AMD Radeon 6870 Review

By on October 21, 2010, 10:12 PM
Today marks an overhaul with AMD launching two new graphics cards designed to tackle the GTX 460. The Radeon HD 6870 and 6850 are being presented as the new mid-range offerings on AMD's line-up with a suggested retail of $239 and $199. Given the naming scheme, you'd expect the new cards to replace the existing Radeon HD 5870 and 5850, but that's not the case. The year-old Radeon HD 5870 and 5850 will be axed next month when AMD launches the Cayman-based Radeon HD 6970 and 6950 graphics cards. While the existing Radeon 5700 series is expected to take over the lower-end affordable graphics sector.
We expect the Radeon HD 6870 to be slightly slower than the 5870, while the Radeon HD 6850 should be slower than the 5850, just don't pay attention to the tricky naming. The new cards supposedly improve upon Radeon HD 5000 series with better DirectX 11 and enhanced display support, but perhaps most importantly they are set to offer a better value than Nvidia's GTX 460. Read the complete review.




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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Excellent review.

I love the fact that nVidia and AMD are butting heads, putting out great cards and engaging in price cutting. For a while there, I thought AMD was going to bury nVidia with their new DX11 cards, but nVidia came through with the GTX460. Now it's a war again and we as consumers get to reap the rewards of their fight.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

So wait, they are axing most of the 5xxx series cards? I was hoping for price gouging on those cards.

Also, totally agree with what TomSEA wrote.

grvalderrama said:

Bad time to buy a 5770 lol! Well, I really don't care. Consumers win. I love when that happens.

Impressive review for an impressive card. Thanks TS!

stan4 said:

The only thing left to see is the SLI vs CrossFire performance.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Excellent review.

I love the fact that nVidia and AMD are butting heads, putting out great cards and engaging in price cutting. For a while there, I thought AMD was going to bury nVidia with their new DX11 cards, but nVidia came through with the GTX460. Now it's a war again and we as consumers get to reap the rewards of their fight.

Great review Steve

I am not so sure about that Tom. I was reading the Guru3D benches of not only the 6870 but the 6850. The 6850 beat up pretty good on the GTX 460 (see here)

[link]

Nvidia had only one viable card that made sense to purchase, (the GTX 460) now they don't. If you extrapolate conservatively from this round of releases, the 6950&6970 will have 1440 & 1600 SPU's. That potentially leaves lots of headroom for the Cayman's in about 25 days. They almost surely will take over as the fastest cards as well. That leaves Nvidia without a hold on any segment of the market, at least as far as price/performance goes. You have the GTX 480 that is expensive, appeals only to a small segment anyway, and has its stigma abut heat and power. The 465 that makes absolutely no sense at all ( not sure if they are even producing it anymore) The 470 that now has been beaten by the 6870. And the GTX 460 that appears to be beaten by the 6850 and the 6850 . I think this may have quite the opposite effect as far as competition goes. I realize that Nvidia cut prices today, however, If the reports of the margins being razor thin , or selling at a loss are true, how long can they keep that up? AMD has no reason to cut prices now. So unless ya like the prices at the opening bell, this may be it for quite a while. And this is before the 'big ones ' are released.

*** edit just snagged this off Tom's

It also remains to be seen if Nvidia can maintain the long-term price war it recently declared. Every single GeForce GTX 470 is equipped with a monolithic GF100 GPU in the 530 square millimeter range. That's close to twice the size of the Radeon HD 6870's 255 mm2 die. How long can Nvidia keep up such a numbers-based fight? Not long, we'd guess,

Chazz said:

stan4 said:

The only thing left to see is the SLI vs CrossFire performance.

[link]

Guest said:

I really wanted to know how the new HD6870 compares to an SLi GTX 460 setup. :)

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

Amazing card, it consumes more than all of my PC and weighs more, aswell! But it's a bit sad that the Radeon-rating i.e. 6870 doesn't mean anything any more. If the mainstream card got named 6870, and not 6550 or alike, then the name-rating where the second number tells us about the performance-rating, is pretty much useless.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

All due respect, not sure how useful that SLI review is when they don't include GTX 460 SLI numbers.

