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Low Performance on Radeon 6850

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July 19, 2011 10:13:39 PM

Hello Community. I am coming to you with a problem that I have had for quite some time. I can never seem to achieve optimal performance in World of Warcraft.

My system currently consists of:

Intel i5-2500k CPU at 3.3GHz
Powercolor Radeon HD 6850
4Gb G-skill 1600Mhz Ram
650W Coolermaster PSU
300GB 10k RPM WD VelociRaptor HDD
1155 Asus Sabertooth P67 board
CCC Version 11.6

I currently average approximately 40 frames per second with this build. I have all settings maxed, including multi-sampling at 8x (which isn't mentioned in the benchmarks ). CCC is set to application settings for all areas. According to the Tom's Hardware benchmarks for WoW: Cataclysm (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/world-of-warcraft-c...) I should be getting significantly higher performance, unless the lack of multi-sampling mentioned in TH benchmark indicates that they didn't use multi-sampling.

Can anyone offer any suggestions. Perhaps I am overlooking something?

July 19, 2011 10:34:44 PM

I think I answered my own question by reading the entirety of the benchmarks in question. I'll just let myself out :p 
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a b U Graphics card
July 19, 2011 10:44:11 PM

emmerikxxii said:
I think I answered my own question by reading the entirety of the benchmarks in question. I'll just let myself out :p 

what was the answer do tell lol
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July 19, 2011 10:50:48 PM

The 8x AA hinders your performance significantly. TH tests a select few cards at the end of the review with 8x AA. Unfortunately they do not test the 6850. Though they do test the 6870. In the tests, the 6870 averages 56fps in 8x mode. In previous benchmarks on both TH and various other sites the difference between the two cards averages around 10fps, which coincides with my findings with my card. 56 - 10 = 46fps, which is about what I average at the moment.

With AA turned down to 2 or even 4 improves my framerate significantly. I am, however, dissatisfied with low AA being an enthusiast. Well... and enthusiast on a budget.
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a b U Graphics card
July 19, 2011 11:04:40 PM

emmerikxxii said:
The 8x AA hinders your performance significantly. TH tests a select few cards at the end of the review with 8x AA. Unfortunately they do not test the 6850. Though they do test the 6870. In the tests, the 6870 averages 56fps in 8x mode. In previous benchmarks on both TH and various other sites the difference between the two cards averages around 10fps, which coincides with my findings with my card. 56 - 10 = 46fps, which is about what I average at the moment.

With AA turned down to 2 or even 4 improves my framerate significantly. I am, however, dissatisfied with low AA being an enthusiast. Well... and enthusiast on a budget.

lol is your card OC? That might help a bit. Also are the 40 FPS smooth? In wow I find the cartoonish nature makes it possible to play at lower FPS for me at least. At one time I was playing on a laptop getting 8 FPS in NAXX lol needless to say my DPS was not so great at that point. But 40 FPS with full setting should have you playing a great looking game smoothly no?
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July 19, 2011 11:19:52 PM

I haven't OC'd my card because it runs kinda warm as it is, however, I am doing the research because my friend wants to buy my card. I am giving him a bit of a deal and upgrading to a 6870. In fact, I am getting a Sapphire HD 6870 Vapor-X. It will probably run cool enough for me to OC and see a smooth 60fps.

WoW is definitely spikey though. Some areas I'll get 80+ and in others it dips below 30fps. I used to play on a laptop. I got similar results. I just built this machine and I was expecting to get a little more bang for my buck, but I suppose I didn't fully research enough beforehand.

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a b U Graphics card
July 19, 2011 11:43:37 PM

emmerikxxii said:
I haven't OC'd my card because it runs kinda warm as it is, however, I am doing the research because my friend wants to buy my card. I am giving him a bit of a deal and upgrading to a 6870. In fact, I am getting a Sapphire HD 6870 Vapor-X. It will probably run cool enough for me to OC and see a smooth 60fps.

WoW is definitely spikey though. Some areas I'll get 80+ and in others it dips below 30fps. I used to play on a laptop. I got similar results. I just built this machine and I was expecting to get a little more bang for my buck, but I suppose I didn't fully research enough beforehand.

Befor you sell your card you should read the reviews for the 6850/6870 cards here on toms. I sure what they found was that the 6850 will OC to close to 6870 performance wile the 6870 has little to no room to be stably over clocked. What temp does your card hit wile gaming? I had a 6870 and got max 1-2 FPS increase by over clocking it. Thats why I ended up with a 6950. I would strongly suggest keeping the 6850 and saving for a secon card unless your friend is giving you very close to what you paid for the card and thats based on what I went through trying to find a card that fit my needs.

I started with a 6870 and just like toms, found it had very little OC room. I switched to a Diamond 6950 in hopes to unlock it to 6970 specs but the card was not stable wile unlocked. I then got a XFX 6950 that was stable when unlocked but later found some artifacting issues that I was not comfortable with. So I ended up with a 6950 MSI with an aftermarket cooler that does have room to overclock and I get better performance than a stock 6970 because my clocks are past the stock clocks of said 6970. Good for me Frys has a very liberal return policy lol. So unless your loosing less than $20 by selling the card I would say just save for a second 6850. If you can sell the card and loose less than $20 may I reccomend saving for a 6950 if at all possible you not regret that :) 
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July 20, 2011 12:12:23 AM

My problem is that I am currently using a Mid-Tower. The Cooler Master Storm to be precise. The 6950 doesn't fit in my case. It's about an inch into my HDD cage. Originally I was going to get a 6970 but here at Tom's they said that two 6870's beat a 6970 in most cases. WoW doesn't scale with Crossfire very well... or even at all. My friend is giving me about $40 less than what I paid for my Powercolor 6850. He's a good buddy of mine so I am cutting him a deal. I think the vapor-x should add a little more stability.

