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GTX 460 vs HD 6850

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 28, 2010 6:31:09 AM

I have done a bit of research and narrowed my search down to the GTX 460 or HD 6850. I will not be doing any multi-monitor or 3D gaming, so that won't be a factor in my decision. I presently have an EVGA 9800GTX 512mb card in my system and it does most everything I want it to do without hesitation (at 1280x1024), granted mildly reduced settings in newer games. However I am upgrading to a new monitor (24" LCD with 1920x1080 native) that will require a little more horsepower to run at that resolution. Just looking from some community feedback on which series will provide me the best "bang-for-the-buck", as they seem to run about the same price range.

The only real concerns I have are between card length, the 9800GTX is mere centimeters from my lower HD cage preventing 2/3 drive bays from being used, and power consumption, since I only have a 500W PSU. I am planning on getting a new case and PSU in about 6 months or so, but I am wanting a new video card before then. SLI/XFIRE is not in the future either due to shoddy PCIe spacing (next core upgrade).

I mainly play games like Oblivion, Fallout3/New Vegas, Crysis, Metro 2033, and Battlefield 2 just to give an idea of the most current load my GPU experiences regularly. Any feedback would be appreciated, and I am not swayed by fanaticism for either camp, as I have had and loved both nVidia and ATi products in the past.

Thanks,
Final Drive

More about : gtx 460 6850

December 28, 2010 9:29:14 AM

you can get this one.....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

most of the game can be maxed out at 1920 x 1080 with this card.... except for crysis and metro 2033...

currently there are no single cards out there that can challenge this game (metro 2033) at maxed out settings at full hd resolution...
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December 28, 2010 10:51:04 AM

That seems similar in specs to the EVGA 460 I have been checking out. Not sure how much help the second fan would help though due to PCIe slot placement, my XFi card is really close to the video card. Pretty solid reviews too, however I have had bad luck with Gigabyte motherboards, makes me cautious about their other products. Thanks for your input.

Final Drive
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December 29, 2010 12:09:57 AM

>I will not be doing any multi-monitor or 3D gaming

and then

>reduced settings in newer games

So what games do you play that aren't 3D? Board games?

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a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2010 12:15:59 AM

6850 is for now the best choice ever. You can install the bios from 6870 in it and it will work at the 6870 specks. Tested with success. Here is the link: http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcar...

At list if AMD does not release some driver that disables that.
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December 29, 2010 6:25:56 AM

The 69xx series is too far out of my price range at this time. The 460 and 6850 both are running about $180-$200, which is the upper end of what I really can spend in these tight financial times.

As to DoTheEvolution's statement, when I said I will not be doing any multi-monitor or 3D gaming I was referring to their Vision and EyeFinity enhancements. Since I would not be using either of these technologies, their respective cards neither gain or lose points in my book for having them. Plus wearing the glasses to play games gives me headaches, 10 minutes at a co-workers house felt like a 3 alarm hangover.

Final Drive
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December 29, 2010 6:27:11 AM

I wonder if the same is possible for the 6850 and 6870.
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December 29, 2010 6:41:08 AM

I think benchmarks tend to favour radeon 6850 even if by a small margin.

Then the 6850 tends to consume 30-40Watts less under load and requires a single 6-pin PCIex connector. If your PSU is not crappy then 500W is more than enough.

As for card size I'm not sure but I don't think dimensions are published in tech specs so maybe one good idea is to make sure the connector is on top of the card and not the back end and maybe read reviews or physically get a hold of a few cards in a store and see if it will fit inside your case.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 29, 2010 10:28:31 AM

The HD6850 tends to have a very slight advantage over a reference GTX 460 1gb at high resolutions. Both cards can OC a large amount but the GTX 460 tends to have slightly better performance scaling when you do so.
Basically you should consider the two cards equal in performance. The main difference between the two cards is going to be things you already said you don't care about or others that you likely don't care about either(CUDA) or are minor things that shouldn't really be a deciding factor when choosing a card(Physx/MLAA.) I would just look for a good deal on a model of either card with good cooling and when you find one buy it. The Asus DirectCU version of either card would be a great choice and the MSI Hawk GTX 460 is a very nice card.
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December 30, 2010 8:17:01 PM

Thank you all for the feedback. It appears that in this situation it really seems to boil down to if there is a killer price on either card. I am really leaning towards the 460 now, partly due to already owning a nVidia card and it's known performance, and I have been really pleased with EVGA's support. My father built a SLi setup and when one card failed the RMA process was amazingly smooth, best I have heard since Western Digital in the late 90's. The one that has caught my eye is this one.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Looks to be a bit shorter than my current card, and the power draw should be ok with my OCZ PSU. In a couple weeks I hope to update my sig, and money may get me more then with the endless march of progress.

Final Drive
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 31, 2010 9:40:48 AM

EVGA is a good brand but I definitely wouldn't pay more for a factory overclock like on the card you listed. It would be very easy to replicate that overclock on your own(and go much higher.) Essentially you would be paying EVGA to do a poor job of overclocking your card for you.
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January 7, 2011 4:14:30 PM

If you plan to game at 1920x1080 (1080p) you should look at a GTX 470 or wait until the GTX 560s drop. 1 GB video memory is cutting it close at that resolution with all the bells and whistles on. I have a GTX 460 and used >800 megs at 1280x1024. IF YOU WANT TO GAME AT HIGH RES GET SOMETHING BETTER OR EXPECT TO NOT USE CERTAIN FEATURES.

