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Should I RMA my radeon HD 6850 and get an NVIDIA?

Just about a month ago I bought a HIS HD 6850 graphics card and have been pretty disappointed with it thus far. I started playing RIFT, and despite not being able to crank up the graphics (turned shadows off, unchecked multi-pass terrain, and completely turned off ground clutter radius/distance) I still drop frames into the low 40s on 1920x1080 resolution, and that's just running around, in a rift event it can drop lower. Note: My AA is all the way up, but I would think that a high end graphics card would be able to run this comfortably considering how new it is (and this game is not Crysis 1).

I need some opinions as to whether or not I should RMA it back to Newegg and eat the $43.50 restocking fee so I can buy a comparable NVIDIA card that I've heard will run more up to its potential, or are people in the game blowing smoke and NVIDIA cards do not really perform that much better. Are there any games that work very well with the ATI cards or is NVIDIA the way to go these days :-/

That in mind, if you think I should RMA this card, which GPU would you recommend getting instead?
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  1. a 6850 is not high-end, its a mid-range card with performance that falls in between the 5830 and the 5850 (not 100% sure). I dont know much about Nvidia gpu's, so i cant recommend something from them, but i would say if you really want more performance add a bit more and get a 6870? it has performance between a 5850 and a 5870 leaning more towards the 5870.
  2. If you overclock your 6850 you can probably get it to the level of a 6870 without overdoing things.
  3. See benchmarks in the following review. Note that the test rig has an i7-750 OC'ed @ 3.27GHz.

    I would say maxing out AA is killing your frame rates regardless of turning almost everything else down.
  4. I agree with Jaguar: AA can kill frame rates. Also, that's not a high end card - it's more midrange (the 6900 series are the high end).
  5. So is this thing about ATI gpus lagging behind NVIDIA GPUs because games are now optimized for NVIDIA kind of a weird tale? I read the review someone posted about RIFT benchmarks and that makes a lot of sense considering what I've heard from other people. Do games like crysis2, CoD Black Ops, SC2, and the future Battlefield have an NVIDIA 'optimization' as well?

    One last thing, if I have already sent in my rebate for my GPU am I not able to RMA my card since I had to clip off the UPC barcode on my box?
  6. Best answer
    I'm not completely sure on the RMA I would call somebody about that, it never hurts to try. But, yes... you hit the nail on the head with the optimization thing, that basically sums it up in a roundabout way. I'm not sure what games carry the Nvidia optimization these days, but one way to be sure is if the game carries the Nvidia "the way it's meant to be played" badge. I hope this info helps :)
  7. Some games lean towards Nvidia, and some towards AMD. Honestly though, on the whole, cards of similar prices tend to perform similarly.
  8. Per usual thank you to the GREAT community at Tom's Hardware :) I did some research and since I have already sent in MIR I can't do an RMA. That's okay though, because I've read some possible fixes that are coming out soon, so I don't need to worry too much about my card being heavily handicapped compared to a similar NVIDIA model. BTW, I typo'd earlier, I actually have a 6950 2gb, not a 6850 :P
  9. Best answer selected by whatistaters.
  10. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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