Gigabyte Radeon HD 6870 review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 10/26/2010 01:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
Final words and conclusion
The Gigabyte R6870 in it's baseline performance is 100% similar to the reference products from our launch review. There's not a MHz different in-between the products. In fact the R6870 is merely the reference product with another sticker on. But that's not a bad thing as the 6870 all by itself is a really lovely product that offers performance and features at a decent price while keeping your power consumption, heat and noise levels well under control.
The improved feature set of course is grand with the new HD3D and UVD 3 update of the video processor. While capable the HD3D implementation we feel is a loss 3D gaming wise. Pretty much what AMD is doing is saying, "here's a hardware capable product ... and you guys do the rest". The complexity of finding the right TV/Monitor, glasses and then 3rd party software you need to buy is in our vision too complex for the generic end user without any guarantees that the 3D experience will work properly as it's not backed by AMD whatsoever. Time will tell though we think that the complexity of a 3rd party for a lot of end-users simply will be complicated, making them choose the competitions solution as that's a handy straight out of the box kit alright. But sure, with the introduction of HD3D and HDMI 1.4a AMD also brings 3D Stereoscopic features towards the new 6000 series graphics cards, which is a welcome addition of course, yet requires optimal monitors and shutter glasses. As stated we do not like the complexity of the 3D gaming side at all, but watching movies and pictures in 3D is an easy to accomplish task.
Architecture wise both products today merely are improved efficiency tweaks based of the last-gen architecture. There are no ground-breaking new designs aside from some feature updates. Price performance wise however you have noticed that the R6800 do offer a truckload of value for money.
The Radeon HD 6870 is a very interesting card. It does have a handful more shader processors over what we expected initially, and armed with a nice 900 MHz clock frequency this product simply makes really good sense. It will bring a lot of value to the table but also will allow you to play your games at 1920x1200 extremely well.
Pricing still needs to settle a little but in a few weeks expect to find the R6870 tagged at 200 EUR / 229 USD if volume availability cranks up a little. And when the product hits that price, then it'll be a gem of a card as the card, well the 6800 series, just oozes with pure value for money. I do hope to see some factory overclocked products, or custom cooled ones and well variety is the spice of life. As reference as this product really is, it is very good, very silent, doesn't run hot and comes with a good price tag. Two thumbs up, what's not to like ? The Gigabyte Radeon HD 6870 is a very much recommended product.
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