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Roundup: Four Radeon HD 6850 1 GB Cards Compared

The Other Green Alternative

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/1GD5MSI R6850 PM2D1GD5PowerColor AX6850 1GBD5-PPDHGSapphire 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 AdaptersDVI 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 Thickness1.6"1.5"1.6"1.6"
Cooler Thickness1.4"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 WalletPCIe Power Adapter CrossFire BridgeCrossFire Bridge Free "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2"6' HDMI Cable 2 x PCIe Power Adapter CrossFire Bridge
Price$200$205$210$210
  • 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?
    Reply
  • Scanlia
    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.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    BillehBawbOh, and also, can you use Afterburner with the Powercolor and Sapphire cards?Yes
    Reply
  • tomskent
    last line of the article...
    "Now, here did I put that Christmas list?"
    here = where
    Reply
  • scrumworks
    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?
    Reply
  • sudeshc
    love this card looking to buy it for my new build and would go for ASUS as i already own the game.
    Reply
  • karma831
    No OCing?
    Reply
  • iam2thecrowe
    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.
    Reply
  • ATI driver support is a complete debacle. That's why this article uses stone age drivers (10.6)
    Reply
  • Crashman
    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.htmlThe previous article, which answered all your questions a month ago, was linked numerous times in this article.
    Reply