Today here in the LR labs we are going to be taking a look at some new technology and a bit of older technology. Back in 2009 ATI/AMD released the Radeon HD 5770 video card for around $159.99. More recently AMD released the 6800 series video cards that included the Radeon HD 6850 which, by coincidence or not, can be had for around $159.99 after rebates for the standard version with a 775 MHz core speed and a 1000 MHz Memory speed. For about $20 more you can get the Black Edition which is slightly overclocked at 820 MHz Core and 1200 MHz Memory speed, at least that’s what mine came clocked with. So now the question stands, “how far have we come over the last year in the $160.00 price point for an AMD Radeon 6850?”
As we all know, AMD was primarily a CPU and chip set maker up until its acquisition of ATI a few years back. AMD made the decision last year to start to eliminate the ATI name from its flagship products such as the Radeon HD video card line. Today we are going to be taking a look at both of these cards to see just how much has changed since the 5770’s came out in October of 2009.
XFX set up shop in Ontario, California in 2002 and was solely an Nvidia card manufacturer, that is, until 2009 when XFX began manufacturing ATI based
video cards. XFX is mainly known for their gamer and enthusiast level video cards, but they do produce lower end cards for the mainstream computer user.
They are also very well known for their double lifetime warranties that allow the card to be owned by two different people and they both get a lifetime
warranty. The card we are looking at today is no different. Coming to market at a price point of $179.99 after a $20 rebate with a double lifetime warranty it would seem to be a no brainer. But let’s not just use a good price and a great warranty to make our decision for us; let’s take a look at the XFX Radeon HD 6850 Black Edition (XFX HD-685X-ZNBC)
and see what it can do when we put it through its paces here at the LR labs.
XFX currently makes 4 different versions of the Radeon HD 6850:
High end video cards have pretty much become a must these days if you want to play all of the modern “pretty” video games that come out every year.
Each year it seems the graphics have been amped up and you need more powerful hardware to run the games. But sometimes having the games look good
isn’t enough. Maybe you want to display your games on more than one monitor and have the effect that you are playing the games from your personal point
of view with peripheral vision and all. That’s where Eyefinity comes in. Or, say you want to run more than one card in your system so that you have even more
graphics power… Yup, Crossfire is there and has your back. How does all of that and Direct X 11 compatibility sound? It sounds good to me and it is all
in here on board the XFX Radeon HD 6850 Video card.
The XFX Radeon HD 6850 has all of the bells and whistles you have come to expect from the 6800 series cards; let’s take a look at the key features
and specs of the card.