"We love the HD 5870s and that's a problem for ATI because we expect to feel that same kind of passion for the HD 5850. If we don't there will be heck to pay, heck I tell you. Today marks the day of our first HD 5850 landing in our labs. The first company to make it out of the gates? Well, it was the same one that made it out of the HD 5870 gates, Sapphire.
So, with a full retail version of the HD 5850 on hand we're going to see how the card goes against some other important models on the market. In the performance department we're expecting it to sit in between the HD 4890 and HD 5870. The main reason for this is because it has to. If it was the same speed as the HD 4890 or even worse, slower, ATI simply would have been better off making the HD 4890 pricing even more aggressive."