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Should I get a Radeon HD 6850 or GTX 550 Ti?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 7, 2012 9:22:24 PM

I'm building an under 600$ gaming computer (which will also be used for photoshop and sony vegas as well as MX Simulator) and pretty much have all my hardware decided except my gpu.
My monitor is 1280x1024, and I will be using an AMD Phenom II X4 Black Edition 965 Deneb on an ASROCK 970 Extreme3 and this will all be on Windows 7 64 bit. I just would like the opinions of you guys on which of the two would have better performance, reliability, and run cooler. Here's the links to the specific ones:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
edit: Wow, I'm not even sure if the Radeon will work with my mobo (it's PCI express 2.0 while the Radeon is PCI Express 2.1)

More about : radeon 6850 gtx 550

a c 546 U Graphics card
May 7, 2012 9:48:21 PM

At a display resolution of 1280x1024 the Radeon HD 6850 will have a 17% relative performance advantage over that OC'ed GeForce GTX 550 Ti.

The PCI Express 2.1 card will be fully backward compatible with the motherboard's PCI express 2.0 x16 slot.
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May 7, 2012 9:52:11 PM

For the tiny difference in price I'd also consider: This
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May 7, 2012 9:52:15 PM

Thanks for the reply, but I'm pretty new to computer hardware, what does backward compatible mean? Does it mean that it is like putting an AM3 socket CPU on an AM3+ socket mobo? Also, Halcyon, I'm already over my budget, so I'm not really willing to spend more than than $150, but thanks for the advice anyways.
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a c 546 U Graphics card
May 7, 2012 9:54:22 PM

Nick481 said:
Thanks for the reply, but I'm pretty new to computer hardware, what does backward compatible mean? Does it mean that it is like putting an AM3 socket CPU on an AM3+ socket mobo?

It means there should be no compatibility issues.
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May 7, 2012 9:54:56 PM

that is exactly what it means, and i agree with halcyon, the 560 outperforms the 6850... not by much but it does nonetheless
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May 7, 2012 9:58:06 PM

OK, that makes sense. Since the Radeon is pretty much at my max budget, I'm probably going to go with it. I'm not going to be playing very high end games like Crisis or Battlefield 3 anyways. In the future I might consider upgrading. I do have one more question though, is Sapphire a good company for AMD gpu's? I know EVGA makes some of the best NVIDIA cards, but I am less familiar with the radeons.
edit: bluewr, how does the 460 do compared to the 6850?
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May 7, 2012 10:08:14 PM

Nick481 said:
OK, that makes sense. Since the Radeon is pretty much at my max budget, I'm probably going to go with it. I'm not going to be playing very high end games like Crisis or Battlefield 3 anyways. In the future I might consider upgrading. I do have one more question though, is Sapphire a good company for AMD gpu's? I know EVGA makes some of the best NVIDIA cards, but I am less familiar with the radeons.
edit: bluewr, how does the 460 do compared to the 6850?


Stock - Both are pretty close.
Factory Overclocked, according to this review is better then 7850
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/evga-geforce-gtx-46...
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May 7, 2012 10:09:05 PM

Yea, it depends on the game stock for stock, but with the cooler on that MSI card you could get some very nice overclocks ;) 
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a c 546 U Graphics card
May 7, 2012 10:28:06 PM

bluewr said:
Stock - Both are pretty close.
Factory Overclocked, according to this review is better then 7850
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/evga-geforce-gtx-46...

I don't see a 7850 in that review so it isn't better than a card that never existed when that review was done.

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a c 546 U Graphics card
May 7, 2012 10:35:55 PM

Nick481 said:
OK, that makes sense. Since the Radeon is pretty much at my max budget, I'm probably going to go with it. I'm not going to be playing very high end games like Crisis or Battlefield 3 anyways. In the future I might consider upgrading. I do have one more question though, is Sapphire a good company for AMD gpu's? I know EVGA makes some of the best NVIDIA cards, but I am less familiar with the radeons.
edit: bluewr, how does the 460 do compared to the 6850?

Is your power supply unit capable of powering these cards?
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May 7, 2012 10:39:59 PM

I don't really plan on overclocking it, maybe my processor but probably not my graphics card. Of course, that is subject to change in the future. But I think bluewr meant to say 6850 not 7850.
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a c 546 U Graphics card
May 7, 2012 10:42:45 PM

Nick481 said:
I don't really plan on overclocking it, maybe my processor but probably not my graphics card. Of course, that is subject to change in the future. But I think bluewr meant to say 6850 not 7850.

