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XFX HD 6850 Black Edition reviewed

by on28 October 2010


The Looks

We are looking at XFX’s HD 6850 Black Edition card (product code HD-685X-ZNBC). The card’s GPu runs at 820MHz and the memory at 4400MHz (effectively). The card’s cooling is the same we’ve seen on reference-clocked XFX’s HD 6850 (HD-685X-ZNFC).

We suppose that when it hits retail, the card will carry Black Edition branding on its cooler as the card we’ve received has qualified for Black Edition series before the stickers were even done. You can see on the picture below that the cooler resembles the one on HD 5970 4GB Black Edition.
XFX’s HD 6850 Black Edition is a custom design that boasts 100% Japan capacitors and comes with XFX’s in-house cooling - circular heatsink with an upsized 80mm fan. The cooling isn’t particularly quiet in idle mode but it does a good job of cooling. After all, there is RPM regulation that you can rely on to make your card quiet. The entire card has a black plastic hood and large vents for hot air to escape. You can see what hides under the hood on the following pictures.


Just like reference card, XFX's card uses CHiL's CHL8214 voltage regulator which supports voltage control via I2C and comes with extensive monitoring and tweaking features. 

A simple metal heatsink cools voltage regulator circuitry.


HD 6850 Black Edition comes with 1GB of GDDR5 memory running at 1100MHz (4400MHz effectively). Eight Hynix GDDR5 memory chips are onboard to make 1GB of video memory. We’re talking about H5GQ1H24AFR T2C memory chips and they are rated at 1250 MHz (5000 MHz GDDR5 effectively).


There is a single CrossFire connector for adding another card to your graphics setup.


XFX’s HD 6850 consumes up to 127W, which makes one 6-pin PCI Express connector enough to power this card.


XFX Radeon HD 6850 Black Edition features two DVIs, one HDMI and one DisplayPort.  Like its HD 6870 brother, the HD 6850 also sports a XFX-branded exhaust vent.



The picture below shows a render of XFX’s HD 6850 Black Edition box – we didn’t get the box for the reason previously stated.HD-685X-ZNBC_3D
All Barts cards should also include a PSU INSERT which although is a simple piece of marketing it is an excellent opportunity to showcase XFX PSU range and recommend to the consumer the best PSU to use with their new graphics card purchase.


BLACK EDITION Bundle will also include XFX CASE LTD edition case badge, Limited Edition stickers, BLACK edition do not disturb door hanger.

XFX kaže da je Black Edition Line up was created for true Gamers. As A Black Edition Member, they enjoy the following benefits:

  • Priority Technical Support – 5 Star Black – Actual live support in realtime, Dedicated XFXPert,
  • Invitations to members only events This was event we held we held in UK and some pictures on our facebook page.
  • Members only Product Offers.
  • Exclusive Information on XFX (Hear it first)
  • Exclusive competitions


Technical advantages

Black Edition cards go through a rigorous screening & testing process at the XFX factory.   First the product is put through the production line, then tested and yielded to determine the yield % (pass %) for XXX overclock SKUs.   Then, from these XXX SKUs we go through further processes to screen out the Black Edition product.  So it can be said that if an XXX clock can attain a 30% yield off of the production line, then a Black Edition card may only be 30% again (of the 30% XXX). So Black Edition cards are a very SELECT bunch of product! At XFX we also add in a ‘buffer’ in core and memory clocks (at testing) to yield the OC SKUs (i.e. we test above the shipping clocks) as we know the nature of the users of these cards is hardcore. On top of this all Black Edition members receive priority support levels and other opportunities to purchase BE products in advance or take part in BE activities.

Last modified on 10 December 2010
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