As for the 6850 vs 460 1GB "debate," a factory 6850 will be slightly faster than a factory 460. An overclocked 460 is faster than a 6850 (comparing max overclocks and "safe" overclocks).
Safe: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...
Maximum (still very safe, see below): http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1059/pg1/inno3d-g...
The difference is significant and you can do everything with MSI Afterburner.

If you don't plan on using 3 monitors any time soon and want the fastest card (out of these 2) and are comfortable with afterburner (it's a joke how easy it is...) then the 460 is clearly the better card. Obviously it depends on the specific vendor for other factors such as noise and heating solutions. There are also a bunch of cards out there on both sides that have lifetime warantees that are begging for abuse.

Some final thoughts: I have 9700 PRO that I am using in my HTPC that does some light gaming and AMD/ATI drivers are non-existent or don't work with 7 64bit. Hey it's an old card but it's more than sufficient for a HTPC and it's even D3D 9 compatible.

My PNY GTX 460 1GB (regular edition) is running great at 845 core with 1.037v and 1000 (x4) memory. Gets to ~88 degrees C but cooling isn't great. Lifetime warantee so IDGAF. It's running with a Phenom II X4 on an AM2+ motherboard, 2 DVD drives 2 SATA drives on my 6 year old Antec True430.

If you do decide to go with a 460 1GB 800/1000 should be rock solid at stock 1v.
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January 7, 2011 4:32:13 PM

jyjjy said:
EVGA is a good brand but I definitely wouldn't pay more for a factory overclock like on the card you listed. It would be very easy to replicate that overclock on your own(and go much higher.) Essentially you would be paying EVGA to do a poor job of overclocking your card for you.


So true. I ran my stock GTX460 at 790 MHz with no problems, and it barely effected the temps. Running Folding@home it ran at around 69C at the HIGHEST. EVGA GTX 460 is the way to go, unless you want to wait 2 weeks to see what the 560 brings.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 7, 2011 4:43:22 PM

sgt bombulous said:
So true. I ran my stock GTX460 at 790 MHz with no problems, and it barely effected the temps. Running Folding@home it ran at around 69C at the HIGHEST. EVGA GTX 460 is the way to go, unless you want to wait 2 weeks to see what the 560 brings.

790mhz isn't even pushing that card at all. I'll bet you didn't even have to touch the voltage for that.
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January 7, 2011 5:24:35 PM

jyjjy said:
790mhz isn't even pushing that card at all. I'll bet you didn't even have to touch the voltage for that.


I'm only a "mild overclocker" :pt1cable:  Most people would laugh that my i5-750 is only OC'd to 3.2 GHz, but for me this is perfect. A free speed boost without setting foot into the enthusiast fringe. But the point was clear in any event, it is easily and safely OC'd far beyond it's factory clock.

Now when I bought a 570, I just decided to buy the SC version since it price difference was menial. Is there any truth in the SC models getting the best chips?
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a c 612 U Graphics card
January 7, 2011 5:25:57 PM

I would seriously consider the Gigabyte GTX460 Superoverclock that Phenom mentioned in the second post.

According to Guru3d.com, the Gigabyte SOC was not only the fastest, but also the quietest 460 they had ever tested, out of 18 cards. If you are into overclocking, they also got the card up to 950 mhz, which matched the highest overclock they attained out of all the 460's they reviewed.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/gigabyte-geforce-gtx-460-...

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a c 172 U Graphics card
January 13, 2011 11:41:10 PM

I think any superoverclock editions are not worth the extra money they are charging. better to get a stock clocked version with decent cooler and overclock yourself. by the time your spending money for an overclocked version, you may as well go the next step and get a stock gtx470 or 6870. IMO you should get a stock gtx460/6850 and overclock yourself, assuming your 500w psu is of good quality. The only difference between the two is performance variations in different games generally favouring 6850, and nvidia supports physx. Also the 5850 is cheap now and offers good performance, you should consider it.
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a c 612 U Graphics card
January 14, 2011 12:18:32 AM

iam2thecrowe said:
I think any superoverclock editions are not worth the extra money they are charging. better to get a stock clocked version with decent cooler and overclock yourself. by the time your spending money for an overclocked version, you may as well go the next step and get a stock gtx470 or 6870. IMO you should get a stock gtx460/6850 and overclock yourself, assuming your 500w psu is of good quality. The only difference between the two is performance variations in different games generally favouring 6850, and nvidia supports physx. Also the 5850 is cheap now and offers good performance, you should consider it.

It's the custom cooler that separates the Gigabyte Superoverclock from the run of the mill stock cards. Add on custom PCB, components, and the extra overclocking ability, and it's one sweet card.
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August 13, 2013 12:28:18 AM

7041574,0,384515 said:
>I will not be doing any multi-monitor or 3D gaming

and then

>reduced settings in newer games

So what games do you play that aren't 3D? Board
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