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Purchased to replace my HD5770's which were constantly freezing my computer (Windows 7 64bit). I've tested all the usual problem games with it from Left 4 Dead 2 to Bioshock and Dragon Age and all run flawlessly at full detail without any slowdown or freezing. 3dmark is showing its just a shade behind the performance of the 2 HD5770's in Crossfire, so close that you won't mind saving money by just buying this ONE card.
My only issue with it is i've had to remove a fan in my case to fit the card and the cables needed to attach to it, but it's a fairly tight midi tower so your mileage may vary.
The setup file on the CD hung at a black screen after the ATI splash. Had to uninstall and go to ATI/AMD online to get drivers. This card is fast, noticeable step up from my EVGA 8800gt on all benchmarks. It's a bit longer than the 8800gt, and it uses 2 PCI-e power feeds. I did the research, and unless you're a fanatic this seems to be the best value in this price range right now, IMO.
I would choose between either the XFX or the ASUS. I did not go with XFX due to the lack of supply and the bios on the XFX needs to be unlock so the clocks can go to a higher limit. Asus has 3 years warranty which is longer than powercolour,diamond and sapphire. I upgraded from my 4870 512mb, and this thing is fast. Amazingly fast after overclocking, able to run Crysis on Very High 4xAA 16xAF 1920x1200 and able to average about 39FPS which is extremely playable. I would rather save $150 than get the 5870, both being pretty much the same core with some shaders and texture units locked on the 5850. Both 5850 and 5870 peak out at roughly the same core frequencies when overclocked; but 5870 has better memory chips allowing it to reach 54000mhz opposed to 5000mhz on the 5850 but I find core clocks make a bigger difference. I currently have my card clocks from 725mhz/4000mhz memory to 1000mhz/5000mhz by raising the voltage using MSI Afterburner. That thing works like a charm. The asus smartdoctor is aesthetically unappealing and lack monitoring and user adjustable fan control ranges based on temperatures. Though eyefinity is a nice feature, I don't have 3 monitors. Bottom line is, this is the card to get if you want a 5800 series card. Better bang per buck than the 5870 hands down, unless you really want a few more frames from those shaders and TMU on the 5870 :)
This review was modfied by poster @ 10-18-09 01:44 PM
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