That said, I imagine that two GTX 460s on SLI will be more powerful or at least equally as powerful than two Radeon 6870 boards based on the fact that SLI scales considerably better, or at least that used to be the case until the previous generation 5x00 boards. On this review we see that two GTX 460 cards can battle it out with Crossfire'd 5870 boards:

[link]

SilverCider said:

I don't know about the scaling thing, the Radeons looked like they scaled a lot better than previous generations! But I agree, it would be nice to see the 460 sli's side by side with them .

As for single card performance, what can Nvidia bring next?

SilverCider said:

*It would be great to see if AMD have upped the ante in tessalation performance too - the metro 2033 bench was impressive against the 5870 and nvidia cards!

princeton princeton said:

Man. I can't wait to see the 6990 in action when it's released.

Guest said:

Nice review!

Is there a minor error on page 10?

First graph you have high-lighted the 5870 and not 6870?

Guest said:

red1776, I read the Guru3d review, and other reviews as well. The consensus I see is that the 6870 is a good card, but generally is equal to/a little better than the GTX 460, not its obvious superior in performance. So, yeah, I think TomSEA had it right. Only own Radeon cards here, but give Nvidia their props, they made a good card and are pricing it aggressively. We, the graphics card-buying public, are the benefactors.

Regenweald said:

Lokalaskurar said:

Amazing card, it consumes more than all of my PC and weighs more, aswell! But it's a bit sad that the Radeon-rating i.e. 6870 doesn't mean anything any more. If the mainstream card got named 6870, and not 6550 or alike, then the name-rating where the second number tells us about the performance-rating, is pretty much useless.

Why are poeple making such big stink over nothing ? Just use some common sense, if fusion products are going to be equivalent to or better than the lower end and mainstream. Then to differentiate Fusion from discreet, AMD bumped the naming scheme up to give themselves room for fusion naming. Same name-rating applies, the numbers just increased by one. The human beings' tenacity when resisting simple change is truly awe inspiring.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

SilverCider said:

I don't know about the scaling thing, the Radeons looked like they scaled a lot better than previous generations! But I agree, it would be nice to see the 460 sli's side by side with them .

As for single card performance, what can Nvidia bring next?

A Die shrink in attempt to answer the 6xxx series small footprint on the PCB while keeping almost everything from the F100 series the same.

Which with Nvidia's timing will happen when the 7xxx series is announced officially, and will likely base it off of the 106. *rolleyes*

Nvidia, do something to make me love you again.

Random thought before I reply, I think Techspot should do a prank review when the 7xxx series, by reviewing the original Radeon 7000. I have one I'd be willing to sacrifice for such a review lol.

Omnislip said:

Did AMD ask you not to OC it? As far as I can tell, the only website to OC their sample was Guru3D, and they got hardly anything extra out of it ( [link] )

Would a better comparison now be to compare the MSI N460GTX Hawk Overclocked to around 925 core to this, overclocked? (I should add that this 925 overclock is effortless on this card: I own one and this is the first graphics card I have overclocked and the temperture never even gets over 40C.)

People are saying how it beats the GTX 460 hands down, but don't you think that this comparison is hardly fair, since you are not comparing the best of the 3rd party boards vs. the best of the 3rd party boards? (I should probably have said other manufacurers there but nvm). Obviously those cards aren't out yet, so you can't really do it, but these are the features which people would like most, and are invaluable for someone buying parts.

Dont you think that, when the difference between the 460 and the 6870 is so small, [link] still easily beats out [link] (also the other 6870s are priced £20 over that one - is this one a pricing error?)

