Introducing AMD’s new HD 6870 and HD 6850 vs. GTX 460

24 Responses

  1. Tamlin says:

    Finally up! :)

    Nice review Apoppin and I think the review with most games tested! Looking forward to BFG’s image quality follow-up.

    Would have wanted a bit more about noise (especially compared to the 5870 PCS+ you reviewed), but can’t have it all.

    On a sidenote: It says Galaxy GTX 480 SOC on conclusion page. Probably a template leftover. You probably want to remove that. :)

  2. apoppin says:

    Thank-you! Believe it or not, there are still two charts to go up and a little bit about noise and power usage.

    We got GTX 460-768M on Thursday; the morning the review was due to go up, so there was a lot of new testing. To top it off we had issues with our CMS for about 15 hours when no articles could be written nor posted to it.

    I am just glad to be able to review these cool new cards that are going to make graphics cards a bit more affordable to us. There will be many follow up articles.

  3. Arkadrel says:

    Can I ask why you use GTX 460 (OC) in the start, but lateron drop the (OC) part in the benches? I assume its still the same superclocked EVGA card your useing. But it does lead to misleading info for people that just happend upon your review and only looked at a few benchs and might have missed the (oc) part because it wasnt in the name.

    Howcome in some tests where the readons seem to do well, you only have the 6850 benchs shown but not the 6870 that would then be even better compaired to the nvidia cards?

    How come you dont use any stock 460 1gb, and stock 460 7xx mb versions? only the overclocked ones?

    Also why dont you give more volts to the readons to overclock them more? I assume the 460’s that are super overclocked dont use the standart amount of volts the stock 460s do.

    Overall your review smell abit of favorisme to nvidia.

    When I come here, its normally to read about image quality and such… wish there was some of that here with the new features to show if they work and how well.

  4. apoppin says:

    The GTX 460 is always “OC” when it is overclocked; if it is not labeled, it is the stock-clocked card.

    My sole criteria for testing HD 6850 is generally at 1920×1200 and below. It does not do well at many games at 2560×1600 and I did not include the GTX 460-768 at that high of a resolution neither.

    I do not see any favoritism to Nvidia. I am very impressed with the HD 6870 and HD 6850. AMD have brought much more value to the $200 price range and they have forced Nvidia to instantly respond by dropping prices – even on their GTX 470, benefiting all of us.

    Look very carefully at the testing bench. ALL of the GTX 460s – 768MB and 1GB versions – are benched at their stock clocks
    – the overclocked GTXes are included as an “extra” – just as the overclocked Radeons are. 100% fair!

  5. Arkadrel says:

    arrghh just me getting confused… with the 460, and the 460-OC, and that in some setups all the cards arnt there and such.

    You should try to volt mod a 6850 :)
    I saw a dude give it 1.5 volts and reach 1200mhz GPU cure and about 1200 mem too. (granted he soldered a resistor onto the pcb to get it)

    arnt there programs you can use to do it via software?
    like msi afterburner? to see if you cant overclock it more once you give it a few volt extra.

  6. apoppin says:


    You need to realize that the reviewers only had ONE WEEK from receiving the card to publication. And even the GeForce drivers were brand new which means that we couldn’t even prepare for the review; same thing with benching HD 5870; I had to wait for Catalyst 10-10.

    And then there is so much to explore and to talk about one has to limit the initial review to a rather narrow scope which is why it is important to read many reviews if you are considering one of these new cards.

    Frankly, I believe that this is one of the most exciting launches in a long time (and especially considering what is coming – Cayman and Nvidia’s response). If my article lacked that enthusiasm it is solely due to exhaustion. I am certain that I spent over 100 hours over 7 days evaluating these cards and writing about them; which I totally enjoyed.

    And we are not finished. I have a major review due this week that will cover CPU scaling and HD 5870 CrossFire – including Core i7 vs Phenom II 955 X4 (from 2.6 to 3.6 GHz and Dual- vs Quad-core). After that, I will work on HD 68×0 CrossFire and trying to get a real overclock with some voltage increase.

  7. fayumot says:

    There seems to be a typo on the overclocking page wherein in the table it says 6850 OC is 900/1100 but below you described it as 5850. There is also a discrepancy with the 6870 OC numbers on the table and on the description below.

    Other than that a very nice review!! Thats a whole load of games you got there. Anyway looking forward to your image quality review

  8. apoppin says:

    Thank-you. I think that I got all of the typos. And I added a few CrossFire-X (HD 6870 + HD 6850) benchmark results to the still unfinished power section.

  9. Matrixfan says:

    Simply astonishing review! Looking forward to CPU Scaling! ABT’s articles always seem more honest than some of the more “corporate” review sites.

  10. hansmuff says:

    Typo on page 27: “Our HD 5850 overclocked like a champion” should probably be the 6850.

    Wonderful article. In case you guys are open to requests, I’d love to see StarCraft 2 added to the review roster.

  11. apoppin says:

    Thank-you Matrixfan and hansmuff !

    I think that I got most of the typos now. I did not realize that I wrote over 11,500 words on this launch (!)

    It takes me awhile to add a game as a benchmark and I usually have to play the game first or else it is hard to relate the benchmark to gameplay. I was (sadly) never into StarCraft and it may be awhile for I play SC2.

    Thank-you for your suggestions. We aim to please.

  12. I always appreciate a good ABT review. Your opinions on the practical uses of gaming hardware (bottlenecks, etc) are more accurate than most other review sites.

    However, I am also disappointed that you don’t review Starcraft 2. Not only is it immensely popular, but it’s also an excellent option for variety. Is there any way a reader might assist you in producing SC2 benchmarks?

  13. apoppin says:

    Thanks, Jeremy Johnson!

    Someday, I may add StarCraft 2 to my reviews. At this moment, I am adding a few other games to my benches.

    If you would like to assist us in producing SC2 benches, we might be able to organize a project together on our forum where our readers help supply the benchmarks.

  14. sasti says:


    well you used some interesting presentation slides from ATI in your review. I would be really happy when you could tell me where you found these.

  15. apoppin says:

    The slides came from AMD.

  16. sasti says:

    Well OK AMD. But where can i find them? Probably on there developer site. Mayby I`m blind or something, but I don`t found the slides. Could you post a link?

  17. apoppin says:

    I don’t think AMD has yet made them public on their own site. HardOCP posted quite a few of the slides in their HD 68×0 launch review.

  18. Bo_Fox says:

    Awesome, just awesome. I gotta read it again!

  19. Bo_Fox says:

    What’s up with the silly avatars, LOL?!

  20. Bo_Fox says:

    Never mind.. it’s just that I didn’t like my own avatar assigned to me by fate! lol..

  21. apoppin says:

    I think it is random. If more readers complain, I will ask our web master to fix it. I am not so thrilled about my avatar. 😛

  22. Corrector! says:

    Please recheck the review! Lots and lots of typo error! And i mean a serious kind of typo error!

  23. apoppin says:

    You’re no help.

  24. Markus Sempertegui says:

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