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Sapphire HD 6850 Toxic Review



Testing of the HD 6850 Toxic Overclocked Edition video card from Sapphire will consist of running it and comparison cards through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of equal and greater capabilities to show where it falls on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles to give you an idea of how the cards perform relative to each other.

The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustment will be made to the respective control panels during the testing with the exception of the 3DMark Vantage testing where PhysX will be disabled in the NVIDIA control panel. I will test the card at stock speeds, then overclocked in order to see how much additional performance is available and to determine if it can run with the current fastest single GPU cards on the market. The drivers used in this test will be the 10.10 Catalyst drivers for AMD and the 260.89 Forceware drivers from NVIDIA for all cards save the GTX 580. Tests will be conducted at both stock and overclocked settings to gauge performance when an increase in clock speed is applied. There is a change in how our graphs are now setup with the card being tested highlighted in RED for AMD Radeon products and GREEN for NVIDIA based video cards. As our tests are very comprehensive, we hope this makes it a little bit easier to pick them out of the crowd. The cards are placed in order from highest to lowest performing.


Comparison Video Cards:



  • Sapphire HD 6850 Toxic OC Edition 1010/1206MHz

When I pulled the Sapphire Toxic Edition HD 6850 out of the packaging and saw the dual six pin PCIe power connectors I was looking for big numbers when it came to the overclocking portion of the testing. I was not disappointed with the results I was able to pull out of this card using Sapphire's own overclocking utility called TRIXX. This utility is not as expansive as Rivatuner or Afterburner but it gets the job done. By ramping up the clock speeds starting from the baseline of 820/1100Mhz, I was able to push the core up over 1GHz to 1010MHz. The same limit I have reached on a couple of other cards. While I can run a bit higher for single benchmark runs of 3Dmark Vantage, this is not a realistic representation of what it can do full time on most games. This limit is a game stable limit that runs through the entire test suite from top to bottom, not just a one time run through a single benchmark.

This increase on the core represents a 190Mhz or just over 23% increase for the core. The 1GB of GDDR5 memory is overclocked by 100MHz right from the manufacturer for increased performance but there was still some headroom left. The final memory clocks came in at 1206Mhz or 106Mhz, just under 10% over what Sapphire has programmed the Toxic Edition to run at. When you look at the headroom that Sapphire leaves for the enthusiast, I found this card to be the highest clocking HD 6850 I have tested so far. Not by much but the clocks are there.


Maximum Clock Speeds:

MSI's Kombuster utility was used to test stability and to put a constant load on the GPU for the purposes of testing maximum power draw and temperatures. The stability test was used to find a range of settings that are stable through a 15 minute run at 1920 x 1200 8xAA. The reported clock speeds are those that proved stable over a 15 minute test at 1920 x 1200, 8x AA and the run through the benchmarks suite.



  • Gaming Tests:
  1. Far Cry 2
  2. Metro 2033
  3. Crysis Warhead
  4. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
  5. Just Cause 2
  6. Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.1
  7. Batman: Arkham Asylum
  8. Resident Evil 5
  9. 3DMark 06 Professional
  10. 3DMark Vantage
  • Usage:
  1. Temperature
  2. Power Consumption

  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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