GTX 460 1GB or Radeon HD 6850?

By slh28 · 12 replies
Nov 28, 2010
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  1. So I've decided to upgrade my video card and I've narrowed them down to the following:
    XFX HD 6850 1GB
    Gigabyte GTX 460 OC 1GB
    MSI GTX 460 Cyclone OC Edition 1GB
    All are pretty much the same price: £140-£150.

    The reason why I put 2 GTX 460s in there is because I've heard problems with the Gigabyte card (on Newegg) where they fail after a couple of months. However it seems to run quieter than the MSI. Would be great to hear the opinion of someone who owns either of these cards regarding reliability and noise levels.

    I do intend to overclock the video card so I'm also interested in the overclocked performance (and temp and noise).

    I game at 1920x1080 and don't really want to spend any more as I think these cards are sufficient.
  2. Tha General

    Tha General TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,106

    I would grab the 6850, less draw(psu) power.
  3. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264 never know when those 12 watts might come in handy.

    The cards are very similar at stock settings, both should OC - though that is going to be dependant upon luck-of-the-draw. In general the GTX 460 overclocks higher (as a percentage over stock) for core and gains consistant overclocks -mainly due to being effectively underclocked at core/memory at stock frequencies-while the HD 6850 probably gets the nod for memory OC in general- both will eak out a little more performance- at the cost of increased thermal and noise output.
    Note that the XFX card (from reviews) seems noisier than other vendors cards -this may, or may not be a factor for you.

    As for gaming performance I would think there would be very little between them. The principal difference would arise within certain games, so I would browse the card reviews online and see how the benchmarks stack up in relation to games/game engines that interest you.
    The other metrics to consider is warranty length and customer support. ALL graphics cards's just a matter of time, abuse and general usage.
  4. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    most 6850s are quieter than GTX 460... AMD and manufacturers took noise into consideration this time and the result is a line of cards that are noticeably quieter than previous generations--especially the HD48xx series.
  5. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    6850 .
  6. red1776

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

    Its been my experience that the 6850 is a little faster than the 768MB version of the 460, and a little slower than then 1GB version of the 460.
    but game specific like Chef said.
  7. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,706   +172

    Well I guess my main concern would be the framerates on the more GPU-intensive games (e.g. Crysis 2) and it seems that the 6850 is a bit quicker in Crysis. In general when the 460 beats the 6850 they're both going over 60fps anyway. However that being said the 460 does seem to have better minimum frame rates.
  8. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    I think the 6850 looks cooler.
  9. dividebyzero

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

    Yeah, that's number one on my list too.

    1. Looks cool
    2. Has pretty lights
    3. Harmonious colour combination
    157. Gaming performance
  10. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Well you can't really go wrong with a 6850 anyway.
    I like the look of saphire cards...
  11. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    I was in the same boat as you a few weeks ago trying to decide between the GTX 460 & Radeon 6850. Eventually I decided to go with the 6850 specifically the XFX one you linked due to superior cooling. And so far I've been pretty satisfied, with temperatures sitting around 60C at load on stock with ~22C ambient room temp. I haven't had time to really play around with OCing but will next week and can report my personal findings if you care to know. Regarding noise, I will say it is noticeable if you game with low or no sound under load. But with a sound system or headphones you shouldn't hear anything, at least I don't with my case being about two feet away. The trade off of a noisier card for superior cooling was worth it to me.

    Performance wise I have to agree with DBZ, they are pretty much neck & neck at stock depending on the game. One of the biggest things you should consider is what games you play. If most of your gaming library favors Nvidia especially games you play all the time I'd say the 460 is a better buy. I personally have a mix of games which pushed me towards the 6850. I also would've recommended the MSI Hawk GTX 460 over the other two you selected but I noticed it is significantly more expensive in the UK =/.

    This HWC article should interest you.
  12. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,706   +172

    Thanks for the input guys, in the end I went with PNY GeForce GTX 460 because it was £20 (about 15%) cheaper than any other 460/6850 card.

    Also I'm interested to see what CUDA/Physx etc. have to offer.
  13. Punkid

    Punkid TS Guru Posts: 422   +7

    good choice soon going to buy a new card and its going to be a gtx460 OR something from the 500 series if it comes out before christmas...i stay away from AMD cards cuz i havent had good experience

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