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AMD 6800 Series Review

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Price: HD 6870 $239 HD 6850 $179


It's always interesting reading forums around the net leading up to a new product launch. Interesting in the fact that what you see is, in many ways, a little bit of truth tossed into the mill with a ton of speculation. What you get out the back end is a lot of strong opinions and conjecture from people who think they know what's coming out or what it will be in reality. What we saw with this launch was a lot of truth mixed in with some smoke and mirrors to throw you off just a bit. What many have already known and expected was the launch of AMD's first GPUs from their Northern Island family. What really was not known was where on the performance ladder this product would fall. Now we know since AMD (yes AMD since ATI has effectively been finally swallowed up completely) has finally let the cat out of the bag. The Barts GPUs are ready to take on the mid-range price and performance contenders. With the naming structure, the logical thing would be for this lineup to replace the current HD 5870 and HD 5850 but that's not the case this time around. The Cayman GPUs that are upcoming will take on that responsibility. Let's see what a few of these cards can do while the arguments rage in forums around the world.

Today I have the opportunity to look at offerings from Sapphire, XFX and PowerColor. There will be a total of three HD 6870 cards based on the reference design and a single HD 6850 that breaks away from the reference mold and offers up better cooling, lower noise and enhanced display options. Let's see what they can offer us in terms of performance, cooling and most importantly, how well they overclock.









  1. Introduction
  2. Closer Look: Sapphire
  3. Closer Look: XFX HD 6870 & HD 6850
  4. Closer Look: PowerColor
  5. Closer Look: Technologies
  6. Specifications & Features
  7. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  8. Testing: Far Cry 2
  9. Testing: Metro 2033
  10. Testing: Crysis Warhead
  11. Testing: Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
  12. Testing: Just Cause 2
  13. Testing: Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.1
  14. Testing: Batman Arkham Asylum
  15. Testing: Resident Evil 5
  16. Testing: Futuremark 3DMark06
  17. Testing: Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
  18. Testing: Temperatures
  19. Testing: Power Consumption
  20. Conclusion:
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