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Roundup: Four Radeon HD 6850 1 GB Cards Compared

PowerColor PCS+ AX6850 1GBD5-PPDHG

One of the two highest-clocked samples in today’s roundup, PowerColor’s PCS+ AX6850 sweetens the deal with a free download of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

That “deal” is for a card that includes a four-phase voltage regulator to stably support its high clock rates on a circuit board that’s only 8.5” long. Identical in other ways to MSI’s PCB, the 8.6” distance between the slot plate and the end of its PCIe power connector allows reasonable cable clearance in tight cases. A plastic cover over the card's cooling fan extends its total mounting depth to 8.9".

Clock rates of 820 MHz GPU and GDDR5-4400 are sure to boost the PCS+ AX6850’s frame rates to performance levels not consistently supported by MSI’s similar three-phase design. A slightly larger heat sink keeps things cool under the added load.

PowerColor does not yet offer an overclocking utility for its Radeon HD 6850 cards, but users can always try one from a third party.

Registration gets PCS+ AX6850 buyers a month of VIP access to SuperStar Racing, an online multiplayer formula racing game.

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.