|VisionTek 900338 Radeon HD 6870 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Saturday, 30 October 2010|
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VisionTek 6870 Closer Look
The VisionTek 900338 Radeon HD 6870 video card is very similar to the reference design by AMD. In fact, it could be argued that VisionTek's design is even more basic and subdued than the original reference. This translates into a more-affordable sales price, but at the expense of a rather dull looking product.
AMD's Radeon HD 6800-series video cards already look very similar to the previous generation of 5800-series products. In fact, the only discernable difference appears on the connection header panel, which can add an additional DisplayPort monitor output (if the vendor implements this feature), and the closed rear section. VisionTek implements dual mini-DisplayPort 1.2 outputs on their 6870, unlike the Sapphire version we recently tested which used a single DP connection.
While there are still two digital DVI ports available on the VisionTek Radeon HD 6870, 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 the future.
Identical to the reference design, VisionTek's 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 on the 6000-series is a focused blower fan orientation. This design angles the blower fan slightly downward 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.
The VisionTek Radeon HD 6870 requires two 6-pin PCI-Express power connections for normal operation. AMD suggests that the TDP power demands are less than 151 watts for the Barts GPU, but we confirm this with our own power testing (discussed later in this article).
As a result of using AMD's reference design, the VisionTek Radeon HD 6870 lack intake vents at the end of the video card behind the blower fan. Some readers might recall the 'Bat mobile' appearance of the last generation, which has been replaced with a less-exciting look. Additionally, there's a small outlet (shown above) which allows a small portion of the heated exhaust to be expelled back inside the computer case.