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Sapphire HD5830 & HD5850 Xtreme Edition Review – CrossfireX

AMD have been releasing new products at a faster than ever rate recently, and this has clearly caused some issues for their partners. It is not often that Sapphire would re-release several models from a previous generation but punters on a budget can end up with a very capable and cheap gaming system. Sapphire told us before publication that the HD5830 Xtreme will retail for £80 inc vat and the HD5850 Xtreme £100 inc vat. Building a CrossfireX gaming system for £160 or £200, capable of taking on a GTX580 is certainly not to be sniffed at.

As the testing has highlighted, CrossfireX scaling is very good indeed, the HD5830 is generally faster than the newer HD6790. Considering the HD5830 Xtreme will be retailing for £40 less than ATI’s latest and greatest, it seems like a very good buy to us.

The HD5850 was always a firm favourite in the KitGuru labs, even when it was retailing for £230 last year. With the Sapphire price drop including the new low noise, high performance cooler, this is a tough one to ignore. Two of these cards in CrossfireX can often beat the nVidia GTX580, which is twice the price (£400). The only negative we can mention is that the cooler on the HD5830 has three heatpipes, while the HD5850 is a slightly weaker version with a dual heatpipe layout.

The HD5830 was never a favourite of mine because the pricing was always wrong. When this card was released it cost over £210, and at the time it was one of the worst mid range purchases on the market, Nvidia’s hardware at the time was faster and cheaper. Because it was never meant to be sold for £80 however it is a completely different story today. There is no other card at this price with the same performance, and you can literally double it later, for a minor investment.

While there will be a certain stigma involved with purchasing older hardware, in this case it seems like a really good deal to us. If you are on a tight budget, then these cards from Sapphire are really hard to beat.

Pros:

  • price points are literally less than half the original price
  • coolers are great
  • noise emissions are low

Cons:

  • buying a ‘last’ generation card might be hard to swallow for some people

KitGuru says: Sapphire have just launched a ‘get them while you can deal’. They are still great cards, especially with the current pricing.

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Rating: 8.5.

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