AMD Radeon HD 6870 Review

By Julio Franco ยท 74 replies
Oct 21, 2010
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  1. crzydave

    crzydave TS Rookie Posts: 23

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

    gokica TS Rookie

    @dividebyzero, you will be fine with a single overclocked GTX460 and 500W PSU. The differences in the power consumption between the two cards are marginal from general perspective. 6xxx are more efficient but it is not like "AMD invneted the wheel". Your choice should fall within the cards with the best performance/price ratio upon your needs. The only thing that I like about ATI reference cards (5 and 6xxx) is the cooling system which is far better comparing to the cheapish dual slot and open back solutions from the greens.

    Also the problem in the renaming scheme is not the 5770. If the 6870 was renamed 6770 and if it was priced within the price range of GTX460 768MB it would have been a bingo for AMD. The next generation cards (6770 vs 5770) are supposed to be faster than their predecessors according to the expectations of the consumers of this type of hardware. This is the point. AMD took off with their efficiency campaign too soon I presume.

    By "dual slot open back cooling solutions" I mean GTX460s being sold by the subcontractors of nVidia. AMD cards are being sold with different design comparing to the reference and from my experience only few out of a million offer better cooling with their custom solutions.
  3. Afenix

    Afenix TS Member Posts: 55

    Damn that's cheap.. and FAST! For that price!
    The gtx 460 price was already lowered when this came out, and they have lowered it again. Still the 6870 is a very strong opponent, and when it comes to choosing, I'll definitely go for AMD.
    I'm no fanboy of any of the manufacturers, but as I can tell, AMD is winning a lot.
    I personally have a 5870, and it's quite sad to see that such a cheap card is only a bit slower than my uber expensive monster.
  4. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    That's a good point, I was definitely not fond of the name change but if they did release it under the 67xx name you'd have some consumers wondering about the constant increase in the budget/mainstream market as you said. Your second point about 6830/50 makes perfect sense, considering the 5830 is all but obsolete at its price-point as well as the 5850 with a couple exceptions.

    Personally been holding out on upgrading to see what AMD would deliver with these cards and I'm overall pretty satisfied with what I saw in the 6850/70. Now I'm deciding which would serve me best between getting an OC'd 1GB GTX 460 or Radeon 6870.
  5. kevin1212

    kevin1212 TS Rookie Posts: 45

    I notice that there is barely any improvement on efficiency. At this rate the 6900 series will be very power hungry. Frankly, the only real impressive thing about these cards are the price. AMD could just have easily dropped the price on the 5850/70 and call that a day. Not saying they are bad products, but you have to question if they were necessary to begin with. I think i'll be waiting on their 28nm gpu's.
  6. UT66

    UT66 TS Rookie Posts: 143

    the real good news? > MLAA coming to AMD drivers, ( and apparently already hacked to work on 4xxx!) What is MORPHOLOGICAL AA? basically 8xmsaa WITH practically no noticeable impact on performance, as in almost free.
  7. Yoda8232

    Yoda8232 TS Rookie Posts: 145

    IMO, they are AMAZING cards for the price and I love crazy bang for buck but they should have really left the names the same. Make these the 6700 series and keep the 6800 and then have room for a 6970 (dual GPU 6870 <3).

    I have a 5870 so no point upgrading, yet.
  8. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    You realise that morphological anti-aliasing is already used in gaming consoles...right?
    And, No..... 8 x MSAA ? No comparison. MLAA is a valuble blurring technique for lower performing graphics. It is not anti-aliasing. If you don't believe my words then here it is from the horse's mouth -the inventor of MLAA .
    MLAA basically guesses where blurring on an image should/could be. A post-processing filter is closer to what MLAA actually is.
    (Multi Sampled) Antialiasing is not post-processing - It is a constant recalculation of the graphics data stream and works selectively only on areas where "jaggies" need to be smoothed out.