Anyway, apologies for this comment's sloppiness, but I hope it wasnt too difficult to read it.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

red1776, I read the Guru3d review, and other reviews as well. The consensus I see is that the 6870 is a good card, but generally is equal to/a little better than the GTX 460, not its obvious superior in performance. So, yeah, I think TomSEA had it right. Only own Radeon cards here, but give Nvidia their props, they made a good card and are pricing it aggressively. We, the graphics card-buying public, are the benefactors.

what reviews are you reading? The 6870 and the 460 are not even close. Lets use the review you cited (Guru3D) the 6850 is faster in every bench except Far Cry2.

in fact guru numbers show that:

The 6870 is 18.5% faster than the GTX 460

The 6850 is 7% faster than the GTX 460 (this is the review you cited)

Hardocp has the 6850 faster by 9%

Hardocp has the 6870 faster by 16%

Tech powerup has the 6850 faster by 3%

Techpower up has the 6870 faster by 18%

and of course you can see the TS review of the 6870

So I don't know how you are attempting to parse this, but those are not 'equal to/a little better" numbers. and with the pricing that is showing up in the US and abroad, This will be tough for Nvidia, and may not be good for driving prices down.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

red1776 - I'm reading that Guru3D (an excellent review website by the way - I check it all the time) comparison you posted.

I guess I'm not seeing the big blow-out of the GTX460 that you are. Yes, the 6870 does. But it also runs (in some cases) nearly $100 more than a 460 - a quick Google product search will verify that. I would expect a card costing that much more to win the comparisons race. It appears to me that the 6870 is more appropriately compared with the GTX470, not the 460.

As far as the 6850, yes it very moderately outperforms the GTX 460. I mean in most of those side by side comparisons, we're talking 5 fps or less difference. When you're already running a game at 60+ fps, that really means nothing. And the 6850 loses the battle in noise, power consumption and price.

Like a lot of other posters, I'd like to see a GTX460 SLI comparison. Not only is SLI superior to Crossfire (check Tom's Hardware for that comparison), but the 460's are cheaper now.

These cards are no doubt a nice move by AMD. But I don't see them by any stretch of the imagination as intimidating nVidia, and believe most enthusiasts building/upgrading at this time will still go with the 460 SLI set-up.

HaMsTeYr HaMsTeYr said:

[link]

Crossfire goodness, In most tests the 6850 scales EXTREMELY well I'd have to say, though it only got bummed out in a number of them.

:x And I got my 5850 not long ago sighzors. Also, the Power consumption of 2 6850's in CF is lower than two 460s in SLi

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

red1776 - I'm reading that Guru3D (an excellent review website by the way - I check it all the time) comparison you posted.

I guess I'm not seeing the big blow-out of the GTX460 that you are. Yes, the 6870 does. But it also runs (in some cases) nearly $100 more than a 460 - a quick Google product search will verify that. I would expect a card costing that much more to win the comparisons race. It appears to me that the 6870 is more appropriately compared with the GTX470, not the 460.

As far as the 6850, yes it very moderately outperforms the GTX 460. I mean in most of those side by side comparisons, we're talking 5 fps or less difference. When you're already running a game at 60+ fps, that really means nothing. And the 6850 loses the battle in noise, power consumption and price.

Like a lot of other posters, I'd like to see a GTX460 SLI comparison. Not only is SLI superior to Crossfire (check Tom's Hardware for that comparison), but the 460's are cheaper now.

These cards are no doubt a nice move by AMD. But I don't see them by any stretch of the imagination as intimidating nVidia, and believe most enthusiasts building/upgrading at this time will still go with the 460 SLI set-up.

who said "blow out"? the numbers are the numbers.

Let me try this again:

in fact guru numbers show that:

The 6870 is 18.5% faster than the GTX 460

The 6850 is 7% faster than the GTX 460 (this is the review you cited)

Hardocp has the 6850 faster by 9%

Hardocp has the 6870 faster by 16%

Tech powerup has the 6850 faster by 3%

Techpower up has the 6870 faster by 18%

Thats an average of 17% over the 460, that's a wide margin for the 6870

the 6850 as you say "moderately outperforms" the 460, but all of this is my point.

