The Card, In More Detail
PowerColor's SCS3 HD6850 is the first passively-cooled Radeon HD 6850 card on the market, and it's the fastest board we've seen without a fan (not counting water-cooled solutions, of course).
Its specifications sacrifice nothing you'd expect from a reference Radeon HD 6850 design, and that includes graphics processor and memory frequencies. Perhaps the card's most significant drawback is that it requires three expansion slots, potentially limiting the environments where it'd work well (certainly not in small form-factor installations). The card's price really isn't a surprise, though. You pay a roughly $35 premium for the massive passive cooler compared to PowerColor's actively-cooled Radeon HD 6850.
|Mid-Range Graphics Cards, Compared|
|Radeon HD 6790||Radeon HD 6850||PowerColor SCS3 HD6850||Radeon HD 6870||GeForce GTX 560||GeForce GTX 560 Ti|
|Transistors||1700 Million||1700 Million||1700 Million||1700 Million||1950 Million||1950 Million|
|GDDR5||1024 MB||1024 MB||1024 MB||1024 MB||1024 MB||1024 MB|
|Graphics Clock||840 MHz||775 MHz||775 MHz||900 MHz||810 MHz||823 MHz|
|Memory Clock||1050 MHz||1000 MHz||1000 MHz||1050 MHz||1002 MHz||1002 MHz|
PowerColor's retail package includes the card itself, a driver CD, a manual, a CrossFire bridge, a DVI-to-analog VGA adapter, and a DiRT 3 coupon.
The card features two DVI connectors (only one of which is of the dual-link variety). In addition, there is one HDMI output and one DisplayPort connector, both of which are full-size. This is the standard, albeit still excellent, connectivity package compared to Nvidia's best efforts in the mid-range field.