I'm not sure what word I would use to describe what came to mind when I heard that Sapphire was going to be re-releasing the HD 5850 and HD 5830 to the market. First I wondered, why? - But the answer to that would be nothing more than excess cores that need to go.
Next, I was a bit surprised and shocked because I felt it was more of a step backwards than anything else. The thing is, though, if the price and performance is good, why not buy one? - Both models were very good over 12 months ago, but the HD 5830 never sold. People didn't like the 30 naming scheme and it was never really accepted.
Why would it be accepted this time? - Well, it won't be, because the people who are going to buy these cards aren't going to care so much about the name, rather the price and performance that's going to be on offer. It's not so much that the name won't be accepted, but people just won't really care.
Our test line up of games has changed a fair bit from twelve months ago when we last looked at the models. Since then we've also had some fantastic mid-range models launch like the HD 6790 and GTX 560 Ti. So with that all in mind, how is the revamped HD 5850 and HD 5830 going to go? It's all good and well for Sapphire to slap the "Xtreme" name on the models now that they're re-releasing them, but does it mean anything? Well, there's only one way to find out; but before we look at the performance, let's see the package of the cards, the cards themselves and have a closer look at the specifications that are on offer from these new revamped "Xtreme" versions.
It's interesting to see that Sapphire opted for a smaller box on the HD 5850 which is the higher up model of the two. I'm quite a fan of it, though; it's cheaper to ship and both hold exactly the same bundle which doesn't really hold any surprises.