Nvidia had their only sweet spot with the 460...now they do not, and it may not be conducive to 'price wars ' as so many think. Next month in all likelihood, AMD will take over the top end with the 6900 series. So back to my original point. Where is Nvidias sweet spot? and where is AMD's motive for cutting prices?

You have to work awfully hard to find a $100 spread between a 6870 and a 460. you can have a wide variety of 6870's for 239.00 and the average price of a 460 is $210. Not to mention that if you looked at the Guru3D review, you no doubt saw that the 6870 beat the 470 in every bench except the Far cry2 test. Then you have the 6850, which the reference cards are "slightly beating the 460" for the same price to 10-20$ less (which was the card that was going after the 460 in the first place)

as far as SLI vs Crossfire, i would like to see that comparison as well, but CF for the 6800 is improved, that has been demonstrated. But lets say that you are correct about SLI being superior. The problem with that is that you and I are in the vast minority. the last numbers i saw showed that CF/SLI users are less than 2%. its like physx or eyefinity, its not a consideration for most. You and I look at this stuff from an enthusiast point of view, and read reviews on an enthusiast sites, where they do enthusiast things like crossfire and SLI. most people don't know AMD launched a new line of graphic cards until they show up in best buy. there is a reason that AMD and Nvidia are working so hard on the "mainstrean segment" its because its where most of the cards are purchased and not by people who wait up to read the launch benches.

The fanboys can scream red and green at each other until they are blue in the face. this about market share, placement, and competition. i think that you can get within $20 of the 460 with a 6870, a card that was not even aimed at the 460 is compelling, and does not bode well for Nvidia.

I agree with this from Tom's:

It also remains to be seen if Nvidia can maintain the long-term price war it recently declared. Every single GeForce GTX 470 is equipped with a monolithic GF100 GPU in the 530 square millimeter range. That's close to twice the size of the Radeon HD 6870's 255 mm2 die. How long can Nvidia keep up such a numbers-based fight? Not long, we'd guess,

Just an opposing view to all of the drooling over the upcoming price wars, but AMD has Nvidia surrounded, and not much reason to cut prices....and it doesn't appear that Nvidia can afford it.

princeton princeton said:

hamsteyr said:

[link]

Crossfire goodness, In most tests the 6850 scales EXTREMELY well I'd have to say, though it only got bummed out in a number of them.

:x And I got my 5850 not long ago sighzors. Also, the Power consumption of 2 6850's in CF is lower than two 460s in SLi

Review is probably flawed. If a single HD 6850 is hotter,louder and uses more power than a GTX 460. Then there is no way that two of them can run at "power levels lower than a GTS 450 SLI setup"

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Review is probably flawed. If a single HD 6850 is hotter,louder and uses more power than a GTX 460. Then there is no way that two of them can run at "power levels lower than a GTS 450 SLI setup"

of course it is...it doesnt show what you want it to be. I just looked up 4 more reviews showing what Hamstyer said... are they flawed as well?

princeton princeton said:

red1776 said:

Review is probably flawed. If a single HD 6850 is hotter,louder and uses more power than a GTX 460. Then there is no way that two of them can run at "power levels lower than a GTS 450 SLI setup"

of course it is...it doesnt show what you want it to be. I just looked up 4 more reviews showing what Hamstyer said... are they flawed as well?

How would that work? Do cards in SLI really need to draw that much more power?

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

the 6850's are lower drawing than the 460's to begin with

( I will assume you meant 460 and not "450" the second time around as there would be no reason to compare the 6850 and the 450)

[link]

** the 2x GTX 460 is down at 433W

and no , its not exactly linear

princeton princeton said:

red1776 said:

the 6850's are lower drawing than the 460's to begin with

( I will assume you meant 460 and not "450" the second time around as there would be no reason to compare the 6850 and the 450)

[link]

** the 2x GTX 460 is down at 433W

and no , its not exactly linear

I read the charts wrong. Sorry :P

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

"Nvidia had their only sweet spot with the 460...now they do not."

