|GIGABYTE Radeon HD 6850 GV-R685OC-1GD|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Servando Silva|
|Tuesday, 18 January 2011|
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AMD Radeon HD 6850 Final Thoughts
If there's something NVIDIA did well with their Fermi GPUs, it was the GF104, known as the NVIDIA GTX 460. This little $230 GPU overclocks like hell, and consumes less power than all the rest of the GTX 400 series. If there's something magic about that card, is that I could overclock it to insane frequencies reaching the performance of the GTX 470, and of course, it even blows the HD 6850 out of the table. While the HD 6870 can't be overclocked that far, the HD 6850 has the ability to reach high frequencies, and it certainly behaves similarly to the GTX 460, just without the steroids. That's why I consider the GV-R685OC-1GD an act of suicide for GIGABYTE, as they practically limited overclocking to stock voltage, and thus means it won't be able to compete with higher GPUs or the super-ultra-clocked GTX 460 Editions out there.
The worst thing is that we have a super GPU which lets you play almost the latest titles in the market and it performs really well because of the included windforce heatsink, and even that, you're not able to max it out. It's like having a super-overclocker CPU like the new Core i5 2600K and using it always at stock speeds. For me, that's what this model represents. However, I know many people won't care that much about overclocking, and some other will be happy to reach what it gives at stock voltage, so it's not a decisive thing.
Here's the real thing. What happens when GIGABYTE sells the non-OCed version of this same beatiful model with the same great GPU cooler and costs $10 less? Ah, and by the way, did I mention it fully supports GPU Voltage control? Well, that means you can save $10 and get more performance after doing some tests and tweaks. The HD 650 paired with this cooler shouldn't have problems to reach 900-950MHz. Heck; some other sites even passed the 1GHz barrier, which puts this little GPU back into the game competing with the GTX 460. At those frequencies, the HD 6850 should perform better than the HD 6870, so why not have the opportunity to do it if you already have a great cooler to keep it under your control?
Anyway, in the other hand you have a good GPU which performs well in every test, sometimes exceeding the GTX 460 and sometimes performing somewhat below. If you don't want to play the more demanding games (Crysis or Metro 2033) at full HD resolutions and AA/AF filters one, this GPU will satisfy you everywhere else. Let's move into the conclusions of the GV-R685OC-1GD Radeon Video Card.