AMD Radeon HD 6850 and 6870 CrossFire Video Card Review

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Temperature Testing

Since video card temperatures and the heat generated by next-generation cards have become an area of concern among enthusiasts and gamers, we want to take a closer look at how the graphics cards do at idle and under a full load.

AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB Video Card Idle Temperature:

AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB Video Card GPU-Z Details

XFX Radeon HD 6850 1GB Video Card Idle Temperature:

AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB Video Card GPU-Z Details

AMD Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card Idle Temperature:

AMD Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card GPU-Z Details

As you can see from the screen shot above, the idle state of the Radeon HD 6800 series drops the GPU core clock frequency down to 100MHz and the memory clock down to 81MHz to help conserve power and lower temperatures.  At idle on an open test bench the Radeon HD 6850 video card temperature was observed at 46C and the Radeon HD 6870 was at 31C. The fan speed on the card was around 21-22% and nearly silent as it spins under 1,000 RPM at an idle. 

We fired up FurMark and ran the stability at 640×480, which was
enough to put the  GPU core at 100% load in order to get the highest
load
temperature possible. This application also charts the temperature
results so you can see how the temperature rises and levels off, which
is very nice. The fan on the video cards were
left on auto during temperature testing. When we hit the space bar to stop the rendering the
temperature dropped.

AMD Radeon HD 6850 Video Card Load Temperature:

AMD Radeon HD 6850 Video Card Load Temp

XFX Radeon HD 6850 Video Card Load Temperature:

AMD Radeon HD 6850 Video Card Load Temp

AMD Radeon HD 6870 Video Card Load Temperature:

AMD Radeon HD 6870 Video Card Load Temp

The GPU fan got up to 49% or 1920RPM during temperature testing and it was definitely audible over the CPU coolers fan.  The AMD Radeon HD 6870 peaked at 73C and the Radeon HD 6850 peaked at 81C. 

Temp Testing

Most of the mainstream video card temperatures are right around 73C, but there is one card to take a closer look at. The AMD Radeon HD 6850 reference design cooler isn’t that impressive and had a peak load temperature of 81C. The custom cooler on the XFX Radeon HD 6850 only got to 63C at load! It also had a much lower idle temperature, so you can see that putting a decent air cooler on the Radeon HD 6800 series will really help bring down temperatures. Having full load temperatures in the low 60′s on these are insane! Take a look at the GeForce GTX 470 that NVIDIA says is price competitive with the Radeon HD 6870. It tops out at 93C versus just 73C on the Radeon HD 6870!

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