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ASUS EAH5850 TOP Direct CU

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Posted April 8, 2010 by Jake in Video Cards

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by Jake
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Summary

It is often difficult to pick a specific graphics card model by manufacturer. We hear it constantly in the forums: "Should I buy Brand X or Brand Y for this card?" In each instance, we try to be as objective as possible, pointing out the various differences as some bring a factory overclock, better included bundle, improved warranty, and so forth. For reference cards, those are often the determining factors, aside from very minor price differences. But when manufacturers move beyond the reference design, then we’re able to really separate the contenders. A few bucks off the list price is no longer good enough; there must be something much better or unique to be attractive to consumers.

The ASUS EAH5850 TOP is a card in the market that truly accomplishes something unique for consumers. Clearly, the Radeon 5850 is already a very capable card in terms of performance, but ASUS has gone that extra mile by offering enthusiasts the opportunity to crank it up even higher. In fact, they encourage it through voltage tweaking in their Smart Doctor software, available exclusively to this ASUS card.

We don’t have final pricing yet (and we will update this review when we do), but we expect the ASUS 5850 TOP Direct CU to carry a price tag of somewhere around $330 USD, and considering the reference cards currently retail for very close to that price, a minor price premium here is justified. Considering what you get in return in terms of a potential stunning performance increase, we’ll take the voltage tweaking ability any day and twice on Sunday.

The ASUS EAH5850 TOP 1GB Direct CU is a very impressive graphics card, bringing a host of features to the table that simply shames the reference card design. The ability to tweak the voltages brings the potential to see this card match the 5870 blow-for-blow, and for a great deal less money. The icing on the cake here is that this card barely costs more than the competition, and for those who are looking for top performance and great value, the EAH5850 TOP Direct CU is killer.

ASUS EAH5850 TOP Direct CU

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