It’s been 2 months since the launch of the AMD’s 2nd generation DX11 mid-range graphics cards. Time enough for manufacturers to really get to know Bart, time enough to figure out how to keep it’s head cool. And so MSI’s recently launched R6850 Cyclone Power Edition landed in the Tbreak office and I quickly got to burning testing the card.
There are two key aspects of the R6850 Cyclone, the cooling solution and the subsequent overclock. Firstly, the huge heatsink up front has massive coils spread around the face of the card, the central fan keeping everything cool as heat is picked up under it and spread to the surrounding fins. Secondly the factory overclock done by MSI which has Core clock set at 860MHz (85MHz over AMD defaults) and 1100MHz Memory (100MHz over AMD defaults). That’s a respectable 11% increase in Core and 10% increase in Memory clock speeds.
One last feature I’d like to touch upon is the fan speed control on the R6850 Cyclone, which is basically a miniscule switch between “Performance/Silence”. I can see many people wanting a better control knob or switch located at a more convenient place, but as you’ll find out later on, this is not exactly a big deal.