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Written by David Ramsey   
Tuesday, 05 July 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
PowerColor Radeon AX6850 SCS3
Closer Look: PowerColor SCS3 HD6850
AX6850 1GBD5-S3DH Detailed Features
Features and Specifications
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Crysis Warhead
DX11: 3DMark 11
DX11: Aliens vs. Predator
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.5
DX11: Battlefield Bad Company 2
SCS3 HD6850 Temperatures
AX6850 1GBD5-S3DH Overclocking
PowerColor Radeon HD6850 SCS3 Final Thoughts
AX6850 1GBD5-S3DH Conclusion

DX11: 3DMark 11

FutureMark 3DMark11 is the latest addition the 3DMark benchmark series built by FutureMark Corporation. 3DMark11 is a PC benchmark suite designed to test the DirectX-11 graphics card performance without vendor preference. Although 3DMark11 includes the unbiased Bullet Open Source Physics Library instead of NVIDIA PhysX for the CPU/Physics tests, Benchmark Reviews concentrates on the four graphics-only tests in 3DMark11 and uses them with medium-level 'Performance' presets.

The 'Performance' level setting applies 1x multi-sample anti-aliasing and trilinear texture filtering to a 1280x720p resolution. The tessellation detail, when called upon by a test, is preset to level 5, with a maximum tessellation factor of 10. The shadow map size is limited to 5 and the shadow cascade count is set to 4, while the surface shadow sample count is at the maximum value of 16. Ambient occlusion is enabled, and preset to a quality level of 5.

3DMark 11's four graphics tests take the user through two underwater and two jungle scenarios. The underwater scenes (GT1 and GT2) do not use tessellation, but the jungle scenes (GT3 and GT4) do.

3dmark11.png

AMD's DirectX11 muscle jumps to the fore here, with the overclocked PowerColor Radeon HD6850 SCS3 turning in scores virtually identical to the NVIDIA GTX570. Even the previous-generation HD5870 does really well here.

3dmark11_2.png

The PowerColor Radeon HD6850 SCS3 continues to do well in the GT3 and GT4 tests.

Graphics Card Radeon HD5770 Radeon HD6850 SCS3 Radeon HD6850 SCS3 OC Radeon HD6950 Radeon HD5870 NVIDIA GTX560Ti NVIDIA GTX570
GPU Cores 800 960 960 1408 1600 384 480
Core Clock (MHz) 850 775 990 850 875 822 732
Shader Clock (MHz) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1645 1464
Memory Clock (MHz) 1200 1000 1150 1300 1250 1050 1900
Memory Amount 1024MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 2048MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1280MB GDDR5
Memory Interface 128-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 320-bit



 

Comments 

 
# RE: PowerColor Radeon AX6850 SCS3Mack 2011-07-06 19:41
Really nice review. I think I would really like this card if the unit did not eat up 3 slots, and of course price wise, you said it all.
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# Great review choiceJeff 2011-07-10 23:29
I would never buy such a card but its always interesting to see what seem to be engineering exercises by vendors. There are GPUs with quiet fans out there (like my reference GTX 460) so "silent" cards really aren't needed, but they're fun to read about.

Oh, and I'm one of the "disturbing" people who still us XP. Almost all my games are DX9 (amazing how many there are - especially RPGs) and it does exactly what I need it to.
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# RE: Great review choiceDavid Ramsey 2011-07-11 07:43
With XP, you're not only subject to memory limitations (SLI wouldn't really work for you, for example), but are much kore vulnerable to viruses and malware. But if it works for you...
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# RE: Great review choicekater 2011-07-27 05:24
Also, no SSD with TRIM for you :P And SSD w/o TRIM is basically pointless. But hey, to each his own :)
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# Great Review - But that price?Christopher Fields 2011-07-11 09:27
I looked on NewEgg this morning and found this card for $204.99 / ##newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131442

Just thought I would drop the news for those interested in buying it from somewhere else other than "Sears", lol. Since when did Sears get into the PC Parts market?
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# RE: Great Review - But that price?Olin Coles 2011-07-11 09:44
Thank you for sharing, but the Newegg price was already linked in the first/last page of this review.
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# Great shot!Zodar 2011-07-17 06:45
I was searching exactly for this card!
I use my PC (tower case) for games but also as media player with a beamer.
Since my PC is very close to my ears during "movie-watching sessions"... to keep noise low is very important.
Currently I am using a hd 4850 with Accelero s1 rev.2, but looking for a performance increase I was disapponted in seeing that I should had bought a card and a new separated special heatsink...

So... This SCS3 for me is exceptional! It fits all my needs. Just bought! It should arrive in 5-6 days...
;)
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# RE: Great shot!David Ramsey 2011-07-17 10:51
Glad the reviewvwas useful for you! Let us know how you like it.
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# Nice Card!Zodar 2011-07-27 13:12
I tried this card not so much (I just became father... ;) ) but I like it. I put an enermax Cluster UCCL 120mm fan close to the heatsink to be sure that it will not overheat (I have a Cooler Master case, sileo 500, without side panel fan).
I have to say that the card doen't seem to need the additional fan (my case is however well vented), but as I said, I trid it not so much.
In my case, upgrading from 4850, the performance improvement is impressive (with Crysis 2 now I use Umtra settings, after downloaded hi-res texture and patch for dx11)!
And no noise at all when I watch movies (I have scythe kaze master as reobus for fan controlling and if I don't use the card for gaming, the even -really- ultra silent "magnetic bearing" fan is off).
So, in my opinion, if you search for noiseless card with high performance it is competitive with standard 6850 equipped with third part heatsinks and, for sure, with higher reliability.
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# Good reviewDaniel 2011-11-14 09:08
Thanks for this review. It helped me decide!
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# RE: PowerColor Radeon AX6850 SCS3Fiend 2012-01-30 02:55
Very nice review, thank you.
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