Sapphire Radeon HD6850 and HD6870 Review

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Recently we have changed our method of measuring noise levels. We have built a system inside a Lian Li chassis with no case fans and have used a fanless cooler on our CPU. We are using a heatpipe based passive power supply and an Intel SSD to keep noise levels to a minimum. The motherboard is also passively cooled. This gives us a build with completely passive cooling and it means we can measure noise of just the graphics card inside the system when we run looped 3dMark tests. Ambient noise in the room is around 20-25dBa. We measure from a distance of around 1 meter from the chassis and 4 foot from the ground to mirror a real world situation.

Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on only the video card. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.

KitGuru noise guide
10dBA - Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA - High Quality Computer fan
40dBA - A Bubbling Brook, or a Refridgerator
50dBA - Normal Conversation
60dBA - Laughter
70dBA - Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA - City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA - Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA - MP3 player at maximum output
110dBA - Orchestra
120dBA - Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA - Threshold of Pain
140dBA - Military Jet take-off/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA - Instant Perforation of eardrum

noise14 Sapphire Radeon HD6850 and HD6870 Review

The HD6870 reference cooler is noticeably louder than the Sapphire customised HD6850, which is quiet. AMD’s reference cooling solutions are acceptable, but we know that once Sapphire gives this card a makeover both temperatures and noise will improve.

The HD6850 cooler is great, hovering around 34 dBA when gaming, which is certainly not going to annoy any performance gamer.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
Sapphire Radeon HD6850 and HD6870 Review, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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  • JC

    Your 6850 have 1120 sharders. o_o”

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  • harry

    these are really good cards, love the performance and price.

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  • Hank

    Excellent boards those, really look the part and performance is awesome. overclocking is great !

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  • P1n3apqlExpr3ss

    Shit… haha 6850 is a killer card and guess what? its right in the price range im looking at :D
    Only thing i can say reading other reviews is that the 6850 reference cooler is pretty weak. These sapphire cards look great for the money :D (6850) will reserve judgement til i seem overclocked 6870s

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  • Tri Color

    Killer card indeed, couldnt agree more.

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  • Terrid Fayid

    HD6870 is good, but I dont like reference designs, too noisy/hot/ I will wait for sapphires or XFXs custom cooling one.

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  • Harris

    HD6870 is the one I would get, but not reference version. will wait a month for vapor X or toxic version.

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  • Trev

    6870 reference design is a waste, waiting on other solutions

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  • steve

    the hd6870 isn’t my first choice until they get third party products out of the stable,

    Its always the way with launches, but its weird AMD have let their partners make third party solutions for 6850s

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  • Jon

    over clocked HD6870s might be hard to get out the door with such poor over clocks on the core. seems both boards max out around 950

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  • Frank

    While these cards aren’t awe inspiring, when you look at the price 150 for a 6850. about the same as the 5770. 25% more performance, looks good.

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  • Lux

    those overclocks on the 50 are great. id say overclocked versions will be out really soon. vapor x anyone ?

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  • Michael

    As JC stated, this 6850 has 1120 shaders instead of the default 960…

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  • Tech head

    The bottom gpuz screenshot is for the 6870

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  • Ned

    I get the same 3dmark vantage score as this HD6850. I was hoping I might even up with a 1120 shader version but sadly not :(

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  • http://noir-badger.deviantart.com Krissy

    @ Jon

    I saw in another review that they managed to get the Sapphire 6870′s core clock to 1000mHz stable. I’m sure if put under water, these cards will have a bit more overclocking headroom anyway.

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