PowerColor Radeon HD 5850: Worth the Wait

Graphics Cards
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The HD 5850 utilizes a closed-off box style cooler reminiscent to Nvidia's GTX 200 series. (Editor's Tip: With this type of cooler, increasing the airflow in the PC case beyond a certain point provides no improvement in cooling becase the cooler's fan itself is the airflow gate; the air can't flow through the heatsink fins any faster than that fan spins. Reducing the temperature of the intake air can help. One way to optimize the noise/cooling/airflow is to monitor the intake air temperature at the VGA cooler — ideally with the GPU under full load — and adjust case fan speeds to the point where increased speed provides very little temperature drop.)

As EyeFinity supports triple display configurations, the HD 5850 is equipped with four digital outputs, one DisplayPort, one HDMI, and two DVI.

The PCB measures the same as the HD 4870/4890 — 24.1cm or 9.5", slightly less the 9.6" standard width of an ATX motherboard. As a result it will fit in the majority of ATX cases without difficulty, even when you account for the extra inch required by the power connectors which plug into the right side.

A small vent on the top side of the cooler may push some heat into the case.

With four digital outputs on the back panel, there is only room for a small exhaust port.

A pair of 6-pin PCI-E power connectors are required to drive the 5850.

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