A few months ago AMD released their new Radeon HD 5800 Series of graphics cards which quickly became a big success due to the numerous improvements made over previous generations. Up to recently all cards available from all manufacturers were reference design cards which means they were all made to the same specifications, using the same components and then a sticker was added on the cooler depending on the AIB.
Now we are seeing more and more custom designed HD 5850 cards that use both a non-reference cooler and a non-reference PCB design. While this allows for considerable production optimizations and reduction in manufacturing cost it also introduces the risk that the product might not work as optimally as intended by AMD.
With this card ASUS is introducing a new cooler concept called "DirectCU". The basic design princicle is that the cooler's heatpipes make direct contact with the GPU die - without any cooling baseplate in between. According to ASUS the new cooler delivers better cooling performance at less fan noise than the reference design. ASUS has also increased the clock speeds to 765 / 1125, which is a decent, but not spectacular increase over the reference values.
When comparing this card to the ASUS EAH 5830 DirectCU that we reviewed recently, the only difference is the GPU core and the red stripes on the cooler. The PCB design and component selection is 100% identical. Of course both cards have a different BIOS with different clock, voltage and fan settings, but otherwise the cards are the same.
|ASUS EAH5850 |
|Memory Size||1024 MB||896 MB||1024 MB||1024 MB||1024 MB|
|Memory Bus Width||256 bit||448 bit||256 bit||256 bit||256 bit|
|Core Clock||800 MHz||602 MHz||725 MHz||765 MHz||850 MHz|
|Memory Clock||1000 MHz||1107 MHz||1000 MHz||1125 MHz||1200 MHz|
Packaging & ContentsWe received a card without retail packaging or accessories.
Products in retail will come with the usual acessories like driver CD, adapters etc.
According to ASUS, an HDMI to DVI adapter is included in the box that will enable you to use two DVI ports.