Mid-range cards take on snow and fire in Skyrim

Subject: Graphics Cards | November 25, 2011 - 12:55 PM |
Tagged: sky, elder scrolls V, gtx 460, hd6850, GTX 560, hd6870, GTX 560 Ti, hd6950

The Tech Report, who hasn't been having a problem with Skyrim on their i5-750 system, tried out six mid-range cards to determine the best settings to provide decent performance.  Following their new practice they do not measure frame rate but rather frame time, to find a level of performance where the frames are drawn in a consistent manner instead of varying from 100ms for one frame to 5ms for the next.  Take a look and see how well these mid-range cards can manage the latest Elder Scrolls game.

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"We've followed up our look at Battlefield 3 performance with a similar comparison of mid-range graphics cards in The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim."

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Powercolor's passively cooled and pricey HD6850 SCS3

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 12, 2011 - 02:19 PM |
Tagged: powercolor, passive cooling, hd6850

Powercolor's SCS3 HD6850 1GB GDDR5 graphics card is an odd beast, neither fish nor fowl but a strange hybrid of the two.  To passively cool an HD6850 you need a lot of metal, about 4 slots worth in fact, which makes it all but impossible to use this card in an HTPC or other SFF system.  That size also makes it rather hard to set up in Crossfire system and for extreme performance you need to think about adding a fan in close proximity if not attached to the heatsink, which makes paying the extra money for this card a poor decision.  That said, Benchmark Reviews saw good performance and even managed a respectable overclock with this card, though even with good airflow through their case they saw troubling temperatures on occasion.  Even if you can't picture yourself picking up the card it is worth clicking through just to see the heatsink.

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"PowerColor's a familiar name to the AMD Radeon community. If they don't offer the widest variety of variations on AMD's reference designs, I don't know who does! They have no fewer than eight different versions of AMD's Radeon HD6850 card, ranging from factory-overclocked "PCS+" variants to a single-slot-cooler version to the one Benchmark Reviews is looking at today: the passively-cooled PowerColor SCS3 HD6850 1GB GDDR5. This card uses a massive fan-less heat sink to offer the performance of an HD6850 without any noise at all, and is certainly one of the highest-performing graphics cards I've ever seen with a passive cooler. Will this really work? How far will it overclock? Let's take a look."

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MSI's Cyclonicly powerful HD6850

Subject: Graphics Cards | June 28, 2011 - 05:41 PM |
Tagged: msi, cyclone, factory overclocked, hd6850

While here at PC Perspective we have been busy with Hawks and Lightning, OCIA went for a Cyclone.  The particular whirlwind in this case being the MSI R6850 Cyclone PE/OC, which as the name implies sports a custom cooling solution and a factory overclock.  The custom cooler really makes this card stand out, instead of the full shroud we are used to seeing there is a 90mm PWM-controlled 9-blade fan with the card its self being fully exposed.  The overclock, 85 MHz on the GPU taking it to 860MHz and the memory bumped 100MHz to 1.1GHz, 4.4GHz effective, which OCIA made even more impressive by overvolting the card with MSI's Afterburner software.  To MSI's credit, the card is priced similarly to other HD6850s unlike many other factory overclocked cards which carry a premium price tag.  If you have less than $200 to spend on a GPU, this card might be for you.

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"Discrete computer graphics are one of the toughest markets to keep current with. New graphics cores are released on a pretty frequent basis from both ATI and NVIDIA and with naming schemes that change nearly as often, it can be difficult to determine where each card stands in relation to others in the same price range. Today we will be taking a look at the MSI R6850 PE / OC graphics card, a mid-range GPU that was launched at the end of last year. Codenamed Barts, this GPU is built on a 40nm process with support for DirectX 11 & Open GL 4.0. Other notable features include HDMI 1.4a & DisplayPort 1.2 support as well as AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology and CrossfireX support."

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