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XFX HD 6850 Black Edition Review



Testing of this latest XFX HD 6800 series video card the HD 6850 Black Edition will consist of running the card 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 this card's performance stands. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles to give you an idea on 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 the AMD lineup and 260.89 Forceware drivers for the NVIDIA cards. Testing will be conducted at both stock and overclocked settings to gauge performance when an increase in clock speed is applied.

Comparison Video Cards:



  • XFX HD 6850 Black Edition  1010/1193Mhz

Since the introduction of the AMD 6800 series there has been a utility put out by Sapphire Technology call Trixx. This utility functions much the same as MSI's Afterburner utility, but with the ability to crank up the voltage (At the time of the testing Afterburner did not support voltage adjustment for the 6800 series, but the latest Beta 2.01 and Beta 3 do). The XFX HD 6850 that I looked at for the HD 6800 series launch article was only able to push up to 972Mhz on the core and 1159MHz on the memory but the Black Edition had some additional room up its sleeves with the voltage adjustment availability. This allowed the the card to reach over the 1GHz mark on the core and just shy of 1200Mhz on the memory. Picking up 160Mhz on the core is a pretty substantial increase over the 850Mhz base clock speed with the memory delivering just shy of 100Mhz. These increases show measurable gains in performance across the entire testing regimen. Now when you start overclocking with increased voltages, you want to make sure the cooling solution is up to the task - specificially, the solution that XFX has chosen for this card


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.  The stable condition was determined 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 2.0
  7. Batman: Arkham Asylum
  8. Resident Evil 5
  9. 3DMark 06 Professional
  10. 3DMark Vantage
  • Usage:
  1. Temperature
  2. Power Consumption


The maximum clock speed graphs above show the overclocking potential of the all cards tested.

  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: Futuremark 3DMark06
  14. Testing Futurmark 3DMark Vantage
  15. Testing: Temperatures
  16. Testing: Power Consumption
  17. Conclusion:
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