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Reference 5850 vs OC

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September 3, 2010 11:49:54 PM

First off apologies for any incorrect terminology I'm fairly new to all of this.

Right now I am looking into buying a 5850 for a new machine I'm building. I was going to buy a GIGABYTE 5850OC since right now it's on sale at newegg.ca (I'm Canadian) and it would match my GIGABYTE motherboard. I started reading reviews though and it seemed that it has problems running 2D so constantly runs faster than it should and it has no voltage control which causes problems OC'ing it further. Well I have never built my own machine so I don't know how important these things are but I would like the ability to OC and maximize my machine.

For my current build I am going to be buying a single 5850 now and adding a second one in crossfire later. The way I see it I have two options: Buy the 5850OC from newegg.ca for 275 now and just throw another one in later without modifying it at all and hoping the latest BIOS update will fix any problems it has (honestly I am not even entirely sure what that means but I going to figure it out when I get to that stage of building it heh) OR buy the reference model of the 5850 from ncix.com and leave it alone for now but be able to OC and change the voltage at will when I need to. That is of course if the reference model does include voltage control and the 5850 from ncix is the reference model.

Here's the two links:

5850OC -$275 Newegg - http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

5850 Reference - $349 NCIX - http://ncix.com/products/?sku=51827&vpn=GV-R585OC-1GD&m...


Hopefully I made sense, quick recap:

1) Wondering if the ncix version of the 5850 is the reference model
2) Wondering if the ncix version of the 5850 has voltage control and is easier to OC to specifications
3) Wondering if it's worth it to pay the extra cash to get the reference model from ncix over the factory OCed card from newegg
4) Or if I absolutely must is my best option to buy a 5850 from another manufacturer, any recommendations?

Thanks!

More about : reference 5850

September 4, 2010 1:17:15 AM

I just purchased a 5850OC , great card BUT there is no possible way to overvolt this card unless you flash the bios to a 5870OC which has a touch higher voltage . My card reaches a maximum of 890/1185 and than its unstable .

I personally think you should go with the msi version so u can get those clocks up higher =) my msi 5770 was on 1.25v runing over 1ghz , i can only imagine what the msi 5850 can do.
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
September 4, 2010 10:52:00 AM

Well defiantly do not get the MSI 5850, it is actually hotter than reference design by a few degrees, and I find that getting a reference design 5850 is good enough. I have a diamond 5850 reference design (bought it when they first were released) the thing OCs like a champ. Just put on a headset while gaming, guarantee you won't hear the fan even at 60%. But yeah, as for OCing. I can up the voltage in Afterburner which is really sweet, I can overclock it basically to 1000/1205 (memory really doesn't matter to me, just core clock) so it surpasses the 5870 stock, so the Reference if you can is a good way to go. I hear the Asus DirectCU can overclock in Afterburner but also up the voltage and thats a great card with great cooling as well. Go for the Asus DirectCu.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1273/1/
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a b U Graphics card
a c 183 K Overclocking
September 4, 2010 12:07:24 PM

Hecktor said:
First off apologies for any incorrect terminology I'm fairly new to all of this.

Right now I am looking into buying a 5850 for a new machine I'm building. I was going to buy a GIGABYTE 5850OC since right now it's on sale at newegg.ca (I'm Canadian) and it would match my GIGABYTE motherboard. I started reading reviews though and it seemed that it has problems running 2D so constantly runs faster than it should and it has no voltage control which causes problems OC'ing it further. Well I have never built my own machine so I don't know how important these things are but I would like the ability to OC and maximize my machine.

For my current build I am going to be buying a single 5850 now and adding a second one in crossfire later. The way I see it I have two options: Buy the 5850OC from newegg.ca for 275 now and just throw another one in later without modifying it at all and hoping the latest BIOS update will fix any problems it has (honestly I am not even entirely sure what that means but I going to figure it out when I get to that stage of building it heh) OR buy the reference model of the 5850 from ncix.com and leave it alone for now but be able to OC and change the voltage at will when I need to. That is of course if the reference model does include voltage control and the 5850 from ncix is the reference model.

Here's the two links:

5850OC -$275 Newegg - http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

5850 Reference - $349 NCIX - http://ncix.com/products/?sku=51827&vpn=GV-R585OC-1GD&m...


Hopefully I made sense, quick recap:

1) Wondering if the ncix version of the 5850 is the reference model
2) Wondering if the ncix version of the 5850 has voltage control and is easier to OC to specifications
3) Wondering if it's worth it to pay the extra cash to get the reference model from ncix over the factory OCed card from newegg
4) Or if I absolutely must is my best option to buy a 5850 from another manufacturer, any recommendations?

Thanks!

Both those cards look identical to me since they are both 765Mhz which is oc'd.725 is stock.
The problem with finding a real reference card is manufacturers are using the same part number for newer cards with different coolers(ones that exhaust in your case).
To make matters worse websites are showing old pics of reference cards when in fact the card you'll get will be different.
I agree with aznshinobi at least Asus cards are known to be unlocked.
Btw i bought my XFX reference 5850 last winter/fully encased and exhaust out the back.
Very difficult to find one like that now you'll basically have to shop for it in person.
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September 6, 2010 6:30:44 AM

Thanks!
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a c 125 U Graphics card
a c 100 K Overclocking
September 9, 2010 6:43:26 PM

I own a pair of reference model Sapphire 5850s. As you seem to know, the reference models support voltage control. However, no 5850s allow for memory voltage control, and there`s a point (roughtly ~900mhz) that the gains in core speed make an insignificant different (1-2fps) while the temps go way up from the added voltage.

At stock volts, I have my cards running at 875/1205. I BIOS flashed them so that they still have to low idle of 157/300. If you OC with any program, it tends to idle at 400/900 so it's not a big deal but a bit odd. The only way to get around it is to load a stock profile when not gaming, then an OC profile for gaming.

I wouldn't be too concerned with voltage control, you should still get at least around 850mhz core and up to around 1200mhz VRAM.

As for non reference designs, several do support voltage control. Asus was mentioned - for sure their DirectCU line does. I think the Sapphire Vapor X does, and also most MSI models. You'll have to double check tho - a quick google should sort it out.

I can't say that BIOS flashing the cards will allow a different voltage. Some cards have their VRM's basically hard wired at a certain voltage. You can look up Radeon Bios Editor (RBE) on Tech Powerup, that's what I used. I can set the default voltage to whatever I want, but my cards also support the voltage control. Again, maybe or maybe not, but it's possible that you could set the voltage higher on a card that typically doesn't support it. IMO, I wouldn't bank on it.
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