Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 Toxic 1GB Video Card ReviewThu, Mar 25, 2010 - 12:00 AM
Sapphire HD 5850 TOXIC Edition video card
Last month Sapphire released the Radeon HD 5850 Toxic, which is a custom designed ATI Radeon HD 5850 that looks nothing like the reference designed board that it is derived from. The Sapphire ‘Toxic’ Radeon HD 5850 1GB card that we have here today is clocked at 765MHz on the core and 1125MHz (4500MHz effective) on the memory, which gives it a significant boost in clock speed over the reference design’s 700MHz core clock and 1000MHz memory clock speeds. The card also comes with Sapphire’s Vapor-X technology that should allow the card to run 15 degrees C cooler and 10dB quieter than the standard models, while providing additional headroom for even higher overclocking.
The Sapphire HD 5850 TOXIC Edition is a Sapphire is just like any other Radeon HD 5850 graphics card and has 1440 stream processors and 72 texture units that need to be kept cool. Sapphire has kept the card nice and cool thanks to the custom three heat-pipe heatsink and the large eleven blade cooling fan that is placed directly above the GPU core. The fan shroud on the Sapphire HD 5850 TOXIC Edition is nice looking and is also a one off piece that was designed just for this card. It should be noted that this fan is a two ball bearing model and is rather quiet for a video card!
Flipping the Sapphire HD 5850 TOXIC Edition video card over you can get a better look at the back, and if you look closely you’ll see that the entire GPU cooling solution is held on by the four silver Philips screws around the GPU. The two black Philips screws on the left side are used to hold on the passive cooler for the voltage regulators. In case you are wondering, Sapphire did use their Black Diamond chokes on this card again, which is said to help lower operating temperatures and increase the efficiency of the chokes in general by up to 25%.
The Sapphire HD 5850 TOXIC Edition video card has the power connectors located in the same spots as a reference card and as you can see from the image above it uses two 6-pin PCIe power connectors. A 500W or larger power supply is recommended by AMD and a list of suggested power supply units can be found here. If you want to get two of these graphics cards and want to run ATI CrossFireX technology in dual-GPU mode, then you’ll need a power supply with 600 Watts.
The Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 video card has a pair of dual-link DVI outputs along
with DisplayPort and HDMI outputs. You can easily run ATI Eyefinity with this graphics card, and the only thing you must have is a monitor that supports DispayPort or an adapter to go from the card to the monitor that you are trying to run. All of the hot air from the cooling
fan exhausts out the small vent hole on the back of the card and the
little slots just in front of the CrossFire interconnects.
Before we move on it should be noted that the length of a reference PCB for the ATI Radeon HD
5850 is 9.5″. As we mentioned before, the Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 TOXIC uses a custom designed PCB and is longer than the reference card. A quick measure showed that the card is 10.125″ in length, so keep this in mind if you want one of these and have a limited amount of space in your PC case.