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Heat And Noise

Roundup: Four Radeon HD 6850 1 GB Cards Compared
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Heat and noise output are controlled not just by the GPU voltage and clock, but by the cooler design. Asus surprised us by having the lowest temperature, since the card was also relatively quiet. Sapphire takes second place when its fan is turned to max speed.

Quiet coolers are often sub-par when dealing with heat, but Asus proved the contrary with its DirectCU design. The chart below is not perfectly accurate, since some background noise was unavoidable.

Sapphire has the noisiest card. But looking beyond the card itself, there is an advantage to its noisier, blower-type fan. That advantage is case cooling, since the Sapphire Toxic 6850 is the only card in today’s comparison to vent most of its heat outside of the case. We’ve previously seen the consequences of using internally-vented cards in an extreme CPU configuration.

Following a similar method to that of our previous-page’s energy efficiency calculations, we compared temperature to noise for today’s cards. Note that the temperature division is “flipped over” in this case to give the lowest temperature the highest score, and that the “acoustic efficiency” chart does not account for performance differences.

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  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , November 29, 2010 3:16 AM
    It would be nice to see overclocking results. I know the whole "results will vary" malarkey but still, it would be interesting to see things like the benefit (if any) to having two pci-e power connectors on the Sapphire card or how high you could take the ASUS card using the software that came with it. Oh, and also, can you use Afterburner with the Powercolor and Sapphire cards?
Other Comments
  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , November 29, 2010 3:16 AM
    It would be nice to see overclocking results. I know the whole "results will vary" malarkey but still, it would be interesting to see things like the benefit (if any) to having two pci-e power connectors on the Sapphire card or how high you could take the ASUS card using the software that came with it. Oh, and also, can you use Afterburner with the Powercolor and Sapphire cards?
  • 0 Hide
    Scanlia , November 29, 2010 3:22 AM
    Oh, and also, can you use Afterburner with the Powercolor and Sapphire cards?


    I use afterburner with a Gigabyte Card, (Flashed to ASUS). Works fine.
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , November 29, 2010 3:51 AM
    BillehBawbOh, and also, can you use Afterburner with the Powercolor and Sapphire cards?
    Yes
  • 3 Hide
    tomskent , November 29, 2010 5:19 AM
    last line of the article...
    "Now, here did I put that Christmas list?"
    here = where
  • 6 Hide
    scrumworks , November 29, 2010 5:23 AM
    Why are you using catalyst 10.6 (drivers from june) instead of latest, quite long already available 10.11 or 10.10-beta with HD6800 support?
  • 0 Hide
    sudeshc , November 29, 2010 5:35 AM
    love this card looking to buy it for my new build and would go for ASUS as i already own the game.
  • 2 Hide
    karma831 , November 29, 2010 5:51 AM
    No OCing?
  • -9 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , November 29, 2010 6:02 AM
    so, wheres the comparison between these cards and rival cards from nvidia??? using recent drivers?? and OC???!this doesnt really tell us anything except the performance is so close you may as well get the cheapest of the lot.
  • -6 Hide
    Anonymous , November 29, 2010 6:11 AM
    ATI driver support is a complete debacle. That's why this article uses stone age drivers (10.6)
  • 3 Hide
    Crashman , November 29, 2010 6:48 AM
    karma831No OCing?
    iam2thecroweso, wheres the comparison between these cards and rival cards from nvidia??? using recent drivers?? and OC???!this doesnt really tell us anything except the performance is so close you may as well get the cheapest of the lot.
    Er dude...
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6870-radeon-hd-6850-barts,2776.html
    The previous article, which answered all your questions a month ago, was linked numerous times in this article.
  • -7 Hide
    painis , November 29, 2010 6:56 AM
    So, it seems it can run Crysis!
  • -4 Hide
    compton , November 29, 2010 7:23 AM
    I always appreciate more information, but shouldn't an exploration of the top options in the $200 range be more appropriate given it's the Christmas hardware giving season? The 6850 is a great card, but a more focused value study across many makes and models might be more useful. All the same, I'll take what I can get. I'd just like to point out that the new Radeons are getting more expensive while nVidia's 460s are getting much cheaper.

    Just my two cents, but that would seem like a much more interesting article. We already know the 6850 is mostly quiet and pretty efficient, but GTX470s are going for only a few dollars more in some cases. Bring the throwdown.
  • 0 Hide
    K2N hater , November 29, 2010 9:47 AM
    Excellent conclusion, Thomas. Explores different uses.
  • 0 Hide
    fubitz , November 29, 2010 11:30 AM
    You can use Sapphire Trixx to overclock and unlock the voltage for the new Radeon 6800 series cards if Afterburner doesn't work.
  • 0 Hide
    Yuka , November 29, 2010 11:31 AM
    I would have loved to see the Sapphires being OC'd and then XFire'd. Will there be any love for that? 8)

    Great article also, thanks Mr. Thomas!

    Cheers!
  • 0 Hide
    bildo123 , November 29, 2010 1:17 PM
    tomskentlast line of the article..."Now, here did I put that Christmas list?"here = where


    Thanks, I don't think I could have ever figured that one out...
  • 0 Hide
    tom thumb , November 29, 2010 1:27 PM
    Those dirt2 benches kinda make me regret getting the 6870. Oh well...

    What I like about the 6800s is that AA does not detract that much from framerate.
  • 0 Hide
    thechief73 , November 29, 2010 3:01 PM
    A nice review and round-up of the 6850, Thanks Tom. I have to say I was am still am very interested in the 6850-70 model GPU's and I am glad to see some comparisons of the 6850's. Although right now these cards exceed my spending limit, I am glad to say I picked up a 5830 for $130 after MIR(pricing mistake?), I think thats a good trade off of price/performance for now. :) 
  • -1 Hide
    luke904 , November 29, 2010 4:17 PM
    this article was pointless

    overclocked cards perform better and use more power.. we all know this
  • 0 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , November 29, 2010 7:01 PM
    CrashmanEr dude...http://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] ,2776.htmlThe previous article, which answered all your questions a month ago, was linked numerous times in this article.

    dooode....that is not OC of the new cards with new coolers. Also performance may be different with new drivers. Dont link me to old articles that I have read and have little to do with what i am asking!
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