ATI Sapphire 5850 1GB DDR5 Review

In late November of 2009, I picked up a Sapphire 5850 graphics card for my new system rig. I am extremely glad I did. It features Direct X 11 technology along with GDDR5 and 1gb of on board memory. It installed painlessly and worked from the first boot without any problems. Installing the latest drivers from is a must to get the most out of this card. It may be almost a year old but it is definitely the best bang for the buck for a dx11 card, actually for any style graphics card on the market currently.

It’s roughly 9.5″ in length and can fit in almost any Mid Tower or Full Tower computer case. It takes up two lanes in the rear of the case and if you decide to put it in the top PCI-E 2.0 slot it will take up the slot right below it which is usually PCI.

This card was released in 2009 as the first DX 11 dx11 feature level 10 download card for the market along with its big brother the 5870. ATI got the ball rolling with this card for the next generation with DX11 to beat Nvidia to the punch to filter the market in ATI’s favor.

Test System

The rig in which this card was tested is as follows:

  • Processor: I7 920 Overclocked to 3.0ghz
  • RAM: Corsair XMS3 DDR 1600 (3 x 2 gb)
  • Graphics: Sapphire ATI 5850 1GB DX11
  • Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB
  • Secondary Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB

These are the primary opponents that are related to the performance of this high end graphics card.



I tested this card with many of the most popular games which includes: Crysis, Counter Strike Source, Mafia 2, Resident Evil 5. This card handled them all great with no stutter or lag in game play.

  • Crysis (1600 x 900, Max Settings with no Vertical Sync)
  • Min FPS = 23, Max FPS = 98, Avg FPS = 65
  • Counter Strike Source (1600 x 900, Max Settings with no Vertical Sync)
  • Min FPS = 210, Max FPS = 300, Avg FPS = 254
  • Mafia 2 (1600 x 900, Max Settings with no Vertical Sync)
  • Min FPS = 56, Max FPS = 120, Avg FPS = 85
  • Resident Evil 5 (1600 x 900, Max Settings with no Vertical Sync)
  • Min FPS = 89, Max FPS = 187, Avg FPS = 136

This card performed beyond my expectations at all these games, the low rate during crysis is due to the fact that the game is overkill and doesn’t need to be played on max setting to be enjoyed. However, it is nice to know that it is able to be played at max settings if needed.


The majority of people believe that any graphics card will be able to give you the best hd experience from online video and blue ray. This however is not the case. It’s true that any of the nxt generation cards can play HD content, but the ATI Sapphire 5850 plays it flawlessly with no lag or stutter. It can stream 1080P content from blue ray or online content no problem at all and this is a big plus in having this card.

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