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AMD ATI Radeon HD 5870 and 5850 DirectX 11 GPUs

Next-generation gaming

The graphs on the previous two pages tell the tale of the HD 5850 and 5870 very clearly indeed. If you replace your HD 4890 - already a fine graphics card - with an HD 5850, you’ll save 35-50W of power draw and will gain 25 per cent gaming performance. Opt for HD 5870 and the increase in performance is a staggering 50 per cent and you still get the benefit of the reduced power draw.

Battle Forge

DirectX 11 patches are already beginning to appear

If you fancy a couple of extra frames per second you can overclock the card using the Overdrive section of the Catalyst drivers. We found the HD 5850 would go from 725MHz/4000MHz to 765MHz/4300MHz, while the HD 5870 rises from 850MHz/4800MHz to 890MHz/5000MHz. On the downside, the extra clock speed increased the loaded power draw by 20W.

Noise levels are far lower than any other high-performance AMD graphics card and they are directly comparable with Nvidia's GTX 285.

The introduction of HD 5000 has led to a reduction in HD 4000 prices and there are bargains to be had. The HD 4890 now sells for £140, the HD 4850 has fallen from £110 to £80, and the HD 4830 has vanished from the shelves altogether.

That makes the £299 HD 5870 look rather expensive but, at £199, the HD 5850 is a snip.

Verdict

Editor's Choice

The new HD 5000 chips deliver stacks of DirectX 11 performance yet they are both cool and quiet, and the price isn’t too painful. Bring on Windows 7 and DirectX 11 games – we’re ready! ®

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AMD ATI Radeon HD 5870 and 5850 DirectX 11 GPUs

As cool-running as its faster sibling - but £100 cheaper and still a big leap over the previous generation of AMD card.
Price: £199 RRP
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AMD ATI Radeon HD 5870 and 5850 DirectX 11 GPUs

Runs cool yet deliver 50 per cent more performance than its predecessor. The ultimate AMD gaming card - if you don't mind the price.
Price: £299 RRP