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Written by Olin Coles   
Monday, 25 October 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Sapphire 100315L Radeon HD 6850 Video Card
Sapphire 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
Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 Conclusion

Sapphire 6850 Closer Look

The Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 (model 100315L) comes equipped with 960 shader cores clocked to 775 MHz, and 1GB of GDDR5 dialed up to 1000 MHz. Sapphire has made a few changes to their design that separate this Sapphire 11180-00-40R SKU from the other reference AMD designs.

Sapphire-Radeon-HD-6850-Video-Card-Corner.jpg

While the AMD reference design allows for two digital mini-DVI ports, Sapphire incorporates only one of them in full-size form on their Radeon HD 6850. Doing so also returns dual-link DVI support to both ports, enabling AMD HD3D technology on either interface. AMD's HD3D technology currently supports only one 3D display, with plans for multi-monitor 3D available in future products.

Sapphire-Radeon-HD-6850-Video-Card-Top.jpg

The Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 measures 9.0" inches long, by 1.25" tall and 3.75" wide. This is slightly shorter than the Radeon HD 5850 model, which also occupied two expansion bay slots. For reference, the Radeon HD 6870 measures 9.75" inches long, by 1.25" tall and 3.75" wide.

Sapphire-Radeon-HD-6850-Video-Card-Front.jpg

Sapphire's Radeon HD 6850 uses a custom cooling solution, which forces most of the heated air out through the rear of the video card shroud. In my opinion, AMD's reference cooling solution was the most ideal choice. That design allows the cooling fan to externally exhaust heated air outside of the computer case, which improves stability on overclocked systems dependant of controlled temperatures. We'll see if Sapphire's custom solution improves over the performance on AMD's reference design in our overclocking and temperature section.

Sapphire-Radeon-HD-6850-Video-Card-Rear.jpg

The Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 video card requires only a single 6-pin PCI-Express power connection for full operation. AMD suggests that the TDP power demands are less than 127 watts for the Barts GPU, which we'll confirm in our power consumption section.

Sapphire-Radeon-HD-6850-Video-Card-PCB.jpg

Sapphire's exposed printed circuit board on the Radeon HD 6850 looks very Spartan, as a result of having all power and memory components located at the GPU side of the PCB.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: Sapphire 100315L Radeon HD 6850 Video CardJosh 2011-10-26 16:56
How is exhausting all heated air outside of the case a CON? This is a PRO if anything! I'm lost now.. Otherwise a pretty decent review. Thanks!
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# RE: RE: Sapphire 100315L Radeon HD 6850 Video CardOlin Coles 2011-10-26 17:09
Nearly everyone agrees that hot air does not belong inside the computer case, heating up the processor and other components. We want the video card to exhaust the hot air outside the case, so everything stays cool and lasts longer.
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# RE: Sapphire 100315L Radeon HD 6850 Video CardJosh 2011-10-26 18:04
"Cons:

- Fan exhausts all heated air outside of case"

It says - OUTSIDE of case.. that's why I was confused.

If this "We want the video card to exhaust the hot air outside the case, so everything stays cool and lasts longer." is the case, then why is it listed as con that's all...

I too, as an avid overclocker, agree and understand that hot air does not belong in the case, thank you.
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# RE: RE: Sapphire 100315L Radeon HD 6850 Video CardOlin Coles 2011-10-26 18:45
Exactly one year later, and I'm making a typo correction. It now reads "Con - Fan exhausts all heated air back inside case"
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# RE: Sapphire 100315L Radeon HD 6850 Video CardJosh 2011-10-26 18:49
Lol... still relevant, lots of people are still purchasing this card, including myself - two of them in crossfire can keep up with a 580 - and for less money and less wattage.

Thanks for the review and the clarification on the cons!

Hopefully my going overkill with case fans will help to negate this issue..
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