AMD released the Radeon HD 6850 and Radeon HD 6870 graphic cards ~ above October 22, 2010. Equipped with neu features and debuting weist £150-£200, this TekSpek examines what die two graphics cards mean kommen sie you, die consumer.

Du schaust: Amd radeon hd 6800 series daten

The Technology

Looking back bei recent history, AMD released the Radeon 5870 und HD 5850 in September 2009. These 2 performance-orientated graphics cards expense £300 and £200, respectively, hinweisen launch. A year later, both cards retail weil das roughly ns same money. This zu sein down to, till recently, a genuine lack of competition indigenous NVIDIA - AMD"s arch-rival - and a deteriorating exchange rate.

Now committed zu releasing neu families von discrete graphic cards on in almost-yearly basis, die Radeon HD 6800-series is the natural follower to the well-received HD 5800 range. AMD ist taking viel of what the learnt bei designing die Radeon HD 5870 and applying ns lessons kommen sie Radeon HD 6850/70, but it"s doing deshalb with a twist.

Both new Radeon cards are based on very similar architecture to the one-year-old Radeon HD 5850/70. Die interesting aspect zu sein that the neu GPUs space selling weil das significantly lower prices and, consequently, aren"t as powerful. This seems strange given the jump in the model-numbering system. Placing these words right into context, here"s a briefe table with the cards" key performance-defining specifications:

Graphics cardsATI Radeon HD 5870 1,024MBATI Radeon HD 5850 1,024MBATI Radeon HD 6870 1,024MBATI Radeon HD 6850 1,024MB
Die size334mm²334mm²255mm²255mm²
General clock850MHz725MHz900MHz775MHz
Shader clock850MHz725MHz900MHz775MHz
Memory clock 4,800MHz4,000MHz4,200MHz4,000MHz
Memory interface und size256-bit, 1,024MB, GDDR5256-bit, 1,024MB, GDDR5256-bit, 1,024MB, GDDR5256-bit, 1,024MB, GDDR5
Memory bandwidth153.6GB/s128GB/s134.4GB/s128GB/s
GFLOPS 2,7202,0882,0161,488
Texturing80ppc bilinear72ppc bilinear56ppc bilinear48ppc bilinear
Board power (max)188W151W151W127W
Multi-GPU Four-way XFireFour-way XFireTwo-way XFireTwo-way XFire
Board length11in9.5in9.5in9in
Outputs2x dual-link DVIHDMI, display Port2x dual-link DVIHDMI, display screen PortSL+DL DVIHDMI, 2x display PortSL+DL DVIHDMI, 2x screen Port
Retail price(Oct 2010)£295£215£175£150

One would certainly expect newer graphics card zu be more powerful than die ones lock replace, but this patently isn"t die case here. Compare ns Radeon HD 5870 against the HD 6870 and you see that it has a) much more memory bandwidth b) more shading power und c) more texturing power. This are ns key fundamentals that shape graphics-card performance. Ns same is more-or-less true when looking at Radeon HD 5850 vs. Radeon HD 6850.

AMD is deliberately presenting lower-cost Radeons this time around. They space cheaper kommen sie manufacture, consume much less power, and have a higher range des inputs than ns cards whose modell numbers they take on. Indeed, Radeon HD 6870 is 40 von cent cheaper than HD 5870, and the HD 6850 zu sein 45 per cent cheaper 보다 HD 5850.

Improvements end Radeon HD 5800-series

But AMD has a few tricks up that is sleeve to ensure than the neu Radeons perform much better than on-paper specifications suggest. Die Radeon HD 6850/70 oase significant improvements zu what ist known as the "tessellation engine". Bei simplistic layman"s state this ist a procedure that creates thorough graphics and lifelike modell without overburdening ns GPU. It"s a technique used von the DirectX 11 API und is included into some des the really latest games - people V und DiRT 2 space examples.


The neu Radeons" tessellation performance ist up kommen sie 2.5x much better than on previous generations, and, wie applicable, it help bridge die performance deficit that is shown an the table. AMD has deshalb improved bild quality an the Radeon HD 6850/70 through a better implementation von what is known as anisotropic filtering.

Multimedia improvements

Radeon HD 6850/70 deshalb see upgrades bei the multimedia department. This centre on improved connectivity und better videos processing.

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Radeon HD 5850/70 cards schutz a traditional array von ports that comprises of two dual-link DVI - good zum driving 30in monitors - HDMI and DisplayPort. This time around, HDMI is upgraded zu v1.4a, i beg your pardon means die HD 6850/70 room able zu support HDMI transfers of 3D Blu-ray zutat as well together super-high-resolution monitors and projectors.

There are now two mini-DisplayPort connectors on many cards. Upgraded kommen sie v1.2 des the specification, they kann sein each energie multiple DisplayPort-capable monitors zum up-to a six-monitor setup under AMD"s Eyefinity program. With ns plethora des digital choices available, AMD pinches pennies and reduces the lower DVI port kommen sie single-link specification. This way that it can"t drive ns 2,560x1,600 monitors that professional users may want zu use, back most modern-day screens capable von that resolution now ship with in HDMI port.

In short, die benefits von AMD"s new Radeons" connectivity choices easily outweighs die disadvantages. Graphics card do much more than just run games, however, und AMD acknowledges this über tacking what that terms ns Unified videobilien Decoder zu every GPU. That is job is to take die load des encoding und decoding video inhalt off die CPU. Radeon HD 5850/70 ship v UVD2. Now an UVD3 form, ns newest iteration gives hardware acceleration zum the multi-view codec used in Blu-ray 3D - dovetailing nicely with ns 3D-over-HDMI function - and support zum both DivX und vVid codecs.

Bear an mind the all quad-core desktop computer CPUs kann handle these operations there is no stalling, so UVD3 makes most sense in the cell phone Radeon parts.


Coming full circle und appreciating the improvements made über AMD, the performance von the £150 Radeon HD 6850 ist over 90 per cent of the £215 Radeon HD 5850"s, while die HD 6870 performs at roughly 90 über cent von the level exhibited by the year-old HD 5870. Factor in the prices und one kann see the the neu cards sell a better bang-for-the-buck v respect kommen sie performance und features.

Arch-rival NVIDIA"s response kommen sie the neu cards has been to reduce die price of its GeForce GTX 470 - the competitor kommen sie Radeon HD 6870 - by over 10 über cent, zu under £200. The same price-cutting has been in evidence weil das the wonderful GeForce GTX 460 1,024MB and 768MB cards. These now start at £140 and £115, respectively, and vie zum your money against ns Radeon HD 6850.

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Bottom line

The introduction of the Radeon HD 6850 und HD 6870 graphic cards hülle AMD bei a very solid position in the £150-£200 market. Capable in terms of architecture and equipped v lots von useful multimedia features.