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XFX Radeon HD 6870 Black Edition Review

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Testing of the XFX Radeon HD 6870 Black Edition will require running the card through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors in order to gauge its performance. 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 is disabled in the NVIDIA control panel when applicable. I will test the card at stock speeds and then overclocked to see how much additional performance is available and to determine if it can run with or faster than the current fastest single GPU cards on the market. Of course, all settings are left at defaults in the control panels of each respective manufacturer except where noted. I really want to see just how fast this card can fly!



Comparison Video Cards:



Overclocked Settings:

  • XFX Radeon HD 6870 Black Edition      1005MHz Core / 1245MHz Memory

Knowing that this card sat high on the binning order to begin with, I began overclocking in earnest with high expectations. I began at the stock clocks of 940MHz on the core and 1150MHz on the RAM. I first ratcheted the fan up to 100% through the Catalyst Control Center application and launched MSI’s Kombustor utility to warm up the card. After about 10 minutes, I ratcheted the core clock up 10MHz and let it sit for 5 minutes. No problems. I continued pushing until I maxed out the Catalyst software at 1000 MHz on the core and no signs of degradation or out of line temperatures. Wondering if I could go further, I pulled out Sapphire’s Trixx utility to see just how far I could go. I punched in 1010 MHz and the computer immediately froze, restarting and repeating the warm up process at 1000MHz, I tried 1005MHz: Success! I repeated the same process with the RAM maxing it out at 1245MHZ, with 1250MHz starting to show some artifacts on the screen. That impressive core clock puts this card at the very top of OCCs list for overclock ability by 5MHz. On the DDR5 side, the card ties up with the XFX HD 5870 as the leader of our tested cards at 1245MHz. Keep in mind that these numbers include no voltage tweaks or anything of the like, just pure overclocking prowess. Good show!


Maximum Clock Speeds:

Each card has been tested for its maximum stable clock speeds using MSI's Kombustor utility. So far my testing has shown that higher clock speeds may be stable in games where GPU usage does not reach 100%, but will crash within a few minutes using this utility. The reported clock speeds are those that proved stable over a 15 minute test at 1920 x 1200 8x AA.



  • Gaming Tests:
  1. Aliens vs. Predator
  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. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  9. 3DMark 11 Professional
  10. 3DMark Vantage
  • Usage:
  1. Temperature

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (Continued)
  3. Specifications & Features
  4. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  5. Testing: Aliens vs Predator
  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: Battlefield Bad Company 2
  12. Testing: 3DMark 11
  13. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  14. Testing: Temperatures
  15. Testing: Power Consumption
  16. Conclusion
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