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Written by Servando Silva   
Tuesday, 18 January 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
GIGABYTE Radeon HD 6850 GV-R685OC-1GD
AMD Radeon HD 6850 GPU Features
Closer Look: GIGABYTE Radeon HD 6850
GIGABYTE HD 6850 Detailed Features
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Crysis Warhead
DX11: Aliens vs. Predator
DX10: Just Cause 2
DX11: Lost Planet 2
DX11: Metro 2033
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.1
Overclocking
VGA Power Consumption
AMD Radeon HD 6850 Final Thoughts
GIGABYTE HD 6850 Conclusion

Closer Look: GIGABYTE Radeon HD 6850

As usual, GIGABYTE packages its GPUs in a quiet nice box. Any technologies, features and bundles are displayed on the frontal and back side of the package. There's a big sticker claiming a 3 years warranty, and they show you their new windforce 2x heatsink design along with GV-R6850C-1GD overclocked speeds against reference clocks.

GV_R685OC1GD_Box.jpg

GIGABYTE GV-R685OC-1GD completely gets out of AMD's reference design. With their newest Windforce cooler and its anti-turbulence design, they included a massive heatsink for this GPU, paired with 2x80mm fans instead of the commonly used (but still efficient enough) single fan. The GV-R685OC-1GD promises to be one hell of a quiet card, while delivering superb performance and low heat levels. Since this is an overclocked design, it also means we could try to add some extra volts and reach higher clocks with lower temperatures.

GV_R685OC1GD_Video_Card.jpg

With high-end video cards, the cooling system is an integral part of the performance envelope for the product. Make it run cooler, and you can make it run faster, has been the byword for achieving gaming-class performance with all recent GPUs. Even some midrange models have turned out to be supreme overclockers with enhanced cooling. Windforce anti-turbulence cooling uses specially selected fans with inclined fins and PWM support. Inclined-fins redirect airflow and help to reduce excessive heat and turbulence. Depending on its orientation, there are three types of inclined-fin designs: parallel-inclined, mirroring-inclined and 3D-inclined. Each type contributes to generating excellent exterior airflow for efficient heat dissipation from the interior GPU core. This specific GPU model includes the parallel-inclined design, which moves the air through one direction only, instead of pushing it directly into the PCB and spreading everything to all the available sides.

GV_R685OC1GD_Frontview.jpg

As it's usual, GIGABYTE uses a blue PCB design with high quality components to sustain their Ultra Durable VGA series. This card is powered by an AMD Radeon HD 6850 GPU, and it supports PCI-Express 2.1 as well as DX-11 AMD CrossfireX and Avivo HD technology.

GV_R685OC1GD_Backview.jpg

The heatsink is based on a vapor chamber cooling base and a pair of pure copper 6mm heat-pipes. In the next picture, we're able to see how the fans are somewhat inclined to blow the air directly to the PCI bracket instead of blowing all the air into the chassis as many other models do. This means you don't need a full-closed GPU heatsink to exhaust the air of your PC case, and improves system stability by avoiding heat to spread over the rest of your components.

GV_R685OC1GD_Heatpipes.jpg

A closer look reveals that the GPU heatsink is actually larger than the PCB itself. I think this isn't necessary, but who knows. Anyway, under this heatsink cover there's the 6-pin PCI-e PSU connector, which has enough open space around to be manipulated even in small-room conditions (mini-ITX builds for example).

GV_R685OC1GD_PCI-e_Connector.jpg

There's one different thing from AMD's reference design to the GV-R685OC-1GD. GIGABYTE includes a pair of dual link DVI ports, one HDMI port and a full size DisplayPort connector. However, AMD's reference design initially included a pair of mini-display port connectors instead of a single full-sized one. Anyway, you're still able to connect 3 displays in this card using their newest DP adapter which fully utilizes bandwidth to connect 3 monitors on it and enable Eyefinity.

GV_R685OC1GD_Connectors.jpg

In the next section, let's take a more detailed look at some of the new components on this reference board. I did a full tear-down, so we could see everything there is to see...



 

Comments 

 
# Uhh what?Cody 2011-01-20 22:07
I'm an owner of the 775 model version, I have the card running stable at 950 Core clock / 1200 Memory with the standard voltage. Bumping the voltage to 1200 in Trixx results in a stable 1000 GPU core clock. You need to update Trixx to the latest version.

##hardwarecanucks.com/forum/overclocking-tweaking-benchmarking/39957-gigabyte-6850-3-decent-ocr-seems.html
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# RE: Uhh what?Servando Silva 2011-01-20 22:31
I used the latest version of TriXX, it just wouldn't go above 860-870MHz (Core) without getting artifacts. Anyway, you've got the non-OC version with different ICs, which is one of my key-points in my article.
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# RE: GIGABYTE Radeon HD 6850 GV-R685OC-1GDCody 2011-01-21 08:26
I have experience with the OC version as well, it can hit 1GHz @ 1250 (Voltage setting in Trixx) and run stable however it runs a bit hot after a while in Furmark. Currently I have his OC'd to 950 / 1150 without artifacts at the stock voltage with the fan speed at 1175.

