Fermi is finally here, six months after the first Evergreen cards (Radeon HD 5000 series) from ATI were available on retail. So how has the graphics card landscape changed? Well, it's a bit too early to say. While the new GeForce GTX 480 and GTX 470 are fast and powerful cards in their own right, they are also known to be power hungry and run extremely hot. Furthermore, availability of these cards are poor and they are not the most affordable nor bang for your buck cards around.
For the best bang for your buck in the high-end graphics cards space, the Radeon HD 5850 is still the card of choice. It's considerably faster than any previous generation single-chip graphics card, and at around US$300 (about S$420 locally), it is also markedly cheaper than its bigger brother, the Radeon HD 5870, and NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 480 and GTX 470. Overall, we think that the Radeon HD 5850 offers the ideal balance of performance and affordability. Looks like we were right all along, since we awarded it the Most Value For Money Award when it first came out and it still holds true.
It's been six months since the launch of the Radeon HD 5850 and ATI's partners are coming up with custom editions of the Radeon HD 5850. Factory overclocked and sporting customized coolers, these cards offer superior performance to the original reference card, and we have here with us three fine examples of non-reference Radeon HD 5850 cards from ASUS, PowerColor and Sapphire.