AMD Radeon 6850 Performance Test
Let’s take a look at the specs of the cards I’ll be testing today:
In comparison to the 5770, the 6850 has almost 70% more transistors and over 50% more die size. It also has a lot more pixel fillrate and memory bandwidth, though texturing performance and shader performance are only slightly higher.
When compared to the GTX470, the nVidia card has over twice the die size and almost twice the transistors, but interestingly enough its specs aren’t very different. Pixel fillrate and texturing are actually slightly lower on the GTX470, while memory bandwidth is slightly higher. The 6850 also has a lot higher theoretical shader performance, courtesy of its vec5 design.
The card is relatively short and doesn’t overhang an ATX sized motherboard, given it’s about 3 cm from the edge when installed. The card is longer than the 5770 but is shorter than the GTX470.
Like the 5770, the card requires a single six-pin power connector which is connected to the front of the card. Said connector is much easier to install and remove compared to the 5770 because the area isn’t engulfed by a shroud. The GTX470 requires two six-pin connectors in comparison, clearly indicating a higher TDP.
The 6850 uses a dual-slot cooler which funnels the hot air out of the case, though a little escapes at the top of the card near the back-plate. In comparison to the GTX470, the 6850 is dead silent, and the difference is like night and day. Even when gaming on a really hot day I can barely hear it over my 800 rpm case fans, and only if I really strain to hear it.
Subjectively I’d even say it’s quieter than the 5770, which is a fantastic achievement given it’s still made on a 40 nm manufacturing process while having a bigger die size and transistor count. If you want a card for a quiet gaming machine, you will not be disappointed by a reference Radeon 6850.