution that looks great with the deep blue Sapphire blue stripes instead of well.... the Batmobile. The only thing that could have made the Toxic HD 5850 OC Edition look better (of course looks are subjective) is to have a series of LEDs lighting the stripes much like the Vapor-X lineup has the Sapphire logo lit up. Sure, this would add to the power meter and pricing but it would add to the aesthetics as well. Suggested retail pricing comes in at at cool $319, but it looks like e-tailers are bumping that up a bit from this attractive price point. The cooling solution used is Sapphire's proprietary Vapor chamber cooling solution that goes by the name Vapor-X. The cooling solution uses three heatpipes, in addition to the Vapor Chamber, to efficiently pull the thermal load out of the GPU and memory. With the driver controlling the fan speeds, I saw temperatures in the 57 to 59 degree Celsius range, where the reference card I tested came in at 66 degrees Celsius under load. When overclocked, the Toxic peaked at 49 degrees Celsius. Still not bad! The technology works! Power consumption for the entire system came in at 306 watts under load. ATI's Powerplay technology significant reduces this at idle by reducing the clock speeds on both the core and memory to give you a little green back in your life in the form of a cooler running product that take much less juice to operate. This saves you money on the electric bill by cutting down how much you pay for your utilities, as well as the cost to run the system.

When you get down to it the Sapphire Toxic Hd 5850 is a winner with excellent cooling and increased performance without a severe cost penalty over the reference cards. If you are looking for a new video card and the looks and performance appeal to your senses, the Sapphire Toxic HD 5850 is not a bad way to go!



  • Performance
  • Good Looks
  • Vapor-X cooling
  • Direct X 11
  • Eyefinity Ready
  • Bundle
  • HD capabilities



  • No LEDs for the stripes


OCC Gold

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (The Video Card)
  3. Closer Look: Drivers & Programs
  4. Closer Look (Catalyst Control Center)
  5. Specifications & Features
  6. Testing: Setup, Overclocking
  7. Testing: Far Cry 2
  8. Testing: Crysis Warhead
  9. Testing: Darkest of Days
  10. Testing: Call of Duty World at War
  11. Testing: WarHammer 40,000 Dawn of War II
  12. Testing: Batman Arkham Asylum
  13. Testing: Resident Evil 5
  14. Testing: Left 4 Dead
  15. Testing: 3DMark 06
  16. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  17. Conclusion
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