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Devil May Cry 4 (DirectX 10)
Standard 5850 Above
HIS Turbo 5850 Above
Settings: 1680x1050, Super High, 8xMSAA.
Devil May Cry 4 is proving to be less of a challenge these days for the modern graphics card, but it produces a nice graph at the end and is fairly consistent in it's benchmarking despite its random elements. Again, the higher clock speeds on the HIS 5850 Turbo give it a clear advantage over the standard 5850.
Overclocking was fantastic with this card. However, it did mean a lot of messing about with various software because the Catalyst Control Center's limits were very easily reached. With the HIS 5850 Turbo having default clocks of 765/1125, it's already near CCC's limits anyway, so I started by settings things to the maximum of 775/1150. Sure enough this was no problem whatsoever.
To go further, I used a combination of AMD GPU Clock Tool and MSI Afterburner. Afterburner controlled the Fan speeds while AMD GPU Clock Tool set the clock speeds. I started with the memory, and was able to get to 1215MHz without issue, but after extended play I saw the memory error correction kick in and start reducing performance in quick drops of frame rate. To eliminate this problem I had to drop to 1180MHz to ensure hours of consistently high play.
The core however just kept climbing. When 830 came and went I was crossing my fingers for 850. Yep, did that, and it just kept going. 900, and another run of Unigine's Heaven Benchmark followed by the Call of Pripyat Benchmark showed we were at the limit. While the Pripyat Benchmark finished without issue, the Heaven benchmark ran but the dragon had become transparent in many places and missing body parts in others. Dropping back down to 895 solved that problem and the card was happy to run at 895/1180 stable for hours on end. And the core temperature never went above 73c.
I guess you could say, that with our sample at least, the only problem with overclocking is ATI's limits. I've no doubt that 99% of folks who buy the HIS 5850 Turbo will easily hit the 775/1150 mark, and the cooling works really well, allowing you to reach even higher speeds if you're willing to mess around. And it's very quiet. While overclocking, I set the fans speeds to the maximum 100%, which is quite loud, but having found the limits, I let the card use automatic fan control and it never went over 60% even when at it's hottest 73C. Generally the card remained at the 50% fan speed mark and remained quiet through out all the testing.
There is little not to like about the . The package is overall quite nice and has everything you might need to get up and running. You also get the game Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 as a Steam download.
In games, the always did well in everything I tested with. In many games I saw a significant boost as a result of the higher clock speeds of the card. We've always liked the iCooler cooling setup here, and it worked really well on this card too. Things were kept both cool and quiet, even while overclocking.
The 5850 has however been a little too successful with prices higher now then when the card first hit shelves, so while the 5850 remains the best high performance card for value, it's still higher than many would like. The also costs more than your average 5850, but you do get a pre-overclocked card with excellent cooling and low noise levels.
I also found, at least in our test card, that there is plenty of headroom to be had when overclocking further than clock speeds. This can be a little messy, so no doubt many of you more hardcore overclockers will want to flash the card with an unlocked BIOS. If that's a little too worrying a prospect for you, you'll be happy to know that you will almost certainly be able to reach the maximum's allowed in the ATI Catalyst Control Center's Overdrive section (if our sample is anything to go by).
While the is amongst the highest priced 5850 cards on the market, it does have an expensive and popular game with it, and it is pre-overclocked to a high level with plenty of headroom for further overclocking. It's definitely my favorite of cards I've looked at this year so far and I have no hesitation in recommending it to any gamer.
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