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5850: Reference vs Custom

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April 22, 2010 7:11:03 PM

I've been looking to get a 5850 for a while now, but since I've been trying to get one at under $300 my purchase keeps on getting delayed. (Maybe I'm just not looking in the right places I dunno)

Anyways, these days it looks like most of them for sale are ones with custom cooling and from everything I'm reading it seems that those do not overclock as well due to most if not all of them not being able to overvolt. Will that make a huge difference? Will these cards maybe be able to overvolt better in the future with an update or something? Should I go out of my way and possibly pay more to get a reference card?

More about : 5850 reference custom

April 22, 2010 8:36:16 PM

Either should have the same performance and overclocking, maybe with only very nominal differences. When people are talking about the voltages of custom vs. reference boards it is only because they are looking into volt mods which it doesn't seem like your interested in doing anyways. Some custom boards will have different stock voltages as well but they are still within ati's limitations which are pretty slim.If you are worried about that you should be able to google the card your looking in to and find its voltages. But I dont think you would notice any difference if you bought one with a custom pcb.
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a b U Graphics card
April 22, 2010 8:40:26 PM

That is a nice one. Sounds like it runs very cool AND quiet.
April 23, 2010 2:36:42 AM

My bad im not too into the 5xxx series yet as of the fact that i havnt saved enough money to buy my 5870 yet, i assumed they would be similar to the 4xxx and what not in terms of how easily you can change the voltages (i thought that you would actually have to do a voltmod and that is what he was talking about), you just gave me a good piece of advice when i end up buying my new card lol ^^
a b U Graphics card
April 23, 2010 3:11:05 AM

Some of the custom PCBs contain circuitry that can be controlled via software. For example, some of the MSI, XFX, EVGA, etc cards can be overvolted via MSI After Burner Software.
a b U Graphics card
April 23, 2010 3:16:32 AM

And they often will advertise it if they can. Or just google the model number and see others' experience.
April 23, 2010 1:55:28 PM

I did notice that Asus card seemed to be one of the few custom cards that support overvolting. Seems like a good option.

As for the MSI, judging by the reviews I've been reading, it looks like people arent having much luck overvolting using the MSI software.
April 23, 2010 2:16:05 PM

i have the sapphire 5850 it runs very cool 48c on heavy load . you can't overvolt but you can try to flash the bios, if that's possible
a c 130 U Graphics card
April 23, 2010 4:43:12 PM

You can flash the BIOS, it's just that there's a chance of killing the card. The mfctur will know what you did (unless you burn the card, scratch it, whatever), and they won't send another one.

MSI uses MSI AfterBurner which is reported to work nicely, I don't know a clu why it wouldn't work with an MSI card (MSI Lightning edition?).
a c 125 U Graphics card
April 23, 2010 7:34:04 PM

Hey not sure what this lack of overvolting is about. I have a Sapphire 5850 with the stock cooling unit. Using MSI Afterburner, I've got it up to 850 core/1260 mem speeds which is higher than a 5870, it's stable and not going over about 75C with the fan not going over about 37% (I have it set to go from 20% to 40% between 50C and 80C). You can unlock voltage adjustments in Afterburner - I've had to up them a few points to get it stable. I'm still going to try and further OC it but ran out of time so tonight I plan to do what I can. The stock cooler is really good, it's just loud at the higher speeds. 40% is an acceptible noise level with the PC on my desk just beside me, although it becomes the loudest fan (and I have 4 on my case and 1 on the CPU cooler). At 100% it lowers temps by 5C or more but it gets really loud. (I mean 5C above what it does at 40%)

Just FYI if you have 64bit OS then when you run Afterburner, you'll need to manually load a lower speed profile as the auto 2D/3D settings won't work. Basically over 775/1125 the card will "stick" in it's OC settings, but at or below those it will idle at super low speeds. So, if gaming load the OC setting, if just browsing in Windows or whatever load the stock settings.
April 23, 2010 7:43:12 PM

The stock card doesnt have any problems overvolting, it's the newer custom ones that seem to. I think I'm just gonna try to find one of the reference stock cooler cards.
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2010 1:28:50 AM

All 5850's are pretty good at their stock clocks of 750. Most people will not o/c, even less will add voltage. Getting to 850 the stock 5870 clock is attainable in almost all cases. If ATI made this any easier they would not sell 5870's. Of course the 5870 can o/c as well, they are the best silicon~chips from the wafer with the full 1600 SP's vs the 1440 in the 5850.
April 24, 2010 1:36:49 AM

notty doesnt have a 5850 in hand I guess ;D

950 is guaranteed and 1Ghz most likely on the Asus one, waiting on ovrclkr results.