I'm really not convinced of that red1776. I don't see anything in those reviews to lead me to believe that the 460 is now officially dead in the water. Again, tossing in the 6870 as a comparison to the 460 makes no sense. NewEgg has 1GB/DDR5 460's for as low as $180. The lowest priced 6870 is $70 more than that and a good XFX overclocked 6870 is over $100 more. The 6870 is really more in line with the 470 so I'm not even going down that 460 vs. 6870 comparison road.

OK, moving on. The 6870 beats the 460 by a few frame rates (in most cases VERY few) in these reviews. But it's still more expensive, uses more power and generates more heat. To me, if I were building a new rig today, I'd view it as a toss-up. It would really boil down to what's most important to you - AMD MultiView or nVidia's PhysX and how reliable the drivers are. Historically nVidia has put out higher quality drivers and more frequently than AMD. Them's just the facts.

As far as the adoption rate of Crossfire or SLI, yeah - I'll agree. I think up to this time it's been a niche thing for enthusiasts. But I also believe that's changing, and rapidly. Regardless of brand, when you're looking at a single GPU card selling for $500+ dollars that can be smoked by two mid-ranged cards for $400 or less, that's the road builders are going to take. And take a look at MOBO's these days. You really had to search to find SLI/Crossfire boards just 3 years ago. Now, they're mainstream and in fact are considered "must haves." Times are definitely changing in multi-video card setups.

Lastly, as far as price drops - it'll happen. Maybe not right this minute, but it will happen. Whenever nVidia and AMD get into a head butting match where they're both pretty even, that's historically been the case.

At an rate, again I'm pleased with these AMD releases. Keeps both AMD and nVidia honest, we as consumers aren't being screwed over by one card manufacturer holding a monopoly over the other and best of all, makes for some mind-blowing gaming experiences.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Hmm. Guess TomSEA was off by a bit

"As far as the 6850, yes it very moderately outperforms the GTX 460. I mean in most of those side by side comparisons, we're talking 5 fps or less difference. When you're already running a game at 60+ fps, that really means nothing. And the 6850 loses the battle in noise, power consumption and price."

GOOD GOD. are you guys going out of your way trying to avoid the point I was making? Or perhaps you are responding to the wrong thread. It's not about the 6850 "blowing out" the 460. It's about AMD taking away the single stronghold that Nvidia had (the 460) and not being conducive to a price war.

And the 6850 loses the battle in noise, power consumption and price."

NO it does not!

look at the chart I just linked you to;

The 1X 6850 is @ 278W system watts

the 1x GTX 460 is @ 291 system watts

...in CF/SLI

The 2 x 6850 is @ 393W

The 2x GTX 460 is @ 433W

...and from HotHardware...

while the 6850 came in at right around the 237 watt mark, which was the lowest of all of the cards we tested.

let me know if you need more, and think these guys are all running "flawed" tests.

Geezus princeton, have your interpreter do a better job for you.

@Tom 18% is a few frames?...oookkkayy

so if 18% is a few frames (the bench you cited) what then are we calling the 6870 beating the 470 in every test but the Far Cry2?

2) who said "dead in the water?" I said "Nvidia had a stronghold with the 460...now they do not"

NewEgg has 1GB/DDR5 460's for as low as $180. The lowest priced 6870 is $70 more than that

$180 + 70 = $250... Newegg has a page of 6870's for $239.00

...cmon guys..really?

A "good" OC'd 460 will cost you $ 270

[link]

So one more time:

It's not about the 6850 "blowing out" the 460. It's about AMD taking away the single stronghold that Nvidia had (the 460) and not being conducive to a price war.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Relax Red - we're all on the same side. Just having a friendly debate.

Your point is taken on the 6850 not starting a price war, I just happen to disagree. In fact, the 460's were dropped in price literally days before the release of the 6850. Coincidence? Hardly. And I'm quite sure we haven't seen the last of the price cutting.

Your 18% faster frame rate figure is (again) taken from the 6870, not the 6850. Let's keep the comparisons consistent - 6850 vs. 460, please. Otherwise, I can throw up GTX480 stats against the 6870. Would amount to the same thing. Otherwise, TechSpot demonstrated a 3% difference in frame-rate performance in this review.

