XFX's HD 5850 Black Edition card uses reference design, meaning it comes with dual slot cooling and XFX sticker on it. As we said before the card comes with overclocked GPU and memory. The GPU runs at 765MHz and the 1024MB of GDDR5 runs at 1125MHz.
The cooling is dual-slot and does a great job without making too much noise, as temperatures rarely exceed 82 degrees Celsius. The highest temperature we measured on the HD 5850 was 85 degrees Celsius, but those were measured in the most intensive tests.
Radeon HD 5850’s length is 9.5” or 24.1cm, which is significantly shorter than Radeon HD 5870 with its 11” or 28cm length.
The shorter PCB on the HD 5850 made it possible to place two six-pin power connectors at the end of the card whereas the HD 5870 has two top-mounted six-pin power connectors.
The card uses GDDR5 memory and we're talking about Samsung's K4G10325FE-HC04 memory rated at 0.40ns (5.0Gbps).
All the memory is located on the GPU side of the PCB, and unlike the pricier HD 5870, there's no backplate.
Appart from the option to chain up to three monitors on one card, the HD 5850 allows for using them as one monitor with a higher resolution spread across three monitors. The card comes with two dual-link DVI outs, one HDMI and one DisplayPort and they can be mixed for any combination of three digital outputs as long as one of the three outputs is DisplayPort. Otherwise you are limited to two DVI outputs or to one HDMI plus DVI output.
The XFX HD 5850 Black Edition requires two 6-pin power connectors. AMD uses power-saving tweaks that help the HD 5850 to draw only 27W in idle (just like the HD 5870) and up to 151W during more intensive 3D work (the HD 5870 needs up to 188W in 3D – because 3D clocks are higher and it has 160 stream processors more).