5850 more worth over 5870 LMAO Even considering the extra shaders.
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2010 1:47:56 AM

Here are some temps so you can compare...

ASUS 5850 DirectCU "stock"







a c 130 U Graphics card
April 24, 2010 1:59:56 AM

Is that 36c with 50% fan?
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2010 2:11:43 AM

How loud is that? Silentish?
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2010 2:12:07 AM

disregard that one, here is a shot at 40% fan speed and ambient is at 78F.



I am cooling down the house to about 69/70F for another screen-shot.
April 24, 2010 2:26:29 AM

hmmm.... Some OC lol?
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2010 2:29:32 AM

GoZFast said:
notty doesnt have a 5850 in hand I guess ;D

950 is guaranteed and 1Ghz most likely on the Asus one, waiting on ovrclkr results.

5850 more worth over 5870 LMAO Even considering the extra shaders.


:)  D. But your exaggerating. I do a lot of reading and have a fine memory. Whether reviews or user message boards, you can't back that statement up. 5850's avg 850mhz , stock voltage.
Use for example http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ . The 5870's do clock higher, they have had just one model hit 1ghz.
955mhz msi 5870 Lightning http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/R5870_HD_5870_Li...
850mhz, this model can software volt, with 1.35 it hit 970mhz ASUS EAH 5850 TOP DirectCU http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/EAH_5850_TOP_Di...

880mhz HIS HD 5850 iCooler V Turbo http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/HIS/HD_5850_iCooler_...
Those are fine numbers, o/c . I'm not arguing anything else, except the exaggerated myth that 950-1ghz is somehow common.
April 24, 2010 2:32:55 AM

Some truth in your post but I forgot to say voltage, so restatement,

Overvloted safely and cool temps, 950 is guaranteed and 1Ghz most likely on the Asus one xD

950-1Ghz is not a myth xD

Edit xD: 970 at 1.25V Why you picked the 1.35v one heh? xD The lightning did run at default votlage of 1.16 because at review there was no voltage control yet xD 1075Mhz 1.35v Air http://www.overclock.net/ati/696804-5870-lightning-over...
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2010 3:15:53 AM

I cannot here the GPU fan because the CPU fan is louder.

This GPU is about 35% lighter than the 260 and about 15% smaller. The power connectors are a PITA to install because they are on the far end.

Here are some pics :







Going to run a few tests at higher clocks....



a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2010 3:59:51 AM

GoZFast said:

950-1Ghz is not a myth xD

Edit xD: 970 at 1.25V Why you picked the 1.35v one heh?


Maybe because I am trying to prove my point ! :)  With proof and links ?
And what am I inferring? Probably the same as the author in that review, at a certain mhz, its not heat, not cooling, its not voltage, its the limitation of the transistors/silicon in that gpu.
Quote:
1075Mhz 1.35v Air http://www.overclock.net/ati/69680 [...] e-fix.html

Thats a great example of a diligent o/c with a 5870 He broke out a multi-meter, and contacted MSI for a BIOS update, to get that extra speed. Very cool.




April 24, 2010 4:40:43 AM

Thats because Voltage programs were not working yet at release

My friends run theirs 5850 @ 950 for 24/7 1.20v and 1.28v 1Ghz. ... Any way, 970Mhz 1.25v is in the limit you stated 950-1Ghz xD

Keep the pics coming xD Are those 2 sound cards lol ?
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2010 4:56:06 AM

yea I have dual sound cards =)

The board is finicky if I remove the top card. Something that has to do with the 64bit drivers..

Check out these temps after a quick BC2 session :

Maxed out the OC in Doctor (amazing temps) :



Amazing how I got it to 1.2v and still get a ridiculous idle :



Room currently at 71F [:lectrocrew:6]
a c 130 U Graphics card
April 24, 2010 4:59:51 AM

Now get that core to 975, and we're talkin'!

Amazing temps..55c...
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2010 5:09:58 AM

here you go =)

4 min BC2 run :



going to run kombuster now..
April 24, 2010 5:22:58 AM

Wow, I want one of those!! lol Maybe 2 please xD

Impressive temps, 61 Max 975Mhz wow

Try setting the fan to 60% manually.
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2010 5:54:10 AM



@ 850/1150 1.163v 51c MAX (ambient @ 70F)
April 24, 2010 6:03:49 AM

1.63?? I think you meant 1.13 or 1.16v xD
a c 125 U Graphics card
April 24, 2010 6:09:08 AM

Right now I have my Sapphire 5850 OCed to 1.174V, 875/1225. I have had it up to about 1250 which made a few more frames but I can't keep it stable. I'm using MSI Afterburner, quite a good app imo. It hasn't gone over 78C with 40% fan (to keep it fairly quiet).

