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ASUS EAH5850 DirectCu Top/2DIS/1GD5 Radeon HD 5850 Videocard Review

ASUS EAH5850 DirectCu Top/2DIS/1GD5 Radeon HD 5850 Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The Radeon HD 5850 is ATI's videocard of choice for the gamer on a budget. It takes over where last generation's price/performance darling, the Radeon HD 4850, left off. It's also happens to be in the highest echelon of AMD's new Vision platform initiative...
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ASUS Apr 30 2010   Julian Apong  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > ASUS EAH5850 DirectCu Top/2DIS/1GD5

Overclocking a Pre-Overclocked Radeon HD 5850 Even Further

Overclocking Results:
Stock Overclocked
GPU Speed: 765 MHz 945 MHz
Memory Speed: 1125 MHz 1315 MHz
If you're new to Overclocking and not sure what to do, check out these two excellent Guides for some pointers:
Overclocking the CPU and Memory
Overclocking the Videocard

The ASUS EAH5850 DirectCU TOP videocard ships pre-overclocked, but if you want things even quicker it's not very difficult to push the speeds up by a fair margin. By default the HD 5850 GPU has been raised from the stock 725MHz to 765MHz and the memory from 1000MHz up to 1125MHz (4500MHz GDDR5). That's a nice performance edge, but given that ASUS have selected the GPU and memory for this particular TOP series, specifically for overclockability, you can be assured that it will handle being overclocked much further.

PCSTATS is going to see just how much extra speed these cherry-picked parts can net you.

Using ASUS' included SmartDoctor software, the GPU's core engine clock was pushed from its default 765MHz clock up to 850MHz. After that the clockspeed was increased in 15MHz increments, passing easily through 895MHz and then up to 940MHz. Finally at 965MHz the system would hang and crash. Max overclock for the GPU alone was 955MHz - check.

Turning to the memory (GPU back at default speeds), the 1GB of GDDR5 was pushed from it's factory overclocked state of 1125MHz up to 1225MHz, and then it too was raised in 15MHz increments. The EAH5850 DirectCU TOP videocard played well enough, so we were able to overclock the Samsung GDDR5 from 1270MHz up to 1325MHz without breaking a sweat, before finally capping out at 1355MHz with a crash. Max overclock for the memory alone was 1345MHz - check.

Getting both the core clock and the memory stable at top speeds proved to be a little trickier, with graphical corruption occuring if both were set to their max speeds. It was time to adjust the voltages and try a few different speed settings.

By raising the Vcore from 1.118V to 1.1136V and backing off a little on the speed, it was possible to get the EAH5850 DirectCU TOP videocard stable at 945MHz core clock speed with 1315MHz (5260Mhz) memory. Altogether PCSTATS was able to overclock ASUS' EAH5850 DirectCU TOP GPU and memory speeds by about 25% over the speeds of a generic Radeon HD 5850, not bad at all!

While these maximum overclocked speeds are good to know, you should keep in mind that with this generation of GPU from ATI, you DON'T actually want to run things this fast, or performance in benchmarks and games may be degraded. The memory in particular seems to give the best benchmark results at speeds of under 1300MHz, beyond that benchmark scores can actually begin to fall off quite significantly. PCSTATS ran a tone of 3DMark benchmarks and the results were all over the place... the best advice I can give you is overclock at the default settings, then modestly overclock the videocard and re-benchmark it. Finally, push things as far as they'll go, benchmark it and compare those results to the first two data points. There will a point between a modest overclock and maximum overclock that gets you the best results for the clock, and beyond that point benchmarks will start to run slower. Only trial and error will show you what's the best overclocked setting. Unfortunately this takes some fun out of the overclocking game. Oh well.

Prelude to Benchmarks

The details of how the ASUS EAH5850 DirectCU TOP videocard was configured for benchmarking; the specific hardware, software drivers, operating system and benchmark versions are indicated below. All benchmarks for the videocard were run in Windows 7 Ultimate, the reference video cards were tested in both Windows XP and Vista for the DX10 benchmarks. PCSTATS is in the process of making the transition to a Windows 7 and Intel CPU test platform, so keep this in mind as you scan the benchmark results. In the second column are the general specs this videocard is compared against.

