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Old 10-21-2010, 09:56 PM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default AMD Radeon HD 6870 & HD 6850

It's been a long time coming, but gamers can finally relax... AMD's Radeon HD 6800 graphics cards are finally here. They may still be built upon a 40nm process, but AMD has brought a lot to the table here. We set out to see how the HD 6850 and HD 6870 compare to their closest competition, NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 460 and GTX 470.

You can read our in-depth analysis on AMD's latest graphics cards and discuss it here!
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:20 PM   #2
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Early presents!
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:49 PM   #3
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Or might I say "glittering prizes"?
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:19 PM   #4
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Dislikes: Numbering scheme
Likes: Pretty much everything else

I'm guessing we'll see another round of price jockeying in the months to come. Both major manufacturers deserve some credit, this is an endlessly entertaining business war.
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Old 10-22-2010, 01:48 AM   #5
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Now I can finally build my new gaming machine!!!! I like the price for the 6870.
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:24 AM   #6
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The renumbering sucks but when you look at what the cards are technically slotted to replace, mainstream to mainstream you see massive performance boosts from a 5750 to a 6850 or a 5770 to a 6870. I like, and I cannot believe how accurate my guess was Nvidia's cards are to be $20 more but not perform as well. They may be fairly close but the drivers are BETA Pre-release meaning there are tons of optimizations to be done and when that's done we may see the 6850 own a 460 and a 6870 crush a 470. From what I see, the 6950 could be more powerful than a 480 and the 6970 be even more powerful still, then there are still the 2 possible x2 cards, so far I have to say AMD has it in the bag. (also a 6850 looks like a sexy boost from my 5750 here )
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:27 AM   #7
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Bear in mind that the Radeon HD 5770 might not get replaced this launch at all, so it's hard to claim that there's funny business going on with the naming scheme at all. As far as AMD is currently concerned, the HD 5770 will remain for a while, and unless it -is- replaced in the future, I think it's better to not consider the HD 6800 series a replacement for that. The HD 6870 performs closer to an HD 5870 than an HD 5770, after all.
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:45 AM   #8
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Nice review, Rob. Major improvement over last years mid-range, and without any shrink or major changes to the architecture.

Just curious, did you receive the EVGA GTX-460 FTW from nVidia that they wanted used for comparison to Barts? You obviously didn't use it, but I'm curious if you got one and what you think of having the competing company dictating what cards to use in a review?

Again, nice review. I think it's one of the best ones out.
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:27 PM   #9
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Wow. My little 5770 is getting eaten alive and it's was only $20 cheaper than the 6850 when I bought it. So now I have a dilema - save for a 6850 or grab another 5770?

Oh well. I have to upgrade my wife's rig first so I guess either option will have to wait.
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Old 10-23-2010, 03:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Optix View Post
Wow. My little 5770 is getting eaten alive and it's was only $20 cheaper than the 6850 when I bought it. So now I have a dilema - save for a 6850 or grab another 5770?

Oh well. I have to upgrade my wife's rig first so I guess either option will have to wait.
Give your wife the 5770 and get a new card for yourself. both problems sorted.
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Old 10-23-2010, 02:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Relayer View Post
Just curious, did you receive the EVGA GTX-460 FTW from nVidia that they wanted used for comparison to Barts? You obviously didn't use it, but I'm curious if you got one and what you think of having the competing company dictating what cards to use in a review?
Is it a fact that NVIDIA sent out those cards for people to test with? We didn't receive one, but it's not something that would surprise me. It's common for NVIDIA to use various tactics to either help its own launches or hold back its competition's. For this one, we were encouraged to benchmark with a broken H.A.W.X. 2 benchmark, for example.

Because it just doesn't make sense to, we don't use overclocked cards in our charts, unless of course we're reviewing a particular model that's pre-overclocked. But then, that's an additional model, not a replacement for the original and it never happens for launch content.

There's no doubt about it that the practice is ridiculous, but it's far from surprising. NVIDIA knew that it was going to have some impressive AMD cards to beat, so it had to figure out a way to lessen the blow somehow. It'd be even more ridiculous if a website used that FTW card as the comparison card, but I couldn't see that happening.

Thanks for the nice comments on the review!
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Old 10-23-2010, 03:38 PM   #12
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Sweeet! I also hate this, i could have bought an HD6850 now! damn!
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Old 10-23-2010, 03:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
It'd be even more ridiculous if a website used that FTW card as the comparison card, but I couldn't see that happening.
http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-...view?artc_pg=2

Some sites DID use it as the comparison, saying that the FTW was cheaper and faster... the 6870 was only compared with the 460 FTW and the 5850... but thankfully, a few others pointed out the flaws in the review... no test methodology, limited comparisons, etc... all you have to do is look at other review sites and see the comparisons they make. It is worth mentioning that the above site does run regular 'sponsored' content, so yeah, up to you to decide.
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Old 10-23-2010, 05:17 PM   #14
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As a general rule, I'd rather not talk about content posted on other sites that I don't agree with, and I'm not going to make much of an exception here. Anyone could compare their results to ours, though, and see that something is a little bit off (with Dirt 2 and Just Cause 2 especially).

Since this article was published, I took a bit of a break (this article was grueling!), but I'm going to soon jump on top of CrossFireX performance and nail out an article on that. From initial testing so far, I can say that things are very impressive.
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Old 10-24-2010, 03:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
Is it a fact that NVIDIA sent out those cards for people to test with? We didn't receive one, but it's not something that would surprise me. It's common for NVIDIA to use various tactics to either help its own launches or hold back its competition's. For this one, we were encouraged to benchmark with a broken H.A.W.X. 2 benchmark, for example.

Because it just doesn't make sense to, we don't use overclocked cards in our charts, unless of course we're reviewing a particular model that's pre-overclocked. But then, that's an additional model, not a replacement for the original and it never happens for launch content.

There's no doubt about it that the practice is ridiculous, but it's far from surprising. NVIDIA knew that it was going to have some impressive AMD cards to beat, so it had to figure out a way to lessen the blow somehow. It'd be even more ridiculous if a website used that FTW card as the comparison card, but I couldn't see that happening.

Thanks for the nice comments on the review!
Yes, they did send them out. That's reported from AT. Many sites used it, unfortunately. I'd also read about the HAWX Demo/benchmark. Kyle @ [H]OCP wrote a pretty searing editorial about it. (Like they had any chance of getting him to use a benchmark???) Also heard reported that not only dod nVidia want the 460 FTW to be the card used to compare to the 6800, but also didn't want the GTX-470 included. As you said, it's not surprising from them.
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