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Sapphire HD6850 Toxic Edition Review

The Sapphire HD6850 Toxic Edition is a stunning mid range board and it shows similar levels of overclocking ability when compared to the XFX HD6850 Black Edition we reviewed weeks ago.

While on paper the identical clocks of the XFX Black Edition and Sapphire Toxic Edition would point to an ‘identical experience‘, this is not the case. XFX have clearly opted for higher automatic speeds as their fan spins around 30% faster at both idle and when under load. This means that while the XFX card runs cooler it also generates significantly more noise. While the automatic settings can obviously be adjusted manually, this actually gives the end user two very good, yet different ‘out of the box' options when shopping online.

We have had many HD6850 samples in our labs and only Sapphire and XFX have managed to break past the magic 1ghz figure, no coincidence as both are being sold as ‘elite' products from AMD's leading partners.

Personally I prefer the Sapphire Toxic Edition to the XFX Black Edition, specifically for the reduced noise levels and for the enhanced connectivity. When gaming it is difficult to hear the Sapphire board above the ambient noise of a system, while the XFX Black Edition can be heard.

The Sapphire HD6850 Toxic Edition is a gold award product due to the outstanding performance, massive overclocking headroom and quiet all round performance. Sapphire have balanced the core temperatures to peak around 70c when gaming while generating as low a noise level as possible. We like that thinking.

Pricing has yet to be confirmed but we would assume it will be around £20 more than the reference model.

Kitguru says: One of the finest HD6850's on the market.

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Rating: 9.0.

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