If you want to pay $270 for an oc'd 460, then fine. Go ahead and throw your money away. Here's a highly rated oc'd 460 for $180:

[link]

Otherwise, NewEgg 6870 cards range from $240 to $280.

And yes, you're right - I stand corrected. The 6870 showed itself to be 3 watts more energy efficient than the 460 card it was matched up against. That's three watts. I will stand my ground though on the heat, noise and price comparisons stated.

Not a damn thing wrong with either make of cards, just depends on what flavor ice cream you like.

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

whats funny is there is even a 6850 for as little as $179 on newegg. the 6850 and 6870 are great cards and will make nvidia drop prices. the GXT 460 is still a great car even at the $199 price point its a great card but red is trying to say that's all nvidia had and now they don't have anything since the release of the 6000 series cards. i mean come on look at the difference between the 5770 and the 6870 its a huge jump so what are we going to see from the 6970?

EDO219 said:

"Speaking of soon-to-be-extinct graphics cards, the Radeon HD 5850 costs 20% more than the 6870, while the latter is 11% faster on average."

*doh!*

Just a few days ago I had ordered two Radeon HD 5850's for my new build. X_X

Good thing newegg has a 30 day return policy.

____________________________________________________________
_______________

EDIT: Correct me if I am mistaken, but it seems the 6870 can not be in a 3-way Crossfire configuration; only a 2-way at best.

Guest said:

Hi,

Good review, but please correct Incorrect Info on Barts.

HD6870 has 1GB of GDDR5 that runs a 1,050 mhz (or 4200 mhz effective). 256-bit memory bus results in 134.4 GB/sec memory bandwidth, NOT 153.6GB/s of bandwidth as noted on the 2nd page of the review.

Also, Barts die size is 255mm2 not 230mm2. Another mistake.

I am sure you can confirm these specs with AMD launch slides OR from GPU-Z.

Guest said:

Ok, you also got the TMUs (texture mapping units) wrong on Barts. HD6870 has 56 of those, NOT 70 as noted in the review, while HD6850 has 48.

Need better proof reading next time. :)

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Your point is taken on the 6850 not starting a price war, I just happen to disagree. In fact, the 460's were dropped in price literally days before the release of the 6850. Coincidence? Hardly. And I'm quite sure we haven't seen the last of the price cutting.

Tom, nVidia people also happen to know that what was coming, and they moved quickly to make their product more 'appealing' and perhaps bit better choice 'price/performance' wise, but I don't think they ended up at the right price point, to remain competitive they will have to lower prices significantly again, which doesn't bode well for them anyway.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Nice refresh......that's about it.

OK for the updaters from the HD4000 and GTX200 series (or earlier). Nobody in their right mind is likely to be trading in their HD 5850 or equivalent though.

A couple of points...

AMD takes a leaf out of nvidia's manual- dual card crossfire only.

AMD and nvidia still dancing on perf/$ and market segmentation. While the fanboys reach new heights of estrogen inbalance, our two graphics companys maintain their as-you-were approach...

From the review...

1680 x 1050 res...

HD 6870 ...697 frames/sec aggregate divided by $240 = 2.90 frames/$

GTX 470...710 frames/sec aggregate divided by $240 = 2.96 frames/$

GTX 460 1Gb...614 frames/sec aggregate divided by $170 = 3.61 frames/$

HD 5850...621 frames/sec aggregate divided by $195 = 3.18 frames/$

1920x1080...

HD 6870....612 frames/sec aggregate = 2.55 frames/$

GTX 470...589 frames/sec aggregate = 2.45 frames/$

GTX 460...506 frames/sec aggregate = 2.98 frames/$

HD 5850...548 frames/sec aggregate = 2.81 frames/$

Total frames/sec per $ average for HD/HD ready resolutions (the likely resolutions for these cards' buyers)

GTX 460...3.29 fps/$

HD 5850...3.00 fps/$

HD 6870...2.73 fps /$

GTX 470.. 2.71 fps /$

And more of the same on the multi-GPU front...

