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Cyclone vs DirectCU vs Windforce (2x 6850)

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  • Crossfire
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Last response: in Graphics Cards
January 28, 2011 11:11:53 PM

TLDR: Cyclone vs DirectCU vs Windforce. What cooler wins?

For a crossfire solution with 6850s.
Dual CrossFire (16X+16X)

GIGABYTE GV-R685D5-1GD Radeon HD 6850
Core Clock: 775MHz
Effective Memory Clock: 1000MHz (4.0Gbps)
$180 each

ASUS EAH6850 DC/2DIS/1GD5/V2 Radeon HD 6850
Core Clock: 790MHz
Effective Memory Clock: 1000MHz (4.0Gbps)
$180 each, $160 after $20 MIR

MSI R6850 Cyclone PE/OC Radeon HD 6850
Core Clock: 860MHz
Effective Memory Clock: 1100MHz (4.4Gbps)
$190 each

All of them have a 3 year warranty.
In the end, it depends on the cooling of the card. 2x 6850 is way more sufficient than I'll ever need it to, no matter what core clock. Although, I actually plan on slightly OCing the cards themselves seeing how I hear the 6850 OCs well, but only after a year or so, at a point where I don't care half as much about the warranty with a new card.

System Specs:
Motherboard: MSI 790FX-GD70
Processor: AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 955 Processor (4 CPUs), ~3.2GHz
Memory: Mushkin 1600mhz 4096MB RAM
Hard Drive: 2x500 GB Western Digital Caviar Black
Current Video Card: HIS Ice-Q Radeon HD 4850
Monitor: ASUS 24" 1920x1080
Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Motherboard: MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3
Computer Case: Cooler Master HAF 932
PSU: Corsair 750HX Modular

PS: I am open to "mix and match", my motherboard has quad crossfire configuration, meaning that I will have a reasonable gap between both cards and they won't be hugging each other (motherboard manual recommends PCI Express 2.0 slots 1 and 3, reasonably spaced). I do have a few questions about crossfire however, knowing that crossfire uses the lowest amount ram from two cards (ex: 512mb and 1gb, crossfire will be combined only 512mb), is it the same with core clock and memory speed? All the 6850s above have different core clocks, if I mix them, will the crossfire configuration be the lowest speed? Also, how does one go along overclocking a crossfire setup? From my extremely limited knowledge of overclocking, it's hard to raise voltage with crossfire.
Oh, and is one crossfire bridge enough? The 68xx series only has one crossfire finger, allowing only for 2x crossfire.

More about : cyclone directcu windforce 6850

a c 1644 U Graphics card
January 28, 2011 11:46:27 PM

I would go with the MSI cyclone, simply because of the additional speed!
January 29, 2011 8:04:03 PM

Ignoring the speeds, which is the most preferable cooler?
I mean, aren't they all the same chip anyway? I could just OC a reference card to that specific "additional speed"...

On side note, I think I'm leaning towards the MSI Cyclone, mainly because it seems to be a great cooler that would work well in the tight spaces of crossfire, not to mention how easy it would be to clean! Lol!
But I still do have a week from buying time... and seeing how I originally wanted to be in the low $300 range, it turned into $380 =(
If I did get both DirectCUs and actually got the rebate, that would be $320, a respectable price... but who expects that to happen?

On side note, I'm wondering how the 6950 1gb compares to the 2x6850s..... $250 vs $350~
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a c 175 U Graphics card
January 29, 2011 8:25:24 PM

I own a card that uses the windforce design, it is going to be nice on the ears while thermals are decent for the core but the fans are delicate and sharp. Be careful if you are doing any thing while the machine is on or you will get a small cut. The downside to the cooler is that it needs airflow to perform as expected so you may need to keep the speed higher than others but due to the low flow rate they are not going to be noisy. However the cooler isn't going to keep the whole card cool and is only for a modder or low use. On the up side though if the fan bearings go bad you can very easily pop the fans without even taking the cooler off and are easy to clean this way.

The cyclone is a ok cooler but no ware near the best but neither is any other so it is a matter of taste and desired functionality.
January 31, 2011 7:13:58 PM

Cyclone in 2 days or forever hold your peace.

Although then again, I also ebay'd a 6850 and found a reliable seller selling 6850s for $140 each... what do you guys think?

All good reviews, sealed boxes, working cards. Slow shipping, but I can wait a week.
a c 214 U Graphics card
January 31, 2011 7:22:52 PM

Forget about the Gigabyte model.Altough the MSI version has a good heatsink and comes factory O.C. i still don't think it is as good as the Asus version.Asus comes with software and voltage tweaking so it's easier to O.C.And because of the DirectCU which is very useful when
February 1, 2011 4:31:47 AM

buska103 said:
Cyclone in 2 days or forever hold your peace.

Although then again, I also ebay'd a 6850 and found a reliable seller selling 6850s for $140 each... what do you guys think?

All good reviews, sealed boxes, working cards. Slow shipping, but I can wait a week.

HIS is good, but for O.C. I personally would go with either of these from ASUS