HIS Radeon 6850 & 6870 review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 10/24/2010 01:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
Final words and conclusion
Before we start conclusion, over the weekend there has been some debate about initial batches of cards with 1120 shader processors instead of 960. Our results are based on the 960 Shader processor model.
HIS products have always been top notch, they are keen to address noise levels and pretty much ensure a pleasant user experience. The very same can be said for today's products. Though the bundle is a little skinny, the products themselves offer good value if the suggested launch prices will indeed be right.
Both the R6850 and R6870 in baseline performance are 100% similar to the two 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.
To be honest we also expected a reference 6850 from HIS, but they decided to flip things around, we spot a custom blue colored and rearranged PCB and a completely different cooler. Now the truth is... this design does not offer much more of an advantage over the reference products, but it was quiet and overall 4-5 degrees C cooler in both IDLE and LOAD GPU states. It also overclocks a notch better, especially the memory seems to be key here. So yeah, we like it alright.
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 eyes 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 solution for a lot of end-users will simply be too complicated, making them choose the competition's 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 to 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.
On the architecture side of things both products today merely are improved tweaks based on the last-gen architecture. There are no ground-breaking new designs aside from some feature updates. Price performance wise however you will have noticed that the R6800 cards do offer a truckload of value for money.
The Radeon 6850 offers plenty of performance for all modern games. We feel its sweet spot gaming wise is for gamers with a monitor up-to roughly 1600x1200, even 1920x1200. At that resolution pretty much any game will play excellently with good options in image quality settings like AA.
The Radeon HD 6870 is, as far as I am concerned, definitely the more 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.
HIS has been around for a long time and over the years they have become more prominent on the ATI graphics card market. We here at Guru3D.com have a lot of respect for them and their products. Over the weeks to come you'll also spot factory overclocked series 6800 products and of course an ICEQ edition as well. For now, the 'regular' clocked 6850 and 6870 will keep you more than happy. Both cards come recommended, if you want a breeze more performance then go for that 6870, if you like a completely inaudible product... then the 6850 might be your choice of weaponry. It is good to see these products available before the Christmas season starts.
Two thumbs up, and both products we'd happily grant a recommended award.
- Leave/read comments on this product
- Sign up to receive a notice when we publish a new article
- Or go back to Guru3D's front page
We test and review the a HIS Radeon HD 7950 HIS IceQ X, this 30 CM sized beast is one heck of a graphics card. Custom PCB, custom cooling, it's low noise and being a Boost edition card series, it clocks in at 950 MHz.
HIS Radeon HD 7850 4GB iPower IceQ Turbo review
We test and review the a HIS Radeon HD 7850 iPower IceQ Turbo as single card and in Crossfire today. The HIS Radeon HD 7850 iPower IceQ Turbo is a factory overclocked 4GB version of the Radeon HD 7850 graphics card.
HIS Radeon HD 7970 X Turbo edition review
We review the HIS Radeon HD 7970 X Turbo edition. With this card they took the new Tahiti XT2 and redesigned the R7970 board from ground up. though very long the end result is a 31cm PCB with mane power phases and optimizations. Fun to see are the voltage and FAN monitor LED options. Most impressive however is the sheer amount of monitor connectors HIS injected into this product, four DisplayPort connectors, one HDMI and a DVI connector. If needed you can go for Eyefinity6. Oh did I mention already that the factory set boost clock frequency is 1180 Mhz ?
HIS Radeon HD 7950 ICEQ Turbo review
We review the HIS Radeon HD 7950 IceQX Turbo. The product comes factory overclocked very nicely for you as it is running a gentle 900 MHz clock frequency. HIS uses a custom PCB and dual-slot cooler making the card very easy to install. Despite that factory overclock and that cooler the noise levels remain at very low levels whereas the GPU temperatures remain downright excellent as we'll show you in this review.