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AMD Radeon HD 6850 1,024MB in CrossFireX review

by Tarinder Sandhu on 28 October 2010, 09:10 4.5

Tags: ASUSTeK (TPE:2357), AMD (NYSE:AMD), Sapphire, HiS Graphics

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qa2q7

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How we test


















GPU comparisons

Graphics cards Current pricing GPU clock (MHz) Stream processors Shader clock (MHz) Memory clock (MHz) Memory bus (bits) Graphics driver
HIS Radeon HD 5970 2,048MB  £430 725 1,600 x 2 725 4,000 256  x 2 Catalyst 10.10P
Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 1,024MB XF £300 775 960 x 2 775 4,000 256  x 2 Catalyst 10.10P
Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 1,024MB £150 775 960 775 4,000 256 Catalyst 10.10P
HIS Radeon HD 5870 1,024MB £275 825 1,600 825 4,800 256 Catalyst 10.10P
HIS Radeon HD 6870 1,024MB £175 900 1,120 900 4,200 256 Catalyst 10.10P
HIS Radeon HD 5850 1,024MB XF £400 725 1,440 x 2 725 4,000 256 x2 Catalyst 10.10P
HIS Radeon HD 5850 1,024MB  £200 725 1,440  725 4,000 256  Catalyst 10.10P
ASUS GeForce GTX 480 1,536MB £350 700 480 1,401 3,698 384 ForceWare 260.89
ASUS GeForce GTX 470 1,280MB £200 607 448 1,215 3,348 320 ForceWare 260.89
KFA GeForce GTX 460 1,024MB SLI
£300 675 336  1,350 3,600 256 x 2 ForceWare 260.89
KFA GeForce GTX 460 1,024MB
£150 675 336  1,350 3,600 256  ForceWare 260.89
EVGA GeForce GTX 460 768MB SLI  £250 675 336 x 2 1,350 3,600 192 x 2 ForceWare 260.89
EVGA GeForce GTX 460 768MB £125 675 336  1,350 3,600 192  ForceWare 260.89

Test bench

CPU Intel Core i7 980X Extreme Edition (3.33GHz, 12MB L3 cache, hexa-core, LGA1366 - Turbo Boost enabled)
Motherboard ASUS P6X58D Premium
Motherboard BIOS 1002
Memory 6GB Corsair DDR3
Memory timings and speed 9-9-9-24-1T @ DDR3-1,600
PSU Corsair HX1000W
Monitor Dell 30in 3007WFP - 2,560x1,600px
Disk drive(s) Corsair Force F80 SSD
Operating system Windows 7 Ultimate, 64-bit

Benchmarks

Aliens vs. Predator DX11, 1,680x1,050, 1,920x1,080 and 2,560x1,600 resolutions, 2xAA, 16xAF, very high quality.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 DX9, 1,680x1,050, 1,920x1,080 and 2,560x1,600 resolutions, 4xAA, ultra quality, FRAPS-recorded benchmark.
Just Cause 2 DX10, 1,680x1,050, 1,920x1,080 and 2,560x1,600 resolutions, 4xAA, 16xAF, Dark Tower benchmark
Mafia II DX9, 1,680x1,050, 1,920x1,080 and 2,560x1,600 resolutions, AA on, 16x AF, built-in benchmark
Unigine Heaven v2.1 DX11, 1,920x1,080, various tessellation modes
3DMark Vantage b1.0.2 DX10, Run at the 'high' preset and overall, GPU and Feature Test 4 scores noted
Temperature To emulate real-world usage scenarios, we record GPU core temperature both when idle and whilst playing Call of Duty: MW2. And, for a worst-case scenario, we throw in numbers from the FurMark stress test.
Power consumption To emulate real-world usage scenarios, we record mains power draw both when idle and whilst playing Call of Duty: MW2. And, for a worst-case scenario, we throw in numbers from the FurMark stress test.

Notes

You'll notice that we have a total of  13 setups in this test. These exclude a number of cards in our original review. Simply put, having 20-plus cards in graphs makes it confusing.

This time around, we've included Radeon HD 5850 in CrossFire, to show you the differences between generations, as well as stock-clocked GeForce GTX 460 768MB and 1,024MB cards in SLI. Pulling it all together, the Radeon HD 5970 2,048MB makes an appearance.

Two Radeon HD 6850 cards will set you back around £300 - or £260 if you were lucky enough to buy them on launch-day from selected retailers - and that's the same outlay for a pair of GTX 460 1,024MB GPUs. These are the combination that are of most interest to us.

The introduction of the Radeon 6000-series has had an impact on Radeon HD 5870/50 pricing, by the way, which is down to £275 and £200, respectively.

We'll be looking at Radeon HD 6870 CrossFire vs. GeForce GTX 470 SLI in a separate article. For now, focus your attention on the upcoming graphs, with special attention paid to the red and green bars.