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Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 DiRT 3 Special Edition Review

Geekspeak411    -   October 17, 2011
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Conclusion:

The 6870 reference design is nothing new, the performance numbers have been out for a while, and vendors need to spice up their lines mid release cycles to keep consumers interested in their cards for the next big release. The key word here is refinement. Sapphire has taken this series through its paces before and now puts all its previous and acquired knowledge together to create what it hopes is the most stable card available, offering benefits of higher speeds and cooler temperatures, while keeping the price lower than a flagship release.

The big discovery here is a card that was able to clock higher than any 6870 we've had here at OverclockersClub. This led to great performance comparatively to the reference design and the realization that maybe there's a little bit more to be had from the 6870 line. The huge dual-fan cooler no doubt contributed to the rock star performance and successfully kept temperatures more than reasonable with moderate interruption to ambient noise. Sapphire's TriXX utility is one of my favorites throughout the industry competitors. It is very simple to understand and is capable of achieving much higher overclocks than the utility embedded in the Catalyst Control Center.

The primary area where the Sapphire Radeon HD6870 DiRT 3 Special Edition graphics card disappointed me was the price. While $210 is not unreasonable by any means, I do not feel like it is extremely competitive with the current market that goes as low as the $150 range. Yes, the value is there when justified by extreme overclocks and low noise, but I still believe there is a bit too much inflation to really remain neutral. DiRT 3 is a great game — it's one of the flagship Eyefinity supporters — but I don't really think it's an acceptable reason to hike up the price. Overall though, this is a rocking card with a rocking bundle. I have no issues recommending it to anyone interested in getting a 6870 specifically, or looking for a second to throw into CrossFire. It is not a blow-your-socks-off, revolutionary release, but that doesn't by any means make it any less of a contribution to the market that adds flavor and vitality. This is a good card for those who are looking for what is offered here and can make use of all the bundled inclusions. If the extras aren't necessary, or the overclock won't be taken advantage of, then I would advise looking elsewhere.

 

Pros:

  • Rock Solid Overclock
  • Low Temperatures
  • TriXX Utility
  • Large Fans with Lower Noise Threshold

 

Cons:

  • Price
OCC Silver



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (Continued)
  3. Specifications & Features
  4. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  5. Testing: Aliens vs. Predator
  6. Testing: Metro 2033
  7. Testing: Sid Meier's Civilization V
  8. Testing: Tom Clancy's HAWX 2
  9. Testing: Lost Planet 2
  10. Testing: Unigine 2.5
  11. Testing: Just Cause 2
  12. Testing: Mafia II
  13. Testing: Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  14. Testing: 3DMark 11
  15. Testing: Temperature
  16. Testing: Power Consumption
  17. Conclusion
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