Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Roundup: Four Radeon HD 6850 1 GB Cards Compared

Roundup: Four Radeon HD 6850 1 GB Cards Compared
By

Improvements to performance, acoustics, and bundles can add big value once a reference graphics card is modified by third-party vendors. We compare four modified Radeon HD 6850 1 GB boards to find out which company's additions best suit your gaming needs.

Some say green is the new red, and no place is that more true than in the rebranding of ATI to AMD. And yet, marketing similarities between AMD and Nvidia don’t end in color, as the newer, more efficient Radeon HD 6850 offers performance and a price nearly identical to Nvidia's GeForce GTX 460 1 GB. If you want to know more about the card itself, check out our launch review of the Radeon HD 6870 and 6850.

AMD’s slightly better power consumption figures mean that buyers of the new green team can go green for the same green, while saving a little green over the life of the card (Ed.: Xzibit approves, dawg).

If you believe this makes the Radeon HD 6850 a perfect mid-priced performance part, you're in good company, as the number of folks willing to spend ~$200 is much greater than the market for flagship $500 boards.

If you're ready to buy, there are plenty of options available. Some vendors even offer multiple models. Choosing a card certainly doesn’t have to be difficult. We simply asked every major manufacturer to send its best, and those who didn’t have anything to offer beyond AMD's reference design chose not to participate. That left us with four souped-up models for your consideration.

Radeon HD 6850 1 GB Comparison Specifications
 Asus EAH6850
DC/2DIS/1GD5
MSI R6850
PM2D1GD5
PowerColor AX6850
1GBD5-PPDHG
Sapphire Toxic 6850
100315TXSR
GPU Clock790 MHz775 MHz820 MHz820 MHz
DRAM RateGDDR5-4000GDDR5-4000GDDR5-4400GDDR5-4400
DVITwo Dual-LinkTwo Dual-LinkTwo Dual-LinkTwo Dual-Link
HDMIFull-SizeFull-SizeFull-SizeFull-Size
DisplayPortFull-SizeFull-SizeFull-SizeDual Mini
VGABy Adapter (x1)By Adapter (x1)By Adapter (x1)By Adapter (x1)
Output
Adapters
DVI to VGADVI to VGADVI to VGADVI to VGA
Mini to Full DP
Length9.7"9.0"8.9"9.6"
Height4.8"4.4"4.4"4.4"
Total
Thickness
1.6"1.5"1.6"1.6"
Cooler
Thickness
1.4"1.4"1.4"1.4"
Weight18 Ounces16 Ounces19 Ounces27 Ounces
PCB VersionC223 Rev. 1.00V224 V1.0LF R97FF V1.0109-C22237-00
VRMThree PhasesThree PhasesFour PhasesFour Phases
WarrantyThree YearsThree YearsTwo YearsTwo Years
Added ValuePCIe Power Adapter
CrossFire Bridge
CD Wallet
PCIe Power Adapter
CrossFire Bridge
CrossFire Bridge
Free "Call of Duty:
Modern Warfare 2"
6' HDMI Cable
2 x PCIe Power Adapter
CrossFire Bridge
Price$200 $205 $210 $210
Display all 48 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top 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?
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!
Display more comments