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PowerColor 6850 PCS+ Review

Price: $210


One thing's for sure, AMD is really pushing hard at the mid-range segment right now to eke all it can out of the current recession. When that means better performance for cheaper prices, I'm not complaining! Instead of pushing the 6000 series forward with brute force, AMD is instead focusing this series on efficiency. Its current flagship, the 6870, has some specs that would give the impression of lesser performance when compared to the 5870. However, with AMD's chip advances, the 6000 series handily beats out is older counterparts with much more efficient hardware and processes. In fact, AMD is claiming over 35% more performance per square millimeter over its previous generation of cards. On top of that, AMD is reportedly using 25% less silicon than the 5850. This means more performance requiring less power and generating less heat. Along with the new process technology, AMD is bundling this new generational step with up to 2x faster tessellation and geometry throughput and multiple other features to keep its cards ahead of the game.

With the HD 6850 PCS+, Powercolor is upping its offering beyond just reference designs as per the usual. This time, a much beefier cooling system has been slapped on and fairly substantial overclocks have been applied right out of the box. I am quite excited to see just how well this card stacks up against the slew of other cards saturating the market at this time.

Closer Look:

The PCS+ edition's packaging follows a sleek racing theme. Powercolor boasts its slogan "Unleash the gaming power" right underneath its logo in the top left of the box. The packaging boasts the card's tri-display Eyefinity support, as well as its full gigabyte of GDDR5 RAM and its four display connections. The included Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 game gets its own sticker as well. Flipping over to the back, there is a huge laundry list of features, such as Direct X 11 support, CrossfireX compatibility, and Stereo 3D support.













Opening the box, a plain brown box pulls out that opens right up to the business. The card sits right on top in a protective antistatic bag. The sparse accessory bundle sits right underneath the card tray.



The accessory bundle includes an unlabeled driver disc, a quick start guide, a DVI to VGA adapter, a crossfire bridge, and the Modern Warfare 2 pamphlet containing the Steam download key.


Everything is pretty standard so far, so let's take a look at the card itself.

  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 Heaven Benchmark 2.1
  11. Testing: Batman Arkham Asylum
  12. Testing: Resident Evil 5
  13. Testing: 3DMark06
  14. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  15. Testing: Temperatures
  16. Testing: Power Consumption
  17. Conclusion
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