Perhaps you just got unlucky?. Either way I liked your review.
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# RE: RE: GIGABYTE Radeon HD 6850 GV-R685OC-1GDServando Silva 2011-01-21 11:10
Really? Everywhere I read about a person getting the OC version just complains about not supporting voltage changes and trying to change it for the non-OC version. There are some threads at Xtreme Systems about volt-modding as that's the only way to do it. Just to add, you're using TriXX 3.0.2 BETA, right? That's the latest version announced at Sapphire's homepage.
Glad you liked the review.
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# RE: RE: RE: GIGABYTE Radeon HD 6850 GV-R685OC-1GDCody 2011-01-21 18:51
Yes 3.0.2, the slider just slides over. I was at my buddies house looking at the card to make sure it was the OC version and it allowed the voltage to be modified. He however bought it Openbox (which I didn't know) so perhaps the person who sold it to him already unlocked the voltage.

That or maybe it's not actually adjusting the voltage.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: GIGABYTE Radeon HD 6850 GV-R685OC-1GDServando Silva 2011-01-21 21:41
It's not that the voltage is locked, problem is that this specific version includes a different GPU Core voltage controller, which has no software support (yet), not even with TriXX or MSI AF. Since the controller they used isn't very common, I doubt we'll see something avalable soon.

Anyway, if you can re-check and try to modify voltage, that would be great, because that could mean GIGABYTE is making a different version (revision) with another GPU controller.

Thanks.
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# black screen no signal !Agassizi 2011-01-30 15:36
Unfortunatelly is a lot os problems with this (GigabyteHD6850)vide ocards.There ara many users who reported when he playing games after a short period of time the monitor instantly turn off and apear the NO SIGNAL labell, and nothings help just a restart.Can I ask which BIOS version are you used when you make this rewiew? Because in the last 3 months arived 3 BIOS versions.The last BIOS changed the card specification. IDLE 40% cooler, and the GPU RAM ferequency was modyfied to 775/1005.(the original was 25%cooler speed and 775/1000.
Another strange thing, the factory original bios set the coolers to run at 73% and ofcourse the sound level was realy anoying.
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# RE: black screen no signal !Servando Silva 2011-01-30 18:54
I didn't have any of the problems mentioned. I used the BIOS shipped with this sample, which is displayed at the testing methodology section. Another thing is that this is the OCed version, which means it's got 820 MHz/ 1050MHz instead of 775MHz.
GIGABYTE doesn't display any BIOS update for this model, but I've checked and there's a BIOS update for the non-OC model.
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# BS no signal errorAgassizi 2011-01-31 10:29
Hi,
Yes on the Gigabyte webpage ,is a new BIOS for "basic" Gigabyte HD 6850 cards (775/1000).This arrived at 14 january 2011 .As I mentioned in my previous post the Vram clock and the cooler speed was changed (Vram from 1000 to 1005 and cooler from 25% to 40%).Unfortunatelly doesent solve the black screen problems for everybody.Some users reported the BS with this bios version to.
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# RE: BS no signal errorServando Silva 2011-01-31 21:09
I'm sorry to hear that.
Well, I'm still using this little puppy and it's not giving me any problems. Could you tell us what are the conditions or signals before going to black screen? Perhaps I could try.
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# RE: GIGABYTE Radeon HD 6850 GV-R685OC-1GDAgassizi 2011-02-01 05:46
win 7 64bit genuine, PSU enermax 600W 87+,HD Gigabyte HD 6850 BIOS F3_B , Catalyst 10.12(but the new 11.1 give the same BS problem)
The problem I meet undert FarCry2 benchmark ultra high settings full hd dirX10, Crysis- paradise lost level ,GTA4 and NFSShift
(all games full HD aa8x vsync on)
The GPU temperature never exceed 68C.
Far Cry2 bench ~ 55C , Crysis 67 C, GTA IV 68C.The RAM temperature I dont know because I dont know any software which can mesure this.There is some rummors which say the memory are faulty , but I dont want comment this because until today I dont see any official evidence as the Hynix memory cause this problem.
I check my card temperRATURE with ccc OVERDRIVE, aida64 and MSI AFTERBURNER all programs show me the same temperature so resulting the heat level is ok.
The F3_C bios fom 14 january seems to resolve the BS problem to me but I am not calm at all because I know a couple of users which card
is faulty with this BIOS version to.I atach a couple of videos what I find to youtube.My system (and my buddys sitem ) behaviour is 100% the same.
None of us overclocked her card! every card working on factory clocked level 775/1000 1,5 V.
Many serbian, hungarian, romanian (but not only this country) forums is full with users who have exact the same problem.Most error was reported with have
gigabyte cards , but is other vendors card which have this BS NO Signal problem too. Asus,Saphire,MSI ,etc