GTX 460 SLI.............65716 frames/sec, divided by $360 = 172.9 fps/$

HD 6870 Crossfire....64094 frames/sec, divided by $480 = 133.5 fps/$

The short version...

Games playable with the HD 6870 that were unplayable with the cards it is supposedly due to supplant :

0 (Nil)

The rest comes to hype, pricing*, availability, and game preferences.

* I don't think, as has been mentioned, that the nvidia price cuts are somehow unsustainable. Nvidia is clearly sacrificing profit for market share and treading water at this point in time. But since nvidia carries no debt burdon, then it can afford to cut it's margins to break even (factoring in R&D, wages, distribution, marketing/SDK's, manufacturing etc.)...at least for this generation. The make or break for nvidia will be how the 28nm process shakes out for both them and AMD.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

So then, does this mean that if I remain unmoved by any of this, that I am not a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy?

Or that I am a Luddite, by suggesting that the GT-460 still stands out as the best value out there?

Or does my competence further come into in question, if I flatly state, "I doubt that I would be able to tell the difference between, 65716 frames/sec and 64094 frames/sec"?

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

So then, does this mean that if I remain unmoved by any of this, that I am not a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy?

I wouldn't let a lack of graphics forum bs (battle stress?) deter you from HRT...especially if you think you're at risk from Osteoporosis.

Or that I am a Luddite, by suggesting that the GT-460 still stands out as the best value out there?

No and the GTX460 still represents good performance at reasonable pricing. The monthy Steam hardware survey still shows most gaming is done at 1920x1080 or less, so in effect, any card from the HD 5770/5830/5850/GTX460 mainstream class is more than capable in a real world gaming scenario....of course, that doesn't take into account the two badly coded games in gaming history that require some extra shader horsepower -namely Crysis and Metro 2033, or of course the dire need for 8+ MSAA and every image quality box checked.

What is of paramount importance is that the HD 6850/6870 are NEW. And, if your merchandising indoctrination has been successful, you would be well aware that NEW + HYPE = BETTER. The HD6xxx will undoubtably gain in performance as drivers become more mature. It remains to be seen if these same drivers get UVD3 working correctly with H.264 level 5.1 DXVA (as example).

Or does my competence further come into in question, if I flatly state, "I doubt that I would be able to tell the difference between, 65716 frames/sec and 64094 frames/sec"?

Welllllllll...thats an aggregate total of the benchmarks, of which 60583 and 58376 respectively, are artificial graphics benches (3D Vantage and Heaven v2), while a third is a score (not fps). So in point of fact the fps difference in real gaming is 18.9 per benchmark (accentuated by the bizarre framerates in Street Fighter IV, Resident Evil 5 and Far Cry 2 as well as the 460 running out of steam at 2560x1600 res.)- 11% in favour of the HD 6870 (for a 33% pricing penalty). But I'm sure you knew all of this already.

Be sure to check back next month, when the Intel IGP, nvidia 8400 and AMD HD4200 crowd start arguing the relative merits of the HD 6980 and 6950, while proclaiming their undying devotion to branding and the issuance of graphics jihads in green and red flavours.

Guest said:

The new 6850 CF and 6870 CF have better scaling than even Nvidia's GTX 460 SLI. Scaling is almost 1:1 in some games like BF:BC2. 460 SLI's scaling was only 85 percent in that game.

ViNCiLiCiouS said:

The name scheme is still hurting. Wonder what they'll do next year when the HD 7xxx series are up for naming...

Just got a 460 1GB (from 5770 CF) a couple of weeks ago, just my timing.

I'm gonna go with the professional recommendations, get the 68xx only as a new system or upgrading from a *budget* card. Although I am telling everyone I know to get the 6870, which I think is a wonderful hit back at the 460.

MOAR COMPETITION!

