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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