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by Rob Williams on November 16, 2009 in AMD-Based GPU

If we had an award for the “best bang for the buck”, it would require little thinking to give it to ATI’s Radeon HD 5850. For the price, it offers incredible power, superb power consumption, and of course, DirectX 11 support. We’re taking a look at ASUS’ version here, which along with Dirt 2, includes a surprisingly useful overclocking tool.

Call of Duty: World at War

The Call of Duty series is one that needs no introduction. Although only six years old, CoD has already become a stature where both single-player and multi-player first-person shooters are concerned. From the series’ inception, each game has delivered stellar gameplay that totally engrosses you, thanks in part to creative levels, smart AI and realistic graphics.

World at War is officially the 5th game in the series, and while some hardcore fans claim that Treyarch is simply unable to deliver as high caliber a game as Infinity Ward, the title did well to hold everyone over until Modern Warfare 2 got released. We’ll soon be replacing our World at War benchmark results with Modern Warfare 2, so feel free to get your goodbye’s over with!

Manual Run-through: The level chosen for our testing is “Relentless”, one that depicts the Battle of Peleliu, which has American soldiers advance to capture an airstrip from the Japanese. The level is both exciting to play and incredibly hard on your graphics hardware, making it a perfect choice for our testing.

We’re off to a great start so far, and depending on how you look at things, the results can either be fairly interesting, or a bit lacking. Compared to the bigger brother HD 5870, the HD 5850 fell a fair bit short, but that’s to be expected. What’s impressive is just how in-line the HD 5850 came with NVIDIA’s GTX 285. The latter came out on top, but by an insignifant margin. What’s important is that the GTX 285 is $70 more expensive at the minimum.

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Min FPS
Avg. FPS
NVIDIA GTX 295 1792MB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
22
61.988
ATI HD 5870 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
29
49.698
NVIDIA GTX 285 1GB (EVGA)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
24
41.563
ATI HD 5850 1GB (ASUS)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
20
41.354
NVIDIA GTX 275 896MB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
22
39.187
ATI HD 4890 1GB (Sapphire)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 0xAA
21
42.778
ATI HD 4870 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Normal Detail, 0xAA
23
42.097
ATI HD 5770 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Normal Detail, 0xAA
19
40.066
NVIDIA GTX 260 896MB (XFX)
2560×1600 – Normal Detail, 0xAA
20
38.685
NVIDIA GTX 250 1GB (EVGA)
2560×1600 – Normal Detail, 0xAA
19
37.054
ATI HD 4770 512MB (Gigabyte)
1920×1080 – Max Detail, 4xAA
19
36.639

While I’m not entirely gung-ho over the minimum FPS of 20, that’s a minor nick when the average FPS is 40+. During my playtime, I didn’t notice any slowdown, and in this game, virtually every card dips far below its average FPS, and part of that could simply be due to how the game or level is designed. In the end, the performance with the HD 5850 was great, so totally maxed out settings it is.