When I started testing the first thing I really thought to myself was, sure, the HD 5850 Xtreme performs strong, but I have no idea why you would choose it over the GTX 560 Ti which is an extremely strong performing mid-range card from NVIDIA.
I then looked at the price tag of the GTX 560 Ti which comes in at around $230US - $260US and understood at $139.99US the HD 5850 Xtreme from Sapphire is just super good value. You're talking at a pricing level of the GTX 550 Ti, but performance that's nowhere near it except in Heaven, which isn't a game, HAWX 2 which strongly favors NVIDIA and Lost Planet 2 which is very heavy on tessellation but doesn't pull playable numbers on either models, making it irrelevant.
So why would you choose the GTX 550 Ti over the HD 5850 Xtreme? Well, to be honest, I'm not too sure. The aggressive price on the HD 5850 Xtreme is just so strong that the only reason you wouldn't buy it is because you feel you're buying a "last generation" card. The thing is, it's very true and a fair statement. What's so important, though, is that Sapphire hasn't priced this like the high end model it was last year.
This brings us onto the HD 5830 Xtreme. Over at Newegg it'll set you back just $10 less than the HD 5850 Xtreme. There's absolutely no reason why you would not spend the extra $10 to get the HD 5850.
The good news, though, is that currently Newegg bundle the HD 5830 Xtreme with a KWorld Hybrid USB 2.0 TV Stick valued at $50. That of course brings the price of the HD 5830 to a super aggressive amount, but the issue is if you don't need a TV tuner it has no value to you. If you're thinking of getting one or you could sell it off to a mate for $20 - $30, the model carries very strong value.
The release of these models, though, really shakes up the mid-range market. Priced at under $150 US and offering very strong performance, these models are going to worry a lot of partners trying to perform strong in the mid-range segment, which as we've said before is the most important for a lot of companies.
What hurts these models the most is the name. The HD 5800 name has been around for ages and people are going to feel they're buying old technology. In a sense you are, because tessellation performance isn't as strong on the latest generation of cards. The bottom line is you can't get past the price that's on offer from these models. They've been priced at the perfect level to get people interested in them.
The HD 5850 and HD 5830 Xtreme might not do anything that the previous versions we looked at over 12 months ago did, but they've just come in at that perfect price point that is going to make people think twice about buying models like the HD 6850 and GTX 550 Ti. Because really, what's in a name?
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
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- Page 1 [Introduction and Package]
- Page 2 [Card and Specifications]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup and 3DMark 11]
- Page 4 [3DMark Vantage]
- Page 5 [Unigine Heaven Benchmark]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - Mafia II]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - Street Fighter IV]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - Far Cry 2]
- Page 13 [Benchmarks - Batman Arkham Asylum]
- Page 14 [Temperature Test]
- Page 15 [Sound Test]
- Page 16 [Power Consumption Tests]
- Page 17 [Final Thoughts]
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