PCSTATS Test System Configurations
VGA Test System Reference System #1 Reference System #2
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (775) Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 (775) AMD Athlon64 FX-62 (AM2)
Clock Speed:

15 x 200MHz = 3.0GHz

14 x 200MHz = 2.6GHz 14 x 200MHz = 2.8GHz
Motherboards:

ASUS P5E3 Premiun (Intel X48 Express)

MSI X48 Platinum (Intel X48 Express)

Foxconn C51XEM2 (NF 590 SLI)
Videocard:

ASUS EAH5850 TOP DirectCU TOP/2DIS/1GD5
Gigabyte GV-R567OC-1GI
Gigabyte GV-N285OC-2GI
Gigabyte GV-N26SO-896I
Gigabyte GV-N26OC896H-GA
ASUS ENGTX260 MT/HTDI/896MD3
Sparkle GTX260 Core 216
ASUS ENGTS250 DK
ASUS EAH4890 HTDI/1GD5/A Rev.B
ASUS EAH4890 HTDI/1GD5/A
ASUS EAH4770 FML/DI/512MD5/A
ASUS EAH4770 HTDI/512MD5/A
Gigabyte GV-R477D5-512HB
Gigabyte GV-N96TSL-1GI
ASUS EN9600GT DI/512MD3/A
ASUS EN9400GT/DI/1G(LP)
Gigabyte GV-R435OC-512I



Palit Radeon HD 4870X2
ASUS Radeon EAH4850/HTDI/512MA
MSI Radeon R3870X2-T2D1G-OC
ASUS Radeon EAH3870X2 1G
Diamond HD 3650 Pe 512
MSI R4830-T2D512-OC

ASUS EAX1900XTX/2DHTV/512M/A
ASUS EAX1950PRO/HTDP/256M/A
MSI NX8800GTX-T2D768E-HD
Foxconn FV-N88SMCD2-ONOC
MSI NX8800GTS-T2D320E-HD-OC
nVidia GeForce 8600GTS SLI
Foxconn 8600GTS-256
MSI NX8600GT-T2D256E-OC
MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256E-OC
Gigabyte GV-NX85T256H SLI
Gigabyte GV-NX85T256H
MSI NX7950GX2-T2D1GE
MSI NX7900GTX-T2D512E
Gigabyte GV-NX76GT256D-RH
Biostar Sigma-Gate GeForce 7600GS
Albatron 8600GT-256
MSI NX8800GT-T2D512E-OC
ASUS EN8800GT TOP/G/HTDP/512M/A
Palit 9600GT Sonic
Biostar V903GT52-NV1AN *

Memory:

Corsair DOMINATOR Twin2X2048-1800C7D (DDR3)

Corsair Twin2X2048-6400C3 (DDR2)

Hard Drive:

74GB Western Digital Raptor WD740

CDROM:

ASUS BC-1205PT-BD Blu-Ray Drive

Monitor (1080p):

ASUS MK241 24" HD LCD

Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 750W
Heatsink : Intel E8400 Reference Intel E6750 Reference Athlon64 FX-62 Reference Heatsink
Test System Setup:

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit
Intel INF 9.1.1.1019
ATI Catalyst 10.2

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit
Intel INF 9.1.1.1019
Catalyst 9.3
Forceware 185.85
nVidia 15.23

Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit*

Benchmarks:

3DMark06
3DMark Vantage
STALKER Clear Sky / Call of Pripyat
FEAR
Crysis
Call of Juarez
Lost Planet

Benchmark results are organized by GPU manufacturer first (AMD/ATI or nVidia), then by GPU generation, and then by GPU class (high end, mainstream, value). This approach provides a clearer view of how performance can differ from generation to generation, and class to previous generation. The product being tested is marked with the red colour bar.

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Contents of Article: ASUS EAH5850 DirectCu Top/2DIS/1GD5
 Pg 1.  ASUS EAH5850 DirectCu Top/2DIS/1GD5 Radeon HD 5850 Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  ATI Radeon RV870 Cypress GPU
 Pg 3.  Videocard Power Consumption
 Pg 4.  — Overclocking a Pre-Overclocked Radeon HD 5850 Even Further
 Pg 5.  Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark06
 Pg 6.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage
 Pg 7.  DX11/DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: STALKER
 Pg 8.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Crysis
 Pg 9.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Call of Juarez
 Pg 10.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Lost Planet
 Pg 11.  Videocard Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 12.  AA/AF Videocard Benchmarks: Crysis
 Pg 13.  Gamers Videocard of Choice?

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