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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

VGA Testing Methodology

The Microsoft DirectX-11 graphics API is native to the Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System, and will be the primary O/S for our test platform. DX11 is also available as a Microsoft Update for the Windows Vista O/S, so our test results apply to both versions of the Operating System. The majority of benchmark tests used in this article are comparative to DX11 performance, however some high-demand DX10 tests have also been included.

According to the Steam Hardware Survey published for the month ending September 2010, the most popular gaming resolution is 1280x1024 (17-19" standard LCD monitors). However, because this 1.31MP resolution is considered 'low' by most standards, our benchmark performance tests concentrate on higher-demand resolutions: 1.76MP 1680x1050 (22-24" widescreen LCD) and 2.30MP 1920x1200 (24-28" widescreen LCD monitors). These resolutions are more likely to be used by high-end graphics solutions, such as those tested in this article.

In each benchmark test there is one 'cache run' that is conducted, followed by five recorded test runs. Results are collected at each setting with the highest and lowest results discarded. The remaining three results are averaged, and displayed in the performance charts on the following pages.

A combination of synthetic and video game benchmark tests have been used in this article to illustrate relative performance among graphics solutions. Our benchmark frame rate results are not intended to represent real-world graphics performance, as this experience would change based on supporting hardware and the perception of individuals playing the video game.

Cost to Performance Ratio

For this article Benchmark Reviews has included cost per FPS for graphics performance results. An average of the five least expensive product prices are calculated, which do not consider tax, freight, promotional offers, or rebates into the cost. All prices reflect product series components, and do not represent any specific manufacturer, model, or brand. The median retail prices for each product were obtained from NewEgg.com and current as of 20-October-2010:AMD-Radeon-HD-6870-Video-Card-GPU-Z.gif

  • $142 Radeon HD 5770 1GB
  • $167 GeForce GTX 460 768MB
  • $180 Radeon HD 6850 1GB
  • $188 Radeon HD 5830 1GB
  • $220 GeForce GTX 460 1GB
  • $240 Radeon HD 6870 1GB
  • $260 EVGA GTX 460 FTW 1GB
  • $262 Radeon HD 5850 1GB
  • $292 GeForce GTX 470 1GB

Intel X58-Express Test System

DirectX-10 Benchmark Applications

  • 3DMark Vantage v1.02
    • Extreme Settings: (Extreme Quality, 8x Multisample Anti-Aliasing, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, 1:2 Scale)
  • Crysis Warhead v1.1 with HOC Benchmark
    • Extreme Settings: (Very High Quality, 4x AA, 16x AF, Airfield Demo)

DirectX-11 Benchmark Applications

  • Aliens vs Predator
    • Extreme Settings: (Very High Quality, 4x AA, 16x AF, SSAO, Tessellation, Advanced Shadows)
  • BattleField: Bad Company 2
    • Extreme Settings: (Highest Quality, HBAO, 8x AA, 16x AF, 180s Fraps Single-Player Intro Scene)
  • BattleForge v1.2
    • Extreme Settings: (Very High Quality, 8x Anti-Aliasing, Auto Multi-Thread)
  • Lost Planet 2
    • Extreme Settings: (2x AA, Low Shadow Detail, High Texture, High Render, High DirectX 11 Features)
  • Mafia II
    • Extreme Settings: (Antialiasing, 16x AF, High Shadow Quality, High Detail, High Geometry, Ambient Occlusion)
  • Metro 2033
    • Extreme Settings: (Very-High Quality, AAA, 16x AF, Advanced DoF, Tessellation, 180s Fraps Chase Scene)
  • Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.1
    • Extreme Settings: (High Quality, Normal Tessellation, 16x AF, 4x AA)

Video Card Test Products

Graphics Card Radeon 5770 Radeon 5830 GeForce GTX460 Radeon 6850 GeForce GTX460 Radeon HD6870 EVGA GTX460 FTW Radeon HD5850
GPU Cores 800 1120 336 960 336 1120 336 1440
Core Clock (MHz) 850 800 675 775 675 900 850 725
Shader Clock (MHz) N/A N/A 1350 N/A 1350 N/A 1700 N/A
Memory Clock (MHz) 1200 1000 900 1000 900 1050 1000 1000
Memory Amount 1GB GDDR5 1GB GDDR5 768MB GDDR5 1GB GDDR5 1GB GDDR5 1GB GDDR5 1GB GDDR5 1GB GDDR5
Memory Interface 128-bit 256-bit 192-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX+ / GTS 250 (740 MHz GPU/1836 MHz Shader/1100 MHz vRAM - Forceware 260.89)
  • ATI Radeon HD 4890 Reference Design (850 MHz GPU/975 MHz vRAM - ATI Catalyst Driver 10.9a)
  • ASUS GeForce GTX 285 ENGTX285 TOP (670 MHz GPU/1550 MHz Shader/1330 MHz vRAM - Forceware 260.89)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5770 Reference Design (850 MHz GPU/1200 MHz vRAM - ATI Catalyst Driver 10.9a)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 768MB (675 MHz GPU/1350 MHz Shader/900 MHz vRAM - Forceware 260.89)
  • AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB (775 MHz GPU/1000 MHz vRAM - AMD Catalyst Driver 10.9a)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5830 Reference Design (800 MHz GPU/1000 MHz vRAM - AMD Catalyst Driver 10.9a)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1GB (675 MHz GPU/1350 MHz Shader/900 MHz vRAM - Forceware 260.89)
  • AMD Radeon HD 6870 1GB (900 MHz GPU/1050 MHz vRAM - AMD Catalyst Driver 10.9a)
  • EVGA GeForce GTX 460 FTW 01G-P3-1377-TR (850 MHz GPU/1700 MHz Shader/1000 MHz vRAM - Forceware 260.89)
  • ATI Radeon HD 5850 Reference Design (725 MHz GPU/1000MHz vRAM - AMD Catalyst Driver 10.9a)



 

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?
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# 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.
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# 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.
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# Typo fixedOlin Coles 2010-10-23 17:33
Fixed! Thank you for pointing that out.
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# 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.
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# typoDavid 2010-10-25 06:31
2.1 on 2.0 should read 2.1 only 2.0
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# 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!
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# 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.
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# 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
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# finesweatshopking 2010-10-25 08:51
should be able to play pretty much anything on high, at that resolution.
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# RE: RE: 5830Olin Coles 2010-10-25 10:23
At that resolution, it should nearly match the 1680x1050 results I produced in this review.
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# RE: RE: RE: 5830David 2010-10-25 10:46
Thanks :D thats great news!
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# 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
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# RE: rmaOlin Coles 2010-10-25 07:37
That's good news. I've updated the test summary sections with 5830 performance results.
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# 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.
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# 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
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# 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.
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# EVGApero 2010-11-12 23:09
How can the EVGA GTX460 be so much better than a normal one?
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# 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.
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# 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?
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# 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.
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# 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.
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# 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.
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# RE: AMD Radeon HD 6850 Barts Video CardEthan 2011-11-24 20:29
also, how much power does it need to run crossfire?
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# 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.
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# 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
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# 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.
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