AMD recently announced the HD 6800 series, and our today’s test subject was Sapphire’s HD 6870. The card is priced at about €204, which is a pretty good bang for a buck. With its HD 6800 series, AMD introduced competition to HD 5800 series by offering good performance at a lower price.
Radeon HD 6870 uses the new Barts XT core. Barts is a part of Northern Islands family, AMD’s second DirectX 11 generation. In layman’s terms, Barts is an optimized version of Cypress, the chip behind HD 5850/5870 cards.
Of course, Sapphire is well known to adding its own flavor to the cards, and HD 6850 is no exception. In fact, the company offers HD 6850 Toxic and Vapor-X cards, aiming at Gamers’ sweet spot segment.
Sapphire HD 6870 offers plenty of overclocking potential, as long as you use TriXX tweak utility which allows for upping GPU voltages. We managed to push the GPU to 1GHz. The cooler, which wasn’t very loud during gaming, is almost inaudible in idle mode and wasn’t much louder even after our overclocking.
Sapphire included a 1.8m long HDMI 1.4a cable and a mini-DisplayPort-to-DisplayPort dongle, making this package even sweeter.
Low consumption, improved video engine (UVD 3), HDMI 1.4a for 3D Blu-ray, two DisplayPort 1.2 outs with Multi-Stream support (up to 6 monitors via two DisplayPorts) are just some of the good things on this card. So, in case you’re looking for an affordable DirectX 11 card for gaming and entertainment, Sapphire HD 6870 should definitely make your list.