ASUS EAH6870 Review - Where to Buy

By on November 30, 2010

Does it bring anything new to the table?

ASUS EAH6870 Review

As the floodgates opened up for the AMD HD 6870 graphics card, ASUS also followed the market with the introduction of the EAH6870. Being ASUS, this card was not going to be released with just the reference settings, so while it looks the same as a factory AMD card, the EAH6870 in fact has two little surprises in store for us. The first is the full aluminum cover on the front of the card which dissipates heat much more efficiently than the reference card, and the EAH6870 comes with a miniscule overclock of 15MHz showing a Core Clock speed of 915MHz.

Aside from looking a little flashy, the ASUS EAH6870 looks pretty much like the rest of its counterparts, that is to say pretty boring. The card supports the standard HD 6870 features, such as HD3D (AMD’s stereoscopic 3D lingo), Eyefinity with support for up to 4 monitors with 2x DVI, HDMI and 2x DisplayPorts. Coupled with the packaging are 1x CrossFire cable and 1x Molex to PCIe power cable along with the drivers and utility CD.

For benchmarking the ASUS EAH6870 we used our usual testbed which comprises of an Intel Core i7 965EE @ 3.2GHz on an ASUS Rampage II Extreme motherboard, packing 3x 1GB Corsairs XMS3-1333 ram, a Kingston 64GB V-Series SSD running Windows 7 Ultimate; all of which is powered by a Corsair HX1000W PSU. For comparisons I’ve added the recently reviewed MSI R6870, Gigabyte HD 6850 and ASUS GTX 460. The drivers used were Catalyst 10.10 since 10.11 doesn’t, at the time of writing, support the HD 6xxx series as per AMD.

As with the MSI R6870, the ASUS shows brilliant performance in Just Cause 2; of course, Unigine significantly favored the GTX460 for its tessellation superiority.

As you can see, the slight clock speed increase of 15MHz ensures the ASUS EAH6870 stays ahead in pretty much every benchmark.

For overclocking the EAH6870 we used ASUS’s Smart Doctor v5.66 which also allowed us to increase the voltage. The most stable we got was 1000MHz after we increased the voltage to 1.235, otherwise we would crash out even at 980MHz (let alone the fact that the slider only goes up to 1000MHz).

For CrossFire comparisons, we’ve added an ATI HD 5970, the Zotac GTX 580 and the Gigabyte HD 6850 in CrossFire from last week.

I ran the benchmark for StarCraft II three times to make sure that was the number I was getting, and sure enough FRAPS didn’t report any higher than 77fps in every try. While 3DMark Vantage is still crowned by the GTX 580, the EAH6870 CrossFire beats every card at every other benchmark.

So there you have it, the ASUS EAH6870 is a solid offering, if a little underwhelming on the overclocking side. In CrossFire, the mid-range offering from AMD bests Nvidia’s flagship card while still costing less, albeit with much more noise than the GTX 580. Still, if you have a silent enough case, these are great cards for high resolution gaming.
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