Sapphire Radeon HD6850 and HD6870 Review

Review Score:
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For the review today we have built a strong system which we feel would fit in well with the audience purchasing these cards. We are using a Core i7 950 Quad Core CPU with 6GB of DDR3 memory. We have applied a moderate overclock to the processor because we know you guys never run anything at reference speeds!

We are also going to limit testing to 1920×1080 (1080) and 1920×1200 as less than 1% of the enthusiast user base reading this will have a 30 inch screen – this will address the widest possible audience.

Test System: Validation here.

Sapphire HD6850
Sapphire HD6870

Other cards:
eVGA GTX460 FTW (850/1000)
nVidia GTX460 Talon Attack (1000/1000 & 810/975)
AMD Reference HD5870 (850/1200)
AMD Reference HD5850 (725/1000)
AMD Reference HD5770 (850/1200)
nVidia Reference GTX460 (675/900)
eVGA GTX460 768MB SC (763/950)
nVidia Reference GTX 460 768MB (675/900)
XFX HD5830 XXX (840/1125)
nVidia Reference GTS 450 (850/1000)
XFX HD5750 XXX (740/1200)
AMD reference HD5750 (700/1150)

Other Hardware:
Processor: Intel Core i7 950 @ 3.6ghz
Cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 13
Motherboard: ASRock X58 Extreme 6
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Tracer 1600mhz 6GB (3x2GB)
Power Supply: Thermaltake 750W Toughpower Grand
Chassis: Cooler Master CM 690 II
Monitor: Dell Ultrasharp U2410 (A00)

Software:
Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Unigine Heaven Benchmark
3DMark Vantage
HQV Benchmark
Catalyst 10.9 & 10.10 Driver (12th October WHQL) /ati_catalyst_10.9a_appprofile
Fraps Professional
Steam Client
FurMark
Forceware 260.89 beta
Tessmark
Shader Toy

Technical Monitoring and Test Equipment:
Keithley Integra unit
Thermal Diodes
Raytek Laser Temp Gun 3i LSRC/MT4 Mini Temp
Extech digital sound level meter & SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter

Games:
Resident Evil 5
Lost Planet 2
Far Cry 2
Tom Clancy H.A.W.X.
Metro 2033
Alien V Predator
Mafia 2

All the latest BIOS updates and drivers are used during testing. We perform under real world conditions, meaning KitGuru tests all games across five closely matched runs and average out the results to get an accurate median figure.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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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16 Comments
  • JC
    October 22, 2010
    #1
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    Your 6850 have 1120 sharders. o_o”

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  • harry
    October 22, 2010
    #2
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    these are really good cards, love the performance and price.

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  • Hank
    October 22, 2010
    #3
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    Excellent boards those, really look the part and performance is awesome. overclocking is great !

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  • P1n3apqlExpr3ss
    October 22, 2010
    #4
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    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
    October 22, 2010
    #5
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    Killer card indeed, couldnt agree more.

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  • Terrid Fayid
    October 22, 2010
    #6
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    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
    October 22, 2010
    #7
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    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
    October 22, 2010
    #8
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    6870 reference design is a waste, waiting on other solutions

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  • steve
    October 22, 2010
    #9
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    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
    October 22, 2010
    #10
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    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
    October 22, 2010
    #11
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    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
    October 22, 2010
    #12
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    those overclocks on the 50 are great. id say overclocked versions will be out really soon. vapor x anyone ?

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  • Michael
    October 22, 2010
    #13
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    As JC stated, this 6850 has 1120 shaders instead of the default 960…

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  • Tech head
    October 22, 2010
    #14
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    The bottom gpuz screenshot is for the 6870

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  • Ned
    October 26, 2010
    #15
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    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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  • Krissy
    October 27, 2010
    #16
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    @ 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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