XFX Radeon HD 5850 Black Edition Review :: Features

12-03-2009 · Category: Hardware - Hard Drives

By Doc Overclock
  • 2.15 billion 40nm transistors
  • TeraScale 2 Unified Processing Architecture
    • 1440 Stream Processing Units
    • 72 Texture Units
    • 128 Z/Stencil ROP Units
    • 32 Color ROP Units
  • GDDR5 interface with 128.0 GB/sec of memory bandwidth
  • PCI Express 2.1 x16 bus interface
  • DirectX® 11 support
    • Shader Model 5.0
    • DirectCompute 11
    • Programmable hardware tessellation unit Accelerated multi-threading
    • HDR texture compression
    • Order-independent transparency
  • OpenGL 3.2 support
  • Image quality enhancement technology
    • Up to 24x multi-sample and super-sample anti-aliasing modes
    • Adaptive anti-aliasing
    • 16x angle independent anisotropic texture filtering
    • 128-bit floating point HDR rendering
  • ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology
    • Three independent display controllers
    • Drive three displays simultaneously with independent resolutions, refresh rates, color controls, and video overlays
    • Display grouping
    • Combine multiple displays to behave like a single large display
  • ATI Stream acceleration technology
    • OpenCL 1.0 compliant
  • DirectCompute 11
  • Double precision floating point processing support
  • Accelerated video encoding, transcoding, and upscaling
  • ATI CrossFireX™ multi-GPU technology6
    • Dual, triple, and quad GPU scaling
    • Dual-channel bridge interconnect
  • ATI Avivo HD Video & Display technology
  • UVD 2 dedicated video playback accelerator
  • Advanced post-processing and scaling
  • Dynamic contrast enhancement and color correction
  • Brighter whites processing (blue stretch)
  • Independent video gamma control
  • Dynamic video range control
  • Support for H.264, VC-1, and MPEG-2
  • Dual-stream 1080p playback support
  • DXVA 1.0 & 2.0 support
  • Integrated dual-link DVI output with HDCP
  • Max resolution: 2560x1600
  • Integrated DisplayPort output
    • Max resolution: 2560x1600
  • integrated HDMI 1.3 output with Deep Color, xvYCC wide gamut support, and high bit-rate audio
    • Max resolution: 1920x1200
  • integrated VGA output
    • Max resolution: 2048x1536
  • 3D stereoscopic display/glasses support
  • Integrated HD audio controller
    • Output protected high bit rate 7.1 channel surround sound over HDMI with no additional cables required
    • Supports AC-3, AAC, Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio formats
  • ATI PowerPlay™ power management technology7
    • Dynamic power management with low power idle state
    • Ultra-low power state support for multi-GPU configurations
    • Certified drivers for Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP

XFX Black Edition Specs

  • Engine clock speed: 765 MHz
  • Processing power (single precision): 2.09 TeraFLOPS
  • Processing power (double precision): 418 GigaFLOPS
  • Polygon throughput: 765M polygons/sec
  • Data fetch rate (32-bit): 209 billion fetches/sec
  • Texel fill rate (bilinear filtered): 55.1 Gigatexels/sec
  • Pixel fill rate: 24.5Gigapixels/sec
  • Anti-aliased pixel fill rate: 98 Gigasamples/sec
  • Memory clock speed: 1125 GHz
  • Memory data rate: 4.5 Gbps
  • Memory bandwidth: 144 GB/sec
  • Maximum board power: 151 Watts
  • Idle board power: 27 Watts

XFX Black Edition Specs

  • PCI Express or PCI Express 2.0 compliant motherboard with one x16 graphics slot
  • 500W or greater PSU with two 75W 6-pin PCI Express power connectors recommended (600W and four 6pin connectors for ATI CrossfireX technology in dual mode)
  • Certified power supplies are recommended
  • Minimum 1GB of system memory
Brand Name XFX
Graphics Chip RV890 Pro
Clock speed 765MHz
Shader Clock 765MHz
Fabrication Process 40nm
Transistors 2.15 billion
Memory clock 450MHz
Memory bus 256-bit
Memory bandwidth 144GB/second
Memory Size 1024MB
ROPs 32
Texture Filtering Units 80
Texture Filtering Rate 52.2 Gigatexels/second
HDCP Support Yes
HDMI Support Yes
Connectors DVIx2, HDMI, DP
Bus PCI Express 2.0
Form Factor Dual Slot
Power Connectors Dual 6-pin

XFX has designed their newest card based upon ATI’s Cypress Pro chipset which is the second fastest chip on the market next to the Cypress XT chipset which forms the basis of their HD 5870 and HD 5970 cards. The Cypress family is just part of the Evergreen family of chips that form ATI’s DX11 solution. The Juniper chip is the basis for the HD 5770 and HD 5750 chips with more to follow next year.

The Evergreen family of chips is built upon TSMC’s 40 nanometer process with 2.15 Billion transistors per chip. The Evergreen Pro has 1440 Stream Processors which is less than the XT which has 1600 Stream Processors. This is more than double that of the last generation RV770 chip which had a total of 640 SPs. The number of ROPs and Texture Filtering Units.

The key new features of the HD 5xxx series includes: DirectX 11 compliance, OpenGL 3.2 support, Eyefinity support, ATI’s Stream acceleration technology and AVIVO 2. DirectX 11 includes support for Shader Model 5.0. Shader Model 5.0 introduces Hull Shaders and Compute Shaders to DirectX 11 to support Tessellation and DirectCompute.

DirectX 11 also brings Multithreading support to the graphics API pipeline, allowing for more efficient CPU utilization and GPU utilization in games. DirectX 11 also introduces new texture compression technology that supports High Dynamic Range lighting allowing for better compression while still keeping the high texture quality. Other features of DirectX 11 include 16k texture units, required 8-bit subtexel submip filtering precisions and lots more.

One of the problems with modern graphics cards is that they tend to have maxed out the resolution on monitors at 2560x1600 and performance of the latest generation is such that many times the idea of dual monitors isn’t enough as the computer is mostly CPU and memory limited rather than monitor resolution limited. With the HD 5xxx series of cards ATI has moved on to a minimum of three monitor support with 6-monitor configurations possible on a single card via DisplayPort technology introduced after the initial cards. This will allow for wider fields of view in games like Flight Sims and RPGs and enable business people who need a lot of screen real estate to look at more stocks like my friend Dr. Oku who has been using three monitors for years on an old Matrox Parhelia due to his constant need for more screen real estate.

The XFX Radeon HD 5850 Black Edition card is an overclocked card that is clocked at 765MHz for the core and 1150MHz for the memory. The reference 5850 has a clock speed of 725MHz and 1000MHz for the memory meaning this card is overclocked by 40MHz for the core and 150MHz for the memory compared to the reference card. The memory bus interface on the card is 256-bit, meaning this card has a memory bandwidth of 144GB/second compared to the 128GB/second of the reference card. The minimum system requirements for this card include a PCI Express x16 graphics card slot along with an adjacent slot for the dual slot cooler, a 500W PSU with two 75W 6-pin power connectors, and 1GB of system memory. I would recommend a fairly powerful CPU to help drive the graphics card as many times the graphics card is not the limiting factor in performance.