|AMD Radeon HD 6870 Barts Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Friday, 22 October 2010|
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Radeon HD 6870 Closer Look
From the neck down, AMDs Radeon HD 6870 video card looks very similar to the previous generation of 5800-series products. In fact, the only discernable difference appears on the connection header panel, which adds an additional DisplayPort monitor output (if a vendor implements this feature) and the closed rear section.
While there are still two digital DVI ports available, only one of them is dual-link to support AMD HD3D while the other is reduced to single-link. AMD's HD3D technology currently supports only one 3D display, with plans for multi-monitor 3D available in future products.
The Radeon HD 6870 measures 9.75" inches long, by 1.25" tall and 3.75" wide. This is slightly longer than the Radeon HD 5850 model, which also occupied two expansion bay slots, but 1.25" shorter than the Radeon HD 5870. For reference, the Radeon HD 6850 measures 9.0" inches long, by 1.25" tall and 3.75" wide.
One particular item I've been hoping for and have failed to discover, is a focused fan orientation. This design slightly angles the blower fan to improve the forward force of air and creates a small separation between adjacent video cards. CrossFire configurations could benefit by such a design, as the competition has done to tame their much warmer products for several generations now.
Similarly, the Radeon HD 6870 requires two 6-pin PCI-Express power connections. AMD suggests that the TDP power demands are less than 151 watts for the Barts GPU.
One obvious difference between the 5800-series and the Radeon HD 6870 is the lack of intake vents from beside the blower fan. Some readers might recall the 'Bat mobile' appearance of the last generation, which has been replaced with a less-exciting look.