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Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 Toxic 2GB Review

Price: $349


The HD 5000 series is well entrenched with a full product stack that fills just about any need and price point. With that full of a product line, why populate an already stacked deck with another card? For the same reasons people buy high performance cars. Sure you have options that go from the mundane grocery getter to the top of the line with all the luxury features. Then there are the specialty models that offer increased performance and it's that added flash that gets them noticed. Flash and performance are selling points that make a product appeal to a more exclusive club. For video cards, that group equals gamers and performance and flash sell to a group with higher expectations of performance. Sapphire does a good job of building cards to fit this niche with their "Atomic", "Toxic" and "Vapor-X" line-ups. Each of these lines add increased levels of performance and cooling as well as Sapphire's own proprietary construction.

The Sapphire Toxic HD 5850 2GB is a card that contains the whole ATI HD 5800 series feature set but comes with a bit more performance under the hood to easily set it apart from the crowd. With some of the highest clock speeds on the memory and GPU core at 765Mhz and 1125Mhz combined with Sapphires own Vapor-X cooling solution the Toxic HD 5850 is sure to offer some stellar performance numbers as well as excellent cooing performance. If the results from our testing of the 1Gb Toxic HD 5850 are any indication then this card from Sapphire should deliver the performance goods. The question is how good will it get?

Closer Look:

The look of the packaging is a departure from the use of the ATI Icon Ruby on the front panel. This look is much more sinister looking and easily would stand out on store shelves. The front panel contains a wealth of information at a high level including mentions of many of the technologies used on this card including Sapphires proprietary Vapor-X cooling, Eyefinity support, Native HDMI / DisplayPort connectivity and CrossfireX readiness. The actual computing power is listed as two teraflops! The rear panel goes decidedly deeper about the attributes of the Toxic 5850 2GB, including ATI Stream technology, Sapphire's own Black Diamond Chokes and the benefits of GDDR5 memory.










Inside the outer sleeve you have a plain cardboard box that contains the HD 5850 Toxic and its associated bundle. The top panel of the box has a small symbol that signifies the box is made of recyclable materials, in fact, Sapphire states that both the inner and outer packing is made from 100% recyclable paper. The Video card is nestled securedly in a form-fit cardboard tray and is sleeved in bubble wrap with a foam block to keep the card from moving. The bundle is enclosed in a box of its own at the bottom of the box.



The bundle supplied with the HD 5850 Toxic 2GB is is pretty much the standard bundle that Sapphire has been sending lately. This bundle gives you everything you need to get started with this card from the instruction manual, the driver disk, SIM HD software from Arcsoft as a bonus, the required power adapters if your power supply is not equipped with the proper connections and a DVI to VGA adapter. One thing you do notice right away is this 2GB variant of the Toxic is going to use an 8 pin and a 6 pin PCIe auxiliary power connection.


Hmm an 8 pin power adapter means we could be in for some serious overclocking.

  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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