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Sapphire HD 6850 Toxic Review

ccokeman    -   November 15, 2010
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Conclusion:

The Toxic Edition video cards from Sapphire have always had that extra something special that sets them apart from the crowd. That something is usually a deviation from the reference design, which includes PCB improvements as well as better component and cooling selections. Add to that the increased clock speeds and you have a card that provides performance above that of its AMD competitor's reference designs. That really is the goal with a factory overclocked video card anyways, now isn't it? To provide a point of difference that drives the consumer to one brand over the other is the goal. The Toxic Edition card looks good and is larger than the reference design but is still a manageable size at 9.5 inches in length. It kicks all of the hot air outside the chassis so you don't have to worry about heating up the air inside your case any higher than it already happens to be. The temperatures delivered by the Toxic HD 6850 were not as cool as I would have liked but well within the thermal boundaries at 77C under load when the driver controls the fan speed, and 66 degrees Celsius when overclocked and the core is overvolted to 1.3v. The blower fan is far from being as noisy as the reference HD 6870 but is noticeable when you ramp the speed up to 100%. There is a fine line where the benefits of the fan speed are outweighed by the noise penalty but that really all comes down to personal preference and is really subjective. So I will leave that up to the end user but at 72~73% of max RPM, noise versus cooling efficiency is a fair trade off.

When it comes down to overclocking, you have a video card in the HD 6850 Toxic Edition that already sports clock speeds above the factory set clock speeds for the Barts core and 1GB of memory at 820/1100MHz. If that's not enough, Sapphire provides its TRIXX utility to Sapphire Select Club members at no charge so you have a Sapphire specific utility to get the most out of your video card. By using this utility I was able to push the Toxic HD 6850 up over 1GHz (1010MHz) on the core and over 1200MHz (1206MHz) on the GDDR5 memory for some nice gains in performance. While I see reviews all over the Internet with higher clock speeds than what I normally get, the numbers I post are fully stable clock speeds that are able to pass through the entire gaming suite instead of just a run through one of Futuremark's fine benchmarks. In fact, I forgot and left this card in overclocked mode in the Unigine Heaven Bechmark while out shopping with the wife and returned ten hours later expecting a crash but found it happily chugging away! TRIXX are not just for kids anymore!

 

Pros:

  • Factory overclocked
  • Overclocking
  • TRIXX utility
  • Non-reference design
  • HDMI 1.4a
  • Eyefinity support
  • Stereoscopic 3D support

Cons:

  • Cooling solution
OCC Gold



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: The Video Card
  3. Specifications & Features
  4. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  5. Testing: Far Cry 2
  6. Testing: Metro 2033
  7. Testing: Crysis Warhead
  8. Testing: Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
  9. Testing: Just Cause 2
  10. Testing: Unigine 2.1
  11. Testing: Batman Arkham Asylum
  12. Testing: Resident Evil 5
  13. Testing: 3DMark 06
  14. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  15. Testing: Temperatures
  16. Testing: Power Consumption
  17. Conclusion
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