Also, to answer your question My Fan is running at 55% and I am getting 63° C.


Honestly, I am always a little reluctant to OC anyway because I am always afraid I am going to burn out my cards.
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July 20, 2011 12:19:32 AM

emmerikxxii said:
My problem is that I am currently using a Mid-Tower. The Cooler Master Storm to be precise. The 6950 doesn't fit in my case. It's about an inch into my HDD cage. Originally I was going to get a 6970 but here at Tom's they said that two 6870's beat a 6970 in most cases. WoW doesn't scale with Crossfire very well... or even at all. My friend is giving me about $40 less than what I paid for my Powercolor 6850. He's a good buddy of mine so I am cutting him a deal. I think the vapor-x should add a little more stability.

Also, to answer your question My Fan is running at 55% and I am getting 63° C.


Honestly, I am always a little reluctant to OC anyway because I am always afraid I am going to burn out my cards.

Ok here is the think. The 6870 will be limited on OCing based on stability not temps. In other words that card is shipped at close to max clocks as is. With the 6850 will OC better.

Also unless you are having other heat issues (cpu mostly) your card is running very cool. The cards are good up to 90c as far as temps go so than can get alot hotter than a CPU can. I would see what the best OC you can do on that card is and as long as your CPU does not get hot and the temp on a benchmark for the card stays below say 85c then you would be better off just keeping the card. Because your going to take a $40 hit on the card and get the 6870 and not see that big of a FPS increase. Do you have a frys near you at all? I find it crazy that I could fit a 6950 in a crap Lenovo case and you cant in your cooler master that sucks :( .
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July 20, 2011 12:24:58 AM

If your going to take a $40 hit on the card why not sell the case as well and get something that can take the better card (6950/6970) ? Just an Idea but in the long run I still say keeping the 6850 and saving for the second card is the best way to go otherwise. I know that waiting for an upgrade sucks lol but taking a $40 hit on that card is 25% of the cost of the second card plus the difference from that card and the 6870 and your half way to the second card :) 
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July 20, 2011 12:40:51 AM

Well, the good Full-Tower cases costs in the $150 - $200 range. I just did a little OC test on this card and as far as I can tell I see very little difference. I noticed maybe a one or two FPS improvement when I clocked it at 850MHz and 1050MHz for the memory clock. Maybe this lends itself to my original problem. I was getting about 30-40fps in WoW. Seems low, doesn't it?

No Fry's near here, I'm afraid. I have a Tiger Direct about a half hour away, but they are a tad overpriced and don't carry the cool *** anymore.
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July 20, 2011 1:12:20 AM

Alright. I just measured my case and I should be able to fit a 6950 in there, though it will be snug. I have about 10.9 - 11 inches of space and the 6950 is 10.6 from what I read.

I'd be willing to put the money into a High End card like the 6950 or 6970 if I wouldn't need to replace it for a while. I understand that ATI is working on the 7000 series and I am reluctant to spend that kind of money on a current generation card if they will be outdated in six months.

What's your take?
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July 20, 2011 3:51:54 PM

emmerikxxii said:
Alright. I just measured my case and I should be able to fit a 6950 in there, though it will be snug. I have about 10.9 - 11 inches of space and the 6950 is 10.6 from what I read.

I'd be willing to put the money into a High End card like the 6950 or 6970 if I wouldn't need to replace it for a while. I understand that ATI is working on the 7000 series and I am reluctant to spend that kind of money on a current generation card if they will be outdated in six months.

What's your take?

Here is what I would do. You already have the 6850 2 of those will be better than a 6950 and Id be willing to bet they would be better than a 7950 ( or what ever the next card at that level is called) So I would just save your money and keep your current card. That way when the new stuff comes out you can look at some bench marks and see if it would be better to buy a second 6850 and the new 7000 card. If you dont want to wait that long I would get the 6950 I recommend the MSI Twin Frozer. I have that card and it does OC like a beast core clock is 810 im running mine at 940 no prob and I clocked the mem up from 1250 to 1400 as well.
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July 20, 2011 9:46:12 PM

What I ended up doing is selling my old case to a friend, buying a new case that will fit the 6950, the 6950 and a few little extras that allow me to get 0% interest. I really need a new gaming headset :D 

This is good for me. I get a spacious new case. A badass new card, the option to go Crossfire in the future (thought I don't think I will need to.) Even when the 7k series comes out, 2 6950's will without a doubt be better than them. So I should be good for several years to come. Thanks for the advice, it helped out a lot.

I know I am a bit crazy, but I am sure I am not the only one who goes a little nuts about performance, even when it's overkill or the cost:p erformance ratio is low.
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July 20, 2011 9:57:43 PM

emmerikxxii said:
What I ended up doing is selling my old case to a friend, buying a new case that will fit the 6950, the 6950 and a few little extras that allow me to get 0% interest. I really need a new gaming headset :D 

This is good for me. I get a spacious new case. A badass new card, the option to go Crossfire in the future (thought I don't think I will need to.) Even when the 7k series comes out, 2 6950's will without a doubt be better than them. So I should be good for several years to come. Thanks for the advice, it helped out a lot.

I know I am a bit crazy, but I am sure I am not the only one who goes a little nuts about performance, even when it's overkill or the cost:p erformance ratio is low.

Glad I could help :)  And dont worry like I said I went through 4 cards befor I was happy :pt1cable:  If the info really helped you could hook it up with a best answer vote lol :whistle: 
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July 20, 2011 10:25:33 PM

Best answer selected by emmerikxxii.
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a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2011 10:27:37 PM

emmerikxxii said:
Best answer selected by emmerikxxii.

nThanks :bounce: 
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