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 6870 from MSI (R6870-2PM2D1GD5), 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 6870 competes directly with the GeForce GTX 465 and indirectly with the GeForce GTX 460 with 1 GB, and, strangely enough, is in the same price range of the Radeon HD 5850. The Radeon HD 5870 is between USD 70 and USD 100 more expensive than the Radeon HD 6870.
|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.
Now let’s take a complete look at this model from MSI.