Mid-Priced Graphics Cards: Radeon HD 5850 And GeForce GTX 460
While Tom’s Hardware’s has several AMD Radeon HD 5850 graphics cards distributed among its editors, this lab had only one. MSI heard our call for help and decided this would be a great chance for us to get a little face time with its recently-released R5850 Twin Frozr II.
MSI ditches the second dual-link DVI found on AMD's reference design, opening up the second slot panel for additional ventilation. Users who want to tie two monitors to a single card have the choice of HDMI or DisplayPort, though the company's triple-display capability requires monitors that support all three technologies. A VGA adapter is also included.
While this editor loves MSI’s improved VRM and reduced-noise cooling fans, this particular model is unlikely to ever be used in his own system. That’s because MSI extended its length by 0.7” over the standard card (to 10.2”), while leaving the power connectors on its end, complicating installation into mid-sized cases that often support a maximum card length of 10.5”.
Originally supplied for our GTX 460 SLI article and later reviewed in an overclocked card comparison, Sparkle’s GeForce GTX 460s were retained specifically for articles such as this. The cards’ 700 MHz GPU clock isn’t standard by Nvidia's specification, but the majority of competing products are overclocked even farther.