Aye guys, Recently got a 5850 to play with and realised i had a 4850 and 3850 lying around, so i thought i'd do a comparision on a current mid range computer. Don't have anything earlier but even with the 3850, things start to get slow to a point of wasting my holidays The Cards. In a Sandwich. Introduction Since the introduction of the 3850, the mid - high end graphics card market started to change. ATI Graphics cards in this segment moved to become more affordable, and new graphics card buyers had more of a issue when choosing nvidia and ATI. I recall at one point the 3850 was around ~$120 brand new, while the 8800GT's where going for twice that (Granted the 3850 was EOL at that point). Two iterations on and we now have the 5850. Since the 3850 and 4850, the 5850 has grown longer, and more power hungry, but in turn performance in some situations has more then doubled from the 3850. The Family Shot Performance History: Performance wise the initial 3850 was lacking in performance to the 8800GT/S that it competed with, especially when Anti-Aliasing was enabled. Today the 3850 can still play a lot of games smoothly with medium detail, and with a secondhand price of around $40-50, its quite a decent card for the money. With the introduction of the 4850, AA and outright performance was bumped a notch which competed quite well with the 9800GT/9800GTX+. The 260GTX/260GTX 216sp however was one step ahead, and competed more with the 4870/4890 series of ATI cards. With the 280GTX/285GTX being the card of choice for outright single card performance. The current generation 5850 cards offer a nice performance bump over the 4850, and finally Crysis is near playable on very high with a single card. The 5850 slots in between the 460GTX and 470GTX performance wise, and also price wise, offering great alternative. That said 5850 The 5850 1GB GDDR5 Direct CU i have here (Thanks ASUS ) is the newer non reference model with ASUS'es own HSF design. My desaturated phase aside, this is the one of the blackest 5850's you can get. Even the rear IO is some dark metal. It also comes with red stripes on black action which seem to be all the rage these days. You get a large box filled with adapters and a DVD with drivers and manual. Standard stuff, you really don't need anything else. The cooler on this thing is pretty quiet, (probally a bit louder then my notebook HDD RAID 0 setup) and cools a bit better then the reference design. It reached a max 67 degrees (ambient of 18 degrees) with a low hum in the background running FurMark. It's no suprise given the two huge heatpipes this thing has. Heatpipes! Enough talk, now to some benchmarks! Test setup: AMD 955BE @ 3.2ghz which is really STOCK. 4GB Kingston DDR3 ASUS M4A89GTD 890GX 2x250GB WD2500BEVT in RAID 0 (I like...silence) Corsair HX520watt PSU Graphics cards: Sapphire 3850 256mb ASUS 4850 512mb ROG EDITION ASUS 5850 1gb GDDR5 Direct CU FurMark Settings: Benchmark 6000ms with 4xAA / No AA Resolution: 1024x768 We see the 5850 taking a huge lead over the 3850 and 4850, OpenGL performance greatly improved over past generations. 3Dmark 06 Settings: Pre registered standard tests. Resolution: 1280x1024 Here we see a large point increase of nearly 4k with the 5850 from the 4850. Crysis Settings: Game: All Very high Resolution: 1920x1200 Mode: GPU Timedemo With and WithoutAA enabled, we see a near 2x performance gain from the 4850 in AVG FPS, and almost 6x performance gain from 3850 against the 5850. The 3850 was a very slow slideshow with AA enabled. Would probally perform similar to the 890GX'es 4290. DiRT2 Settings: Game: Ultra where possible Resolution: 1920x1200 Mode: In Game Benchmark. We see a incremental performance gains from 3850 to the 5850. We can particularly see the hit the 3850 takes when AA is enabled. NFS SHIFT Settings: Game: Max Settings Resolution: 1920x1200 Mode: FRAPS measured on Tokyo Circuit 3 laps while keeping 7-8th place (middle of the pack) With alot of bumping and sliding Again we see incremental performance gains from generation to generation. With AA enabled the 3850 almost becomes unplayable. COD:MW2 Game: Max Settings with 4x AA Resolution: 1920x1200 Mode: FRAPS Measured on the stage: "The Enemy of my Enemy" played through once without dying. Here the 3850 with 4x AA was playable, showing that you dont need the biggest and baddest card to play MW2. Conclusion: As we can see, 2 iterations on from the 3850, there have been large performance gains. Although the X850 series are not the fastest graphics cards you can buy, they are decently priced against their competitors. We also see the incremental performance gains between each iteration quite healthy. Hopefully the Radeon 6000 series will give us a much larger performance gain then what the 5850 did against the 4850. 3850's and its incrementally more powerful spawns. I would like to thank ASUS again for lending me this 5850, its been a rock solid and quiet card! Let me know what you think guys! doubt this comparison is up to your standards AMD2400.