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AMD Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850 Review

The Radeon HD 6800 Series is the first of AMD’s second-generation DirectX 11 graphics cards to be released. We have with us the Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850 from ASUS and XFX. How do they fare against the HD 5850, HD 5870 and NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 460?

We will be looking at AMD’s newest product today, the Radeon HD 6800 Series, also known as the Barts chipset. Interestingly, Barts is not a directly replacement for the current Radeon HD 5700 Series. Instead, the current Radeon HD 5800 Series segment will be split into two – Radeon HD 6800 Series and Radeon HD 6900 Series. The Radeon HD 6800 Series is positioned at the market’s US$250 sweet spot, right where NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 460 is in currently.

There are two variants of the Barts chipset:

  • Barts XT, which is the Radeon HD 6870, and
  • Barts PRO, which is the Radeon HD 6850.

The Radeon HD 6800 Series features a redesigned architecture from the Radeon HD 5800 Series. The core design has been reconfigured, and can now crunch up to 2 TeraFLOPS and over 24 gigapixels per second. Compared to the Radeon HD 5800 Series, the 6800 provides up to twice as fast tessellation with an updated tessellation unit, as well as improved geometry throughput.

The Radeon HD 6870 features 14 SIMD engines for a total of 1120 Stream Processors. The Radeon HD 6850 has two less SIMD engines, thus having only 960 Stream Processors. Both GPUs have 32 ROPs and have a 256-bit GDDR5 memory interface.

Let us move on with the cards provided to us by ASUS and XFX, and we shall find out how well the new Radeon HD 6000 Series cards go up against NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 460!


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