Having just recently reviewed the ATI Radeon HD 5870 and bearing witness to its power, we were keen to get our hands on the cheaper, cut-down version known as the Radeon HD 5850. Though both cards were announced last September 23rd, AMD waited an extra week until the Radeon HD 5850 could be showcased. And now - admittedly a bit late - we have finally dug up a production model from HIS to put to the test.
The more affordable HD 5850 shares the same technological advances as its higher-end sibling. That includes support for DirectX 11, HDMI bitstreaming, Eyefinity, angle-independent anisotropic filtering, and supersample anti-aliasing. A slightly toned down configuration, however, allows it to sell for just $260.
At this price the Radeon HD 5850 is not much more expensive than the HD 4890 or Nvidia's GeForce GTX 275, and it is considerably cheaper than the GeForce GTX 285. It's also about $120 more affordable than the Radeon HD 5870, which currently holds the fastest single-GPU graphics card crown.