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HIS Radeon HD 5870 and HD 5850 

Products from Hightech Information System Ltd. should be familiar to our readers. Graphics cards with this brand are often equipped with effective and low-noise coolers, have increased frequencies, original accessories and competitive pricing. This is not the case with these two models, though. Both cards are copies of the reference sample, so I will only focus on what differences they have from the latter. I will try to cover some things that were not discussed in our previous Radeon HD 5870 and HD 5850 reviews.

The two cards come in upright, medium-size boxes embellished with a picture of a sword piercing water.


That’s beautiful. Besides the key features of the card, there is a small “Dirt 2” sticker on the face side of each box. It means that the box contains a coupon for a free download of the new game after its release. Besides, each card comes with the following accessories:

The CrossFireX bridge pack is empty because the bridge was installed on the cards at that moment.

There is a sticker with a sword, the card’s model name and the manufacturer’s name on the cooler’s casing (here and elsewhere the Radeon HD 5870 is on the left, the Radeon HD 5850 is on the right).


Each card is installed into a PCI-E slot and has two DVI-I ports, one HDMI and one DisplayPort, two 6-pin connectors for additional power supply, and a CrossFireX connector.

Here are photographs of the connectors area:


And here are the graphics cards’ 40nm Cypress (RV870) graphics processors.


And the next photo shows Samsung’s GDDR5 memory chips (0.40ns):

The GPUs and memory are the same as in my previous review, so I won’t discuss them here.

These two HIS cards have the same specs as the respective reference samples:


The HIS Radeon HD 5870 is equipped with the same blower as the reference Radeon HD 5870. The blower of the HIS Radeon HD 5850 differs from the reference one with a sticker only.

Judging by the sticker, the BASA0425R2U fan is made by AVC and has a fluid dynamic bearing whereas the ATI Radeon HD 5850 has a blower from NTK (HK) Limited. Despite this difference, the fans have identical specs, including speed range and noise level.

In my recent report on the Radeon HD 58xx series I checked out the temperature of the cards when the fan speed was set at automatic mode (31% full speed) as well as at 50% and 100% speed. And here I will check out how much noise the reference coolers produce at a subjectively moderate level of noise when the fan speed is manually set at 25-27% (1520-1660rpm). The test method remains the same: a room temperature of 23°C, a closed system case, FurMark 1.7.0 running at 1680x1050, and MSI Afterburner 1.2.0 with GPU-Z for monitoring frequencies and temperatures.


As you can see, the trick did not work out in both cases. Each GPU quickly grew as hot as 90°C and the card’s protection circuitry reduced the frequencies and voltages to save it from danger. So, if you want to have a quiet system case, you may want to replace the default cooling system of your Radeon HD 5870 or HD 5850 with an alternative cooler. But don’t forget that the voltage regulator chips need cooling, too!

I also used MSI Afterburner andAMD GPU Clock Tool to check out the frequency potential of the HIS cards at 50% speed of their reference coolers. The cards ran FurMark and 3DMark 2006 (the Firefly Forest scene). I managed to increase the GPU frequency of the HIS Radeon HD 5870 to 905MHz (+6.5%) at its default voltage of 1.149V. At a voltage of 1.25V I reached a GPU frequency of 960MHz (+12.9%). This is not much, really. The GPU of the HIS Radeon HD 5850, like the GPU of the reference card I had tested earlier, proved to have high overclocking potential. At a default voltage of 1.087V, its GPU frequency was increased to 900MHz (+24.1%). At a voltage of 1.2V it could be increased to 975MHz (+34.5%). That’s a second time in my practice that the GPU of a Radeon HD 5850 has lower overclockability than the GPU of a Radeon HD 5850.

The highest memory frequency was 5000MHz with the HIS Radeon HD 5870 and 5080MHz with the HIS Radeon HD 5850.


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