XFX Radeon HD 6850 Video Card Review

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AMD has released their new Radeon HD 6800 family, so far comprised of the Radeon HD 6850 and Radeon HD 6870 models. Let’s review the standard Radeon HD 6850 from XFX (HD-685X-ZNFC), which follows the AMD reference design.

The name given by AMD to this new GPU family is misleading. Since 6800 is a number higher than 5800, users may think that the two members of this new family are faster than their counterparts from the Radeon HD 5800 family, namely the Radeon HD 5850 and HD 5870, which is not the case. As you can see in the table below, while members of the 6800 family run at a higher clock rate, they have a lower number of internal processors (shaders). This makes members of the 6800 family to be actually slower – but more affordable – than members of the 5800 family.

To compete with the new 6800 family, NVIDIA has reduced the price of their GPUs. After this price reduction, the new Radeon HD 6850 competes directly with the GeForce GTX 460 with 768 MB. The Radeon HD 5850 is between USD 60 and USD 80 more expensive than the Radeon HD 6850.

Video Card Core Clock Shader Clock Memory Clock (Real) Memory Clock (Effective) Memory Interface Memory Transfer Rate Memory Shaders Price
GeForce GTX 460 (768 MB) 675 MHz 1,350 MHz 900 MHz 3,600 MHz 192-bit 86.4 GB/s 768 GB GDDR5 336 USD 170 – 185
GeForce GTX 460 (1 GB) 675 MHz 1,350 MHz 900 MHz 3,600 MHz 256-bit 115.2 GB/s 1 GB GDDR5 336 USD 220 – 230
GeForce GTX 465 607 MHz 1,215 MHz 801.5 MHz 3,206 MHz 256-bit 102.6 GB/s 1 GB GDDR5 352 USD 220 – 240
Radeon HD 5850 725 MHz 725 MHz 1 GHz 4 GHz 256-bit 128 GB/s 1 GB GDDR5 1,440 USD 250 – 260
Radeon HD 5870 850 MHz 850 MHz 1.2 GHz 4.8 GHz 256-bit 153.6 GB/s 1 GB GDDR5 1,600 USD 330 – 340
Radeon 6850 775 MHz 775 MHz 1 GHz 4 GHz 256-bit 128 GB/s 1 GB GDDR5 960 USD 180 – 190
Radeon 6870 900 MHz 900 MHz 1.05 GHz 4.2 GHz 256-bit 134.4 GB/s 1 GB GDDR5 1,120 USD 240 – 260

Prices were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review. All graphics chip listed above are DirectX 11 parts.

XFX also has a factory-overclocked version of this video card, called “Black Edition.” In this card the graphics processor runs at 820 MHz and memory runs at 4.4 GHz.

You can compare the specs of these video cards with other video cards by taking a look at our AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table and NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table tutorials.

Now let’s take a complete look at this model from XFX.

Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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