Archive Home arrow Reviews: arrow Video Cards arrow AMD Radeon HD 6850 Barts Video Card
AMD Radeon HD 6850 Barts Video Card E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards
Written by Olin Coles   
Thursday, 21 October 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
AMD Radeon HD 6850 Barts Video Card
Radeon HD 6850 Closer Look
Features and Specifications
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Crysis Warhead
DX11: Aliens vs Predator
DX11: Battlefield Bad Company 2
DX11: BattleForge
DX9 SSAO: Mafia II
DX11: Metro 2033
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.1
Overclocking and Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
Radeon HD 6850 Conclusion

AMD Radeon HD 6850 Video Card Review

NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 460 is threatened by AMD's Barts GPU with better performance and value.

The Radeon HD 6850 is AMD's latest DirectX-11 video card, and uses an updated Cypress back-end to offer 'Barts' GPU architecture. Built to deliver improved performance to the value-hungry mainstream gaming market, the $180 AMD Radeon HD 6850 and $240 Radeon HD 6870 video cards supplement their 5800-series counterparts. The most notable new feature is Bart's 3rd-generation Unified Video Decoder with added support for DisplayPort 2.1a. AMD's UVD3 accelerates multimedia playback and transcoding, while introducing AMD HD3D stereoscopic technology with multi-view CODEC (MVC) support for playing 3D Blu-ray over HDMI 1.4a.

In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the AMD Radeon HD 6850 video card, a 960 shader core DirectX-11 graphics solution that competes at the $180 price point with the 768MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 video card and the Radeon HD 5830/5770 to a lesser extent. Graphical frame rate performance is tested using the most demanding PC video game titles and benchmark software available. DirectX-10 favorites such as Crysis Warhead, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and PCMark Vantage are all included, in addition to DX11 titles such as Aliens vs Predator, BattleForge, Lost Planet 2, Mafia II, Metro 2033, and the Unigine Heaven 2.1 benchmark.

AMD-Radeon-HD-6870-Video-Card-Review-Splash.jpg

According to information presented at the AMD Editor's Day event in Los Angeles on October 14th, approximately 33% of all AMD graphics solutions are sold for the desktop platform, with over 25-million AMD Radeon DirectX-11 compatible products shipped to date. In many ways this data reinforces my position in the recent Desktop Platform article series, but it could also mean that manufacturers are listening ever more intently to the changing needs of their remaining consumer base. This doesn't always leave room for innovation, but AMD manages to introduce emerging technologies nevertheless.

For those who have been patiently waiting for news on ATI Stream technology, it's been re-tasked as AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, or APP technology. AMD Eye-Definition represents their commitment to PC gamers, PC game developers, and the PC gaming industry. Through Eye-Definition AMD delivers their "Gamers Manifesto", which they assert will enable the best experience possible regardless of hardware manufacturer.

Visitors have proven they're impatient and want everything up front and in small doses. Keeping in that spirit, I'll reveal that AMD Radeon HD 6850 and Radeon HD 6870 video cards offer improved PC gaming performance while also including innovative new technologies at an affordable price point. This has become the repetitive central thesis with each new graphics card launch, running opposite the excitement manufacturers often build up. Marketing departments do their best to tout these fresh changes, all the while knowing that the more things change the more they remain the same. And so it begins once again: consumers are given more for less, and the AMD Radeon HD 6850/6870 affords them this opportunity. Thankfully, it's the glory of these details that makes a new product launch much more interesting.

Benchmark Reviews has previously gone to great lengths to provide comprehensive details within each of the video card project we've published, however these overly verbose articles are going to be modified the modern online audience. In each review, we test a large selection of comparison products and provide more than twenty pages of introspective details. We enjoy doing it, mostly, and feel that our more experienced readers deserve the added illustration to fully explore newly revealed technology. Beginning with this project, the topic is delivered in three separate portions: this video card review, a separate editorial piece on AMD HD3D stereocopic technology, along with AMD's own whitepaper documents on their new display and video technologies (Adobe PDF). Now everyone should be happy, and the world can be a better place.

Manufacturer: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
Product Name: Radeon HD 6850
Suggested Tested: $180 MSRP

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by AMD.



