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XFX is the first company to launch an overclocked HD 6850, and the company dubbed it HD 6850 Black Edition. The card’s GPU runs at 820MHz (45MHz overclock) whereas memory got boosted from 4400MHz to 4800MHz.
HD 6850 Black Edition (product code HD-685X-ZNBC) comes with nonreference cooling which is efficient when it comes to cooling the GPU, memory and power components. Unfortunately, we can’t say it’s particularly quiet. Thankfully, there’s always CCC where you can make adjustments the way you see fit.
Radeon HD 6850 uses new Barts Pro core, a part of Northern Islands family. This is AMD‘s second DirectX 11 graphics generation and in layman’s temrs, Barts is an optimized Cypress chip (HD 5850/5870). So, AMD introduced a bang-per-buck competition to its HD 5800 series. Note that Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850 aren’t high-end cards but rather Gamers’ sweet spot cards.
HD 6870 can be found in EU priced at €199 incl. VAT, whereas HD 6850 will set you back about €150. As is usual with overclocked cards, XFX’s card should cost some €15-20 more, but this is subject to change.
Black Edition cards are factory overclocked but have gone through intensive stability testing, so it’s quite likely that any of these cards will run stable even beyond 900MHz. We easily pushed the card by additional 120MHz for the GPU and 100MHz for the memory (400MHz effectively).
There are many fields where AMD introduced improvements - tessellation performance, video decoding, Eyefinity, consumption-performance ratio, video engine (UVD 3), etc. The card has HDMI 1.4a for 3D BluRay, two DisplayPort 1.2 outs with MultiStream technology and more.
In conclusion, there’s really nothing we didn’t like about the card except somewhat high noise levels at load. However, the pros outweigh the cons by a significant margin and the card promises to deliver great bang for the buck. With this in mind, it’s a no brainer – XFX HD 6850 Black Edition is officially a Fudzilla Recommended graphics card.