    So while MLAA may be a boon to the lower tier graphics card owner, and to gaming where AA is not natively available and forcing AA at driver level impacts too heavily on framerate/fillrate, it has never been intended - or able- to replace (or compete with) true antialiasing.
    A graphic representation here with Tom's MLAA article. Note the blurred and indistinct text - a product of full coverage blurring consistant with MLAA.
  9. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    They (6800 series) make more logical purchase for someone who is buying a new system; or is forced to buy a new graphic card due to some issues, otherwise, for an existing 5850/5770 user they are reasonably okay for now.
  10. hassaan

    hassaan TS Rookie Posts: 90

    Someone please tell me why I would need something like this. I'm actually really curious. I mean aside from the geeks who just enjoy building obscenely overpowered gaming rigs. I'm using an nVidia GTX 260 and there isn't a game out there that I can't run on max settings.
  11. Micael

    Micael TS Rookie Posts: 25

    I love that a new card is coming out to tackle the Nvidia 460, but i'd expect more from the numbering of the card, you'd think this card would be better than it's predecessor.
  12. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    What games and at what resolution? What is your definition of great/good/acceptable performance? I can think of several games that you cannot max out on the "typical" 24 inch monitor.
  13. UT66

    UT66 TS Rookie Posts: 143

  14. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    ROFL - you chose a scene with no textures at all. I could tell by all the screenshots I found online showing off MLAA that there was some blurring occurring.

    For instance, look at this link and then pay attention to the text in the second set of images - can you tell that you're losing detail there?

    Or load these two images up in seperate tabs, maximize each and toggle back and forth between them:
    Image 1 Image 2

    You can see even more of these examples here.

    Now don't get me wrong, I think it's pretty impressive especially without any cost to your GPU, but only if you don't already have the muscle to use another form of AA AND you are willing to give up some of your definition.
  15. chogo

    chogo TS Rookie

    I'm in the same boat waiting to do an upgrade. I have no preference of red vs green but buy strictly based on performance and value. I like the performance and efficiency of the new 6870 versus the OC'd 1GB GTX 460's but I'm a little concerned about the lack of OC'ing headroom on the 6870 and past driver issues. I think a GTX 460 upgrade may still be a viable option if it is available at a performance justified price and with its better OC'ing headroom especially on non-reference boards.

    We now need some benchmarks comparing max OC'd 6870's and GTX 460's.
  16. ruzveh

    ruzveh Banned Posts: 123

    There seems to be a lot of value in these 6 series graphics card from AMD. Looking fwd to buy one for myself
  17. FransB

    FransB TS Rookie Posts: 29

    Interesting Card, but i wait :)
  18. josmcc

    josmcc TS Rookie

    Stream Processors rock
  19. mark1vm

    mark1vm TS Rookie

    well i have 2x 5870 in cfx and have to say it plays pretty good have not seen any problems yet.and im sure they will be replaced by the end of the year,but i dont think that you should have to update to the 6000 series if your cards are in the 5870-5970 cant be that much of a difference rather wait until the 7000 series come out
  20. raventrickster

    raventrickster TS Rookie Posts: 23

    This just became my new "I want" card. Unfortunately that kind of money is quite a ways off. We'll see what the summer brings.
  21. white2010

    white2010 TS Rookie

    Best review
    amd with this new product will make their position solid in vga market better than their rival nvdia
    if nvdia can not asnwer this product will better ones, their market share will be shrink fast
  22. compu4

    compu4 TS Rookie Posts: 46

    Metro 2033 does have a built in benchmark; using this probably would have improved the validity of your test results. It is in the steamapps\common\metro2033 folder (Metro2033benchmark.exe).
  23. I am new to your forum and had questions about this review. I was surprised there was no overclocking attemps made on these cards. Over all i loved the review and it did answer some questions but I had to go elseware to find other information.

    I have been running a HIS Radeon 4890 for a while now and plan to sell it on Craigslist as i want a DX11 supported card. I looked on and found an OpenBox ASUS 5850 OC for $169 and an ASUS 6870 stock for $181. I was too late to get the 6870 so I got the 5850. Here is where I have a problem. Reading overclockers forums the 5850 is actually better than the 6870. Trust me I was scratching my head on that as well. It can be pushed on the core clock better than the 6870, both run the same speed DDR5 memory, both have 256bit memory interfaces, but the 5850 has more streams, 1440 to 1120 to be exact.

    Can anyone confirm this?
  24. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    The 5850 is right between the 6850 and the 6870 performance wise. The reason it does more with less SPU's is that the tweaks in the 6000 architecture make it more efficient. The 6850 and the 6870 were not intended to be the replacements for the 5850 and the 5870. The 6950 and the 6970 were.
    As far as overclocking goes, it depends on which 5850 you have. my 5850's for instance are the Asus EAH DirectCu HD 5850's , and they overclock extremely well. so that could be true of the forums you are talking about.
  25. wow!! what a great debate!! :)
    so what should i buy GTX 460 HD / 6870 / HD 5850 / GTX 470.....
    though i trust nvidia more...

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