It has been said before and it will be said many times again, while AMD has some incredible graphics cards out there, it is almost impossible to get your hands on a 40nm process 5000 series card.  If you can find one in stock though, you will not be disappointed.  The HIS Radeon 5850 will set you back about $315 and offers 2 dual-link DVI, one HDMI and one DisplayPort on the back, sending 1080p signals without breaking a sweat and a 725MHz core and 1000MHz memory to get your 3D fps soaring.  Elite Bastards saw a difference of about 20% between this card and its big brother the HD5870, which will cost about 30% more, if you can find one.

“While a reference Radeon HD 5870 makes use of a full Cypress core with all of its Stream Processors, texture units, ROPs and so on intact, the Radeon HD 5850 finds itself with a reduced unit count in some areas, with AMD making the most of the redundancy built in to a modern graphics core to allow them to sell parts that would otherwise not be fully functional. This means that all Radeon HD 5850 cores have two of their SIMD arrays disabled, to leave the board with 1440 Stream Processors, while this reduction also removes two texturing units with it to leave this part with eighteen texturing units to match its SIMD count. Clock speeds are also reduced for this SKU, with an 850MHz core clock speed on the Radeon HD 5870 becoming a 725MHz core clock on the Radeon HD 5850, while the 1GB of GDDR5 memory utilised by both boards sports a 1000MHz clock here against 1200MHz for the higher performance part.”

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