 

Comments 

 
# Why 7.25 on the value?sweatshopking 2010-10-22 03:50
this card produces frames at a lower cost than anything else you tested, based on your own scores. Why do you rate it a 7.25 on the value front?
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: Why 7.25 on the value?Olin Coles 2010-10-22 07:04
True, the cost per frame value was quite nice, but there were several factors I considered for the value rating and you've got to keep in mind that it's a subjective score. I didn't like that fan noise was slightly louder than the 6870, and the price seemed just a little higher than I think it should be. Again, it's only my rating, and you can ignore it if you feel differently about the cards' price.
Report Comment
 
 
# Mr.Mete Can Karahasan 2010-10-23 16:59
At 16x10 resolution, Hd 6850 is actually producing 56.1 fps in the BF2:BC benchmark, better than gtx 460. A typo there, my guess.
Report Comment
 
 
# Typo fixedOlin Coles 2010-10-23 17:33
Fixed! Thank you for pointing that out.
Report Comment
 
 
# 5830David 2010-10-25 06:30
well I wish I'd read this before I bought a 5830. not really sure where the 5830 would have placed in this test, but I assume it would be just below the 6850. my options at the site I purchased it were 5770 $139, 5830 $179, or 6850 $199. my motherboard doesn't have pcie 2.1 on 2.0 but I'm not sure if that would influence my choices.
Report Comment
 
 
# typoDavid 2010-10-25 06:31
2.1 on 2.0 should read 2.1 only 2.0
Report Comment
 
 
# 5830 wasn't greatsweatshopking 2010-10-25 07:02
the 5830 would come in quite a bit below the 6850, and with much higher tdp, and noise. It was a lackluster part, and that was one of the reasons for the refresh. that being said, it's still better than my 4850, so enjoy it!
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: 5830Olin Coles 2010-10-25 07:14
I've actually got several results tested on the 5830, but didn't include them because this model is being phased out. I'll update the article with what I've got.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: 5830David 2010-10-25 08:05
so my next question is how will my system likely perform. I'm upgrading from a 8800GT OC to a 6850 reference card on a P43 ICH10 MB a E8400 cpu with 4GB of Dual Channel DDR2 1066 Ram and a 3gbs Sata HD, onto a 1680 x 1050 22" LCD via DVI
Report Comment
 
 
# finesweatshopking 2010-10-25 08:51
should be able to play pretty much anything on high, at that resolution.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: 5830Olin Coles 2010-10-25 10:23
At that resolution, it should nearly match the 1680x1050 results I produced in this review.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: RE: 5830David 2010-10-25 10:46
Thanks :D thats great news!
Report Comment
 
 
# rmaDavid 2010-10-25 07:35
called NE they informed me that the order shipped but i can refuse delivery or rma the whole box unopened for a full refund. so I reordered everything with a 6850 :D
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: rmaOlin Coles 2010-10-25 07:37
That's good news. I've updated the test summary sections with 5830 performance results.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: rmaDavid 2010-10-25 07:45
thanks, looks like it's $20 well spent to go from the 5830 to the 6850. besides the FPS increase, I will also get a overall better quality controlled product with a couple of extras that I probably won't use LOL.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: RE: rmaDavid 2010-10-25 07:49
hmm well did have to give up a free copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. sigh. I doubt I would of played it much though
Report Comment
 
 
# Updated performance chartsOlin Coles 2010-10-25 16:23
You'll all be pleased to know that I've updated this article with new performance charts that compare the Radeon HD 5830 and 5770.
Report Comment
 
 
# EVGApero 2010-11-12 23:09
How can the EVGA GTX460 be so much better than a normal one?
Report Comment
 
 
# Massive OverclockBruceBruce 2010-11-12 23:34
It's overclocked by the factory from 675 MHz to 850 MHz, giving it a pretty substantial (25% +) kick compared to stock cards.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: Massive Overclockpero 2010-11-13 14:39
Is it physically different too? If a consumer overclocked a non-overclocked GTX460, would the results be the same?
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: Massive OverclockOlin Coles 2010-11-13 15:49
Nope, it's just been overclocked. The results would be the same for any GTX 460 overclocked to those speeds.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: EVGAOlin Coles 2010-11-13 08:49
Please see the Test Methodology section for specifications, but the reason it's better is because of a strong factory overclock.
Report Comment
 
 
# Will it work with my mobo?Ethan 2011-11-24 20:22
Hi. My motherboard has a pci 2.0 slot, not 2.1. will this card work?

Im currently running an amd msi r5770 hawk.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: AMD Radeon HD 6850 Barts Video CardEthan 2011-11-24 20:29
also, how much power does it need to run crossfire?
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: AMD Radeon HD 6850 Barts Video CardOlin Coles 2011-11-24 21:06
It will work just fine with PCI-E 2.0, and since each card uses 140W expect to use 280W in CrossFire.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: AMD Radeon HD 6850 Barts Video CardEthan 2011-11-24 23:28
I have a 750 watt power supply. A 1 terrabite segate 7200 rpm hdd 8 gigs of ddr3 1333 Corsair Dominator ram, and an x fi titanium sound card. do you think that there would be enough power to run cf or should i check and see how much power each thing takes individually?

Thank you very much for the response
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: RE: AMD Radeon HD 6850 Barts Video CardOlin Coles 2011-11-25 08:34
Your 750W PSU will be more than enough for CrossFire on that system.
Report Comment
 

Comments have been disabled by the administrator.

Search Benchmark Reviews
QNAP Network Storage Servers

Follow Benchmark Reviews on FacebookReceive Tweets from Benchmark Reviews on Twitter