Gigabyte HD 6850 Review

By on November 21, 2010
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Taking the HD 6850 to new overclocking extremes.

Good: Cool looking & performing heatsink, Great overclocking & CrossFire performance
Bad: Stickers on the heatsink cover
Price: AED 800
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

The Windforce Anti-Turbulence heatsink kept things cool just as promised, with the HD 6850 running at a cool 32C while idling and pushing up to 57C while running Unigine Heaven at overclocked speeds. At idle I had to really strain to hear the card running, so silent were the 2 fans, and under full load, the sound wasn’t annoying either as the heatsink maintained a constant hum.

Overclocking the Gigabyte HD 6850 was quite exciting, given the tech behind the heatsink. After only a few tries I managed to clock the card at 910MHz Core and 1150MHz Memory speeds. That’s a 17% and 15% speed increase respectively, up from 775MHz Core and 1000MHz Memory stock speeds. While the overclocking performance on the Gigabyte HD 6850 was quite impressive, we also decided to run the cards in CrossFire to see how it would hold up to some of the bigger cards in the market, so we added the ATI HD 5970 and the recently released Nvidia GTX 580 into the mix.

That’s an incredible performance squeezed out of two HD 6850 cards in CrossFire, trumping in most cases, if not chewing at the heels of even Nvidia’s latest and greatest. So that’s two mid-range AMD cards trumping a flagship Nvidia card in price and performance, just food for thought.

At AED 800 (USD 190) the Gigabyte HD 6850 is one hell of card considering the Windforce heatsink keeps things cool even with a really high overclock at stock voltage.

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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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