From the testing I've done with different settings, a high clock isn't going to do anything if the memory can't keep up. After about 850 I only was seeing a noticeably FPS increase from memory but the memory seems to also destabilize it faster. I'll run a few tests and then on the 3rd or 4th at the same settings it crashes (like a 1250 mem).

Any tips? I've raised the volts up to 1200 even 1225 but it still crashed - maybe even faster! lol. Can't really say for certain I think I've pretty much hit the limit of this card tho.
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2010 6:15:15 AM

GoZFast said:
1.63?? I think you meant 1.13 or 1.16v xD


yes Sir, msg edited ;) 
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2010 6:32:27 AM

After 2nd bench (1.210v) :



the high fps went higher while the lows went lower..hmmmmm

a c 130 U Graphics card
April 24, 2010 11:16:11 AM

You did decrease mem by 30. :?
April 24, 2010 1:52:54 PM

Ya, Thats what I am seeing, the second run , you have the ram at 1220 Vs 1250 in the 1st run.
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2010 9:22:15 PM

ooops... well anyways here is a run at 1000/1275 :



the score was more or less the same compared to 1000/1250Mhz so IMO that is as far is it will go until a new bios is out...



April 24, 2010 11:13:11 PM

Wow 1.24v only for 1 Ghz :heink:  Is that Furemark stable?

48% Max Fan with 1 Ghz? Thats low lol
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2010 11:33:33 PM

I like using OCCT's GPU stress tester, but in Error check mode. With it I discovered that although some of my high OCes were stable, they were not accurate (errors).
April 24, 2010 11:39:07 PM

Furemark + GPUz running showing everything. If that doesnt fail, No game will fail lol
a c 125 U Graphics card
April 25, 2010 5:11:51 AM

Hmm I found I was getting greyscreen if I went much over 1225 mem speed. I tested as high as 1250 but it just greyscreend sooner. I put the voltage up to 1.3V just to make sure that wasn't the problem, and temps never got into 80s, but yea after a couple tests it would greyscreen. Right now I have it at 950/1220 I think. I was using MSI Kombuster with MSI Afterburner. I played Crysis after I got it somewhat stable on Kombuster and after about 20 mins it crashed so I lowered the gpu speed a bit and then it was fine for about 45mins but ended up crashing again. I don't know how you got it so high and stable... Is there mobo settings you changed? I tried upping the PCI voltage amplitude thing from 800mV to 1000mV and it seemed to add a little stability but maybe not. Otherwise I heard a little more VTT voltage can help but I'm not sure, I upped it by .1 and .2 but I still had greyscreens when testing so I just put it back to normal.
a b U Graphics card
April 25, 2010 5:58:33 AM

GoZFast said:
Wow 1.24v only for 1 Ghz :heink:  Is that Furemark stable?

48% Max Fan with 1 Ghz? Thats low lol


This aint easy.. I have to use AB for the OC and Doctor for the voltage. Kombustor is stable @ 1000/1245, anything over 1050/1275 is unstable. I still need to update the Bios on my board as well.

The fan curve has been fixed and now temps stay in the 57/58c arena at LOAD :

a b U Graphics card
April 25, 2010 10:09:48 AM

Hey OvrClkr, ill be ordering a 5850 here on the 3rd/5th and i originally was going to the that same asus card, but decided for the gigabyte dual fan one. I had planned on overclocking, would you recommend the asus one over it? Im not sure if you can overvolt the gigabyte so hmm.
a b U Graphics card
April 25, 2010 10:55:51 AM

Nope, the gigabyte model does not have voltage support. Get the MSI or ASUS if you want to mess with the voltages.

In my opinion the DirectCU is the best bang for buck right now at 319.99$.

Look at my idle temps w/ room temp @ 70F :

http://i683.photobucket.com/albums/vv199/OvrClkr/CuCore...
a b U Graphics card
April 25, 2010 5:16:36 PM

OvrClkr said:
Nope, the gigabyte model does not have voltage support. Get the MSI or ASUS if you want to mess with the voltages.

In my opinion the CuCore is the best bang for buck right now at 319.99$.

Look at my idle temps w/ room temp @ 70F :

http://i683.photobucket.com/albums/vv199/OvrClkr/CuCore...


Sweet, thanks glad i decided to ask :) 
!