XFX HD 6850 Black Edition Reviewccokeman -
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The XFX Black Edition HD 6850 is a factory overclocked card that offers measurable performance gains when compared to its stock clocked brethren. This you get right off the bat when you gain membership into the Black Edition family, much like the XFX GTX 260 Black Edition I looked at almost two years ago, to the day of this article! Performance of the HD 6850 is targeted at just below the GTX 460 from NVIDIA with the 6870 being targeted just above this level of performance. To compete at a higher level of performance, NVIDIA has upped the ante with overclocked editions of their GTX 460. The Black Edition is an answer to this challenge. The HD 6850 Black Edition really ups the performance when you increase the clock speeds up and above the already large factory overclock. This overclock was achievable from use of the latest overclocking tool from Sapphire, their Trixx utility, mainly because at the time of the testing this was the only tool that offered the ability to increase the core voltage for an additional boost in performance. This allowed the clock speeds on this card to jump up over 1GHz on the core and almost 1200Mhz on the GDDR5 memory. This allows the Black Edition card to run neck and neck with the EVGA GTX 460FTW, when both are overclocked - especially at higher resolutions. At the price point these cards are going for, the main audience is the 1680x1050 to 1920x1200 resolution crowd, where there are significant gains on the GTX 460.
All this performance is wasted if you are not able to control the thermal load generated by the GPU core. The Vapor Chamber heat sink used on this card is capable enough to get the job done even when running with the maximum allowed voltage of 1.30 volts on the Barts core with the maximum recorded temperature coming in at 68 degrees Celsius under load in the Kombustor testing when the fan is running at full speed. What this all boils down to is a card that delivers on its performance promises, features all of the latest technologies from AMD, and iswrapped up at an attractive price/performance point. With the XFX HD 6850 Black Edition video card you get increased performance and cooling, plus the ability to push for even more performance when overclocked.
- Factory overclocked performance
- Lifetime Warranty
- Cool running
- New Display options
- Vapor Chamber cooling
- Improved component selection