At the end of testing it is obvious that the Radeon HD 6870 is a solid performing video card and that AMD’s board partners have some great cards out in the market today. The differences between the cards are subtle though, so let’s try to figure out which of the three would be the best to get. First we need to take a look at pricing.
Radeon HD 6870 Video Card Pricing:
When it comes to pricing we couldn’t find the Diamond Radeon HD 6870 XOC listed for sale online even though it was announced nearly two weeks ago. The Sapphire and XFX branded cards are available, though, and the Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 costs $248 versus the $254 on the XFX Radeon HD 6870. As you can see, the prices are about the same on the cards, so what next?
Performance on the Sapphire and XFX cards were virtually identical and it should have been since both cards are based on the AMD reference design and feature the same clock speeds. The Diamond Radeon HD 6870 XOC is factory overclocked and as a result was faster in all of the benchmarks. So for out of the box performance you have to give the win to the Diamond Multimedia Radeon HD 6870 XOC.
As you saw in the overclocking section all of the Radeon HD 6870 video cards were able to overclock really easily and we were able to break 1GHz core clock speeds! The Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 overclocked the best and was able to reach 1055MHz on the core and 1235MHz on the memory. We all know that overclocking is a crap shoot, but all of the cards overclocked close to this speed. There is no clear winner in overclocking as all were close to the same overclock.
Warranty is another area that many look at when buying something expensive like a graphics card. The warranties on all of the cards are two years, but remember XFX offers a lifetime warranty if you register the card within 30 days of purchasing it. The clear winner when it comes to warranties is XFX as you can’t ignore a lifetime warranty!
Bundles also play a pretty big role when purchasing a video card and the bundles from XFX and Diamond Multimedia weren’t that impressive. Both came with just a CrossFire interconnect for multi-GPU use and that was pretty much it. The Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 bundle included a ton of stuff like the HDMI 1.4a cable, power supply adapters, DVI-to-VGA adapter and the mini-DP to DisplayPort adapter. If you need cables and adapters the Sapphire bundle is a nice touch that is hard to ignore. It also comes with the card that is priced the lowest. Go figure, right? The best bundle has to go to Sapphire as you actually get some stuff that might come in handy depending on your PC setup.
So, which card is the one to buy? It’s honestly a toss up as each card won one in one area, but none dominated. All of them are great cards and offer pretty much the same level of performance. All of the cards are based off AMD’s reference design, so this was expected and if anyone tells you one is better than the other they are full of it. We suggest that you pick the brand of card that you prefer if the price is right! It all comes down to price and brand loyalty until we see some custom designed PCB’s and aftermarket cooling solutions hit the market!
Legit Bottom Line: The Diamond, Sapphire and XFX Radeon HD 6870 video cards are all great choices that are based off the AMD reference design.