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AMD Radeon HD 6870 and 6850 Review - Barts Architecture Refresh

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: AMD

AMD Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850 Reference Cards

Chances are you have already seen at least a few images of the new Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850 graphics cards floating around - but we have them in great detail today.
The Radeon HD 6870 1GB
The HD 6870 is noticeably heavier than the HD 5850 thanks to a hefty heatsink and a longer form factor.  The classy black/red color scheme remains and you can see the new "Radeon Graphics" logo; gone are the days of ATI.  

The HD 6870 using the full Barts GPU at 900 MHz requires a pair of 6-pin power connectors.   

One disappointing change to the HD 6800 series is that it only supports two card CrossFire configurations.  This won't be a big deal for the strong majority of gamers but I see no reason to REMOVE this feature that existed on the HD 5800 series of cards for over a year.    

The display output configuration is the same as we showed on the previous page: dual DVI outputs (one dual-link, the other single), HDMI 1.4a and a pair of mini-DisplayPort.    

The Batmobile styling is gone but the top of the reference designs is still sleek and sexy looking.    
The Radeon HD 6850 1GB


The 6850 is both shorter and lighter than its bigger brother as it requires much less cooling to get the job done.   


Only a single 6-pin power connection is required here in this configuration.  


The lame single CrossFire connection is the same as above....  


... as is the output configuration.    


Side-by-side you can see how much larger the HD 6870 is compared to the HD 6850.
Compared to the Radeon HD 5850, the new HD 6870 is still a bit longer, but not by much.


Finally, here we see the HD 6850 (top) and the HD 6870 revealed in all of their glory with the new 1.7 billion transistor Barts GPU revealed.  

May 31, 2011 | 12:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Interesting article, I will post about it on

September 2, 2011 | 05:18 AM - Posted by Jim (not verified)

Today's cards are about offering gamers more bang for the money and more performance per watt, and the prices of both 6870 and 6850 well within reach for most.
On top of that, the enhancements on both 6870 and 6850 have improved anisotropic filtering algorithm and also looked into issues which caused some visual anomalies in the past generation.

October 19, 2011 | 04:29 AM - Posted by simoniddings

Interesting comparison. Though it is quite obvious there is an improvement of performance for the new cards, it may not be the best time to upgrade. With the way technology is advancing, we can expect better models to come out annually. Save the money to purchase an even more powerful model next year. That is if your current rig is powerful enough to handle today;s graphics.
Simon -

December 1, 2011 | 10:51 PM - Posted by simoniddings

I have heard that Evergreen architecture and the corresponding graphics card are very good in performance.
There are so many IT tools and devices that people may like but with reviews of the IT tools can help a customer make better choices. They can also learn from the ratings given for the IT products. A printer is known to be a useful technology.
Simon -

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