I will atach a couple of youtube videos to see what I takling about

##youtube.com/watch?v=r53or6LNwBc&feature=player_embedded

##youtube.com/watch?v=cRUWC15lsQQ

##youtube.com/watch?v=ilD2649KNF8
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# Gigabyte BS No signal errorAgassizi 2011-02-01 06:09
I forgot to tell one thing, last year in november -december when the it was not aviable the F3C(fixed?) Bios on the Gigabyte page , a couple of users trying different "tricks? and a couple of person report , if downclock her cards memoryclock at 900 the problem disapear.( 775/900 )MHZ)_. Anyway in my opinion this is not a correct sollution.NObody spending her money to be forced to downclocked her card.

Here is the link with the new BIOS.If somebody have the same problem he can try it maybe will help but not 100%.And once again! the cooler rotaion will become 40% (original os 25%)and the memory frequencies will rising from 1000 to 1005 Mhz.This BIOS is only for GV-R685D5-1GD cards. I dont dont know why was necessary this modification but to be honest I like att all,especially after saw a couple of the same cards ,which working perfect with original BIOS(775/1000, 1,5V ) and doesent make Black screen error.

##gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3614#bios
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# BS + FREEZING HD 6850rdizzle 2011-02-16 08:33
I recently had the same issue with my HD 6850.
Mine has been OC'd to 950/1200 on stock voltages.
Ran OCCT for an hour with no errors detected.
Did a memtest for a whole night with no errors.

My problem is after playing CS:Source for more than an hour..my computer screen turns black and shows "No Signal" and at the same time my computer freezes and the sound just keeps repeating the last thing that was heard.

I can't do anything but do a hard reset..and now I notice when I boot up Windows there's an extra black screen with a messed up windows logo right before Windows actually loads up.

CS:Source FPS average around 299

Specs:
Intel i5 760
Motherboard: Sabertooth 55i
Graphics Card: Gigabyte HD6850
Memory: Ripjaws (2x4)8GB PC3-10666
Hard Drive: WD Black 1TB
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-S243D
Power Supply: Corsair TX750W
Display: Acer p244w 24" 1920 x 1080
Operating System: Win7 64bit
Speeds
CPU
Stock: 2.8
Memory
Stock: 1333
Memory - Timings
Stock: 9-9-9-24 1.5V
Graphics Card - Core
Stock: 775
Overclocked: 950
Graphics Card - Memory
Stock: 1000
Overclocked: 1200
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# Msi Afterburner beta 7rdizzle 2011-02-16 08:43
I also forgot to mention that I recently updated MSI Afterburner 2.1.0 beta 7 coming from beta 6...and I noticed this happening...
I might revert back to the old beta 6 later when I get home and do some more gaming to see if that fixes the problem...
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# Oc ratesPedro 2012-01-15 04:50
Hi Folks i've just installed my brand new HD 6850 GV-R685OC-1GD, and as per i upgraded from Sapphire 5570 1GB DDR3 to this new one i've already had the Catalyst Control Center installed. I just put the GPU and the driver was automatically installed by w7 and updated by Catlayst (i did not installed the Gigabyte installation CD)
On AMD software by checking the box to enable Graphics Over Drive:
Automatic OC options on AMD Vision Control Center are:
GPU range: from 600 to 985 (just drag the bar)
MeM range: from 1050 to 1260 (just drang the bar)

My question: can i safely drag to 958 and 1260? as they appear as option to me?
very good review by the way

Specs:
AMD Phenom II X4955 Black Edition (800-3800oc by AMD auto tune)
Motherboard: ECS A785GM-M
Graphics Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 6850 GV-R685OC-1GD
Memory: Ripjaws (4x4)16GB PC3-10666 Markvision 1333Mhz
Hard Drive: Samsung HD-322HJ
Optical Drive: LG GH22NS50
Power Supply: Akasa 600W (AK-P600G-SLAM)
Display: LG W2353V 23" 1920 x 1080
Operating System: Win7 64bit
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# RE: Oc ratesDavid Ramsey 2012-01-15 08:04
You can do it safely, as in "it won't physically damage your card". However, there's no guarantee the card will run with those settings: you could see visual artifacts, or the computer could lock up or crash.
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# RE: Oc ratesOlin Coles 2012-01-15 08:13
The Radeon HD 6850 is a good overclocking card, but the limit varies from card to card. I suggest finding the maximum GPU and Memory overclock (GPU is more important, and memory really doesn't/shouldn't be overclocked), then backing down 10MHz or more.
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# RE: Oc ratesTony 2013-02-05 10:43
i know this is a year late but ive gotten mine to 920/1200 with no problems on stock voltage with msi afturburner 2.3x with unoffical oc'ing enabled.
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