Usually, but not always, the decision to buy a factory overclocked graphics card comes down to the math.  A regular Sapphire HD 5850 can be had for $309 while the new Sapphire HD 5850 Toxic Edition will run you $339.  It costs you almost 10% extra to buy an extra 5-10% performance increase, so on paper the investment is not that sound.  There is something else to consider when looking at this card, which is the Toxic cooler.  AnandTech had problems with vanilla HD 5xxx cards when they overclocked them as the voltage regulator modules would overheat quite quickly.  This new Toxic cooler covers those VRMs adding more to just this cards value than would be suggested on paper.  Take a read through the full review and decide if this is a good deal for you or if you should save up that extra $60.

“The launch of the Radeon HD 5000 series has been a noticeably different than other major GPU launches in the last half-decade. Process problems over at TSMC and a lack of a competitive card from NVIDIA has resulted in a level of demand that until this year could not be satiated. Cypress chips were going out the door to stores practically as fast as they came out of the fab, leaving card vendors with too few chips to do custom card lines. What we have seen up until now has been limited to reference cards, with only minor variations such as a different cooler or a BIOS that allows voltage control. The supply of Cypress chips has only finally reached the point where there’s a suitable number of them for card vendors to produce a custom design.”

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