Actually I think he meant 6870.
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May 8, 2012 7:00:59 AM

7850 or the older GTX 480 ( yes great vfm). In both cases assuming that you have the pus to handle them
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May 8, 2012 12:34:40 PM

I used the power supply calculator and it put my system at a recommended 412w I believe, but I am getting a 630W psu. I'm pretty sure that will be plenty for the 6850 right?
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May 8, 2012 4:17:37 PM

Nick481 said:
I used the power supply calculator and it put my system at a recommended 412w I believe, but I am getting a 630W psu. I'm pretty sure that will be plenty for the 6850 right?


Yup. That would be more than enough for your needs. Though would recco that you get a decent manufacturer's PSU, dont skimp.

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a c 546 U Graphics card
May 8, 2012 4:20:45 PM

Nick481 said:
I used the power supply calculator and it put my system at a recommended 412w I believe, but I am getting a 630W psu. I'm pretty sure that will be plenty for the 6850 right?

For a system using a single Radeon HD 6850 graphics card AMD specifies a minimum of a 500 Watt or greater power supply. The power supply should also have a combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 29 Amps or greater and have at least one 6-pin PCI Express supplementary power connector.

For a system using two Radeon HD 6850 graphics cards in 2-way CrossFireX mode AMD specifies a minimum of an 600 Watt or greater power supply. The power supply should also have a combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 42 Amps or greater and have at least two 6-pin PCI Express supplementary power connectors.

Total Power Supply Wattage is NOT the crucial factor in power supply selection!!! Total Continuous Amperage Available on the +12V Rail(s) is the most important factor.

What I've recommended above will handle any factory or manually overclocked Radeon HD 6850 running Furmark or some other equivalent GPU stress testing utility.

What is the make and model of the 630W PSU that you've purchased?
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May 8, 2012 9:34:13 PM

I have one last question, is the XFX version of this card better than the Sapphire version? I know they're pretty much the same, but since they're the same price I might as well get the better brand.
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a c 546 U Graphics card
May 8, 2012 11:21:26 PM

Nick481 said:
I have one last question, is the XFX version of this card better than the Sapphire version? I know they're pretty much the same, but since they're the same price I might as well get the better brand.

Both have their own Customer service horror stories.

They both have the same 2 year warranty period.

The Sapphire model outsells the XFX by a huge margin. Reason could be that it appeared on the market almost half a year before the XFX model showed up.
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May 8, 2012 11:26:37 PM

ko888 said:
Both have their own Customer service horror stories.

They both have the same 2 year warranty period.

The Sapphire model outsells the XFX by a huge margin. Reason could be that it appeared on the market almost half a year before the XFX model showed up.

I did notice some of those in the review section on Newegg lol. But they sound pretty similar then, except Personally I would go with the Sapphire because it sells more (just seems right to me). I'm guessing there isn't any other brands better than the two though?
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a b U Graphics card
May 8, 2012 11:38:40 PM

I would suggest Sapphire as your brand since they usually also give lots of extras in their graphics cards. If you could fit in and scrape $20, try to pick up the 6870. It is worth it.
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May 8, 2012 11:44:09 PM

ohyouknow said:
I would suggest Sapphire as your brand since they usually also give lots of extras in their graphics cards. If you could fit in and scrape $20, try to pick up the 6870. It is worth it.

:heink:  Um, what exactly is in the bowl?
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a c 546 U Graphics card
May 8, 2012 11:46:57 PM

halcyon said:
:heink:  Um, what exactly is in the bowl?

Sorta looks like wonton soup.
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May 9, 2012 12:04:30 AM

ko888 said:
Sorta looks like wonton soup.

Sorta....
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a b U Graphics card
May 9, 2012 3:03:48 AM

It's actually Pho
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a c 546 U Graphics card
May 9, 2012 3:08:04 AM

ohyouknow said:
It's actually Pho

The picture is too small so I couldn't make out the detail.

It's been a few years since I've last had pho.
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May 9, 2012 7:37:36 AM

Nick481 said:
I did notice some of those in the review section on Newegg lol. But they sound pretty similar then, except Personally I would go with the Sapphire because it sells more (just seems right to me). I'm guessing there isn't any other brands better than the two though?


Well sapphire is always a safe choice. There is also gigabyte, asus or MSI Cyclone. Used the Cyclone OC edition personally and loved it. Plus the Gigabyte is fairly quiet running.
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May 9, 2012 12:46:11 PM

I think I'm just going to play it safe and make my final decision the Sapphire 6850. Thanks for all the help guys.
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