63Jax said:

i love this competition and i hate fanboysm. just changed my old gpu to an 6870, and is fast

gokica said:

AMD failed to create proper response to the GTX460 768 MB which is the best choice if someone cares for performance vs price ratio (up to resolution 1920 X 1080) and many of them are out there. We must not forget (AMD as well) the fact that Physx although not in many titles still holds the ground for nVidia. Enthusiasts are pretty disappointed with the latest response from AMD and from the naming/renaming scheme. Instead of 6850/6870 these new cards should have been named 6750/6770 as originally planned. From an owner of single 5870 comes the satatement: if I was to buy a new card now, the chouce would come down to one the "greens"! BTW I am fond of single graphic card solutions.

UT66 said:

Super cool toy, ATI, or, AMD, whatever, really my mouth is watering but hey i have a question... why do i need to play mass effect 2 at 200fps and WQHD resolution if the game was designed to run at 720P and barely 30fps? Whats the point? So yea, i think my 4770 is more than enough, and you guys ( devs) aren't even using that! So no real pc games? no buy, mkay? ( lol i know)

gokica said:

You have a point @UT66. The hardware is way ahead comparing to the games out there and one single title with higher requirements (or lower optimization) makes the crowd crazy for powerful solutions. Actually my 5870 is not utilized to its max so I am moving down to 9800GT soon. Than I will wait for better winds in the graphics cards market until Spring.

UT66 said:

The worst part? The trend is here to stay. Example? The incoming sequel of that single title with higher requirements @ crap optimization you mentioned? Guess what? is also designed around cellphone, i mean console limitations, designed to run at sub 720p, sub 30fps, sub par textures and analog aiming. Literally no turning back. BTW next gen is a Mii to for both MS and Sony? expect the same hardware with a minor bump in mhZ..., your 5870 is WAAAy ahead , trust me.

gokica said:

Yeah, quite right. Spring will bring some refreshment in my computer not due to the needs but due to the enthusiasm of owning and testing something new. I am thinking of the GTX460 786MB for now but I have a feeling that spring may bring some better prices. I know that we need to wait until 2012 for some better titles and shift in positive direction when the consoles will evolve to their new generations.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

I'm personally very confused by the change in the naming scheme - I don't understand/agree why they did it. I was really hoping the 6870 was going to beat the 5870 - but that just isn't the case. I was also hoping to see a 6970 comprised of two underclocked 6870s... but now I don't really want to see that anymore. I really love the pricing of these devices though as they finally have real competition in the budget area. I promised my daughter a GTX 460 but maybe I'll check out a 6870 if a slightly lower power requirement version comes out from a third party.

hamitaltintop22 said:

I also wish that the HD 68XX were named HD 67XX. The only time this new naming scheme would be easily acceptable would be if the HD 69XX were released before the HD 68XX.

It seems the HD 6850 stock and GTX 460 stock are competing relatively well at the $180 price point. When both are overclocked, the GTX 460 is able to slightly beat the HD 6850 overclock and have slightly equal performance to the HD 6870. However, as some who has a 2 year old Antec Earthwatts 500w psu, an overclocked gtx 460 probably consumes too much power compared to the HD 6870 for me to upgrade to.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I don't think AMD could effectively name the cards 6750/6770.

Firstly, the are not in the budget-mainstream pricing segment that the previous 4770 and current 5770 occupy.

Secondly, the 5770 is still being retailed, whereas the 5850/5780 have now finished their production runs, so you would have 5770 sales being negatively impacted by the perceived notion that the 6750/6770 "5770 replacement" parts are considerably faster. The other side of the coin is that AMD would suffer in PR if the perceived "5770 replacement" cards carry a substantial price increase over their predecessors.

My question is; Why were these cards not simply called HD 6830 and HD 6850 ?

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

My question is; Why were these cards not simply called HD 6830 and HD 6850 ?

That would make me feel a lot better about this DBZ.

crzydave said:

Man I am still running a 4870 and was thinking it was about time for an upgrade. This is looking quite tempting.

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