Sapphire HD 6850 Toxic Reviewccokeman -
Category: Video Cards
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Just a few short weeks ago, the HD 68XX series video cards from AMD and its partners came rolling out of the warehouses to consumers and hit a new price/performance point that seemed to fit the holes in the market strategy of AMD. While the reference cards delivered great performance for their price point you had to wonder what was coming up next with the factory overclocked models. I have already looked at a few and they all have improved clock speeds and better cooling that translates into better performance for the gamer in you! We did not get a look at Sapphire's reference model but the wait for its Toxic Edition is finally over. The Toxic Edition HD 6850 is a card that differs from the reference card in may ways. You get a custom PCB with a four phase digital power circuit, improved cooling solution and higher clock speeds. The reference design cards come with clock speeds of 775MHz on the 40nm 1.7 billion transistor core and 1050MHz on the 1GB of GDDR5 memory. The Toxic Edition has that covered and more with a 45MHz jump on the core and 50MHz bump on the memory to 1100MHz, giving the gamer in you more performance for your dollar. Add to that the availability of Sapphire's TRIXX overclocking utility and you have a combination that has some serious overclocking potential. Let's see if the Toxic HD 6850 lives up to the Sapphire Toxic Edition series performance legend.
The outer packaging that I received is different than the retail box so I will show the rendering of the Toxic packaging. The front cover has a shadowy figure on the front holding a crystal ball. The technologies this card employs are listed underneath the image and include DirectX 11, HDMI 1.4a, Crossfire Technology, Display Port 1.2 and AMD Eyefinity technology. The rear of the packaging from Sapphire normally expands on the information on the front so that should be what you see when you receive your card.
Inside the outer sleeve, which is great for distinguishing itself on store shelves, you have the inner packaging that consists of a cardboard box that is made with recycled materials. Inside this box you have the HD 6850 Toxic edition card in an anti static bubble wrap bag in a formed cardboard housing. Under this is a separate box for the substantial bundle of accessories.
Sapphire has included a pretty large accessory bundle with this card. That is really the norm from Sapphire though, so no surprises there. What you get is the documentation that consists of the driver disc, a manual and registration card for Sapphire's Select club that does not cost anything to join. The hardware part of the bundle includes the Crossfire Interconnect Cable, a DVI to VGA Adaptor, two six pin to four pin power cables, a Mini DP to DP Adapter and an HDMI 1.4a 1.8 meter cable so you can use this card as part of your home theater or media center PC.
Now let's take a look at the card and find out what makes it a Toxic Edition card.