Excellent performance for the price; efficient power usage; enhanced display features; great warranty.
A little on the pricey side (but you get the great warranty).
As we explained in our introduction to AMD’s brand-new Radeon HD 6000-series, which you can read
, the Radeon HD 6870 is the second in a series of new GPUs optimized for DirectX 11 games.
Despite the naming scheme, however, the 6870 is not AMD’s new top-shelf GPU: The 6870 is more comparable to the older 5850, but it’s much cheaper and consumes considerably less power. The real targets AMD is gunning for here are Nvidia’s mid-priced 768MB and 1GB GeForce 460 GPUs.
XFX’s take on the Radeon HD 6870 hews much closer to AMD’s reference design than their Radeon HD 6850 card did (you can read that review here), with a mounting bracket featuring two mini-DisplayPort 1.2 connectors, one HDMI 1.4a, one dual-link DVI, and one single-link DVI. XFX’s core and memory clock speeds are also the same as AMD’s reference design: 900- and 1,050MHz, respectively.
The spec chart helps explains why the Radeon HD 6870 fails to overcome the older high-end part: The new GPU has 480 fewer stream processors, 24 fewer texture units, and its 1GB of GDDR5 memory runs at a slower clock speed (1,050MHz versus 1,200MHz). The 6870’s core clock speed, on the other hand, runs 50MHz faster than the older 5870 (900MHz versus 850MHz).
Despite running at reference-design clock speeds, XFX’s take on the Radeon HD 6870 delivered impressive benchmark compared to the overclocked 768MB and 1GB GeForce GTX 460 cards we tested, as well as an overclocked Radeon HD 5870. The Radeon HD 6870 boasts exceptional price/performance ratios, with an even more impressive performance-per-watt ratio. This card is most definitely a winner.
|XFX Radeon HD 6870 ||HIS Radeon HD 5870 MW2 ||Gigabyte 460 GTX 1GB ||eVGA GTX 470|
|3DMark Vantage (Perf) ||17068 ||19282 ||14609 ||15412|
|Unigine Heaven 2.1 ||19 ||13 ||18 ||24|
|Crysis||29 ||33 ||18 ||14|
|BattleForge (DX11) ||42 ||45 ||37 ||50|
|Far Cry 2 (Action) ||65 ||66 ||54 ||68|
|Far Cry 2 (Long) ||78 ||78 ||66 ||83|
|HAWX (DX10) ||73 ||92 ||65 ||86|
|STALKER: CoP (DX11) ||34 ||38 ||30 ||32|
|Just Cause 2 ||35 ||37 ||31 ||33|
|Aliens vs Predator ||27 ||31 ||22 ||30|
|DiRT2 ||65 ||72 ||71|
|Power (Watts, Idle)||129||141||131||161|
|Power (Watts, Full Throttle) ||254||283 ||251 ||353|
Best scores are bolded. Our test bed is a 3.33GHz Core i7-975 Extreme Edition in an Asus P6X58D Premium motherboard with 6GB of DDR3/1333 and an 850TX Corsair PSU. The OS is 64-bit Windows Ultimate. All games are run at 1920x1200 with 4x AA.
|Radeon HD 6870 ||Radeon HD 5870|
|Die Size (mm2)||255||334|
|Transistor Count||1.7 Billion||2.15 Billion|
|Memory Bandwidth ||4.2Gbps||4.8Gbps|
|Core Clock (MHz)||900||850|
|Memory Clock (MHz)||1,050||1,200|
|Memory||1GB GDDR5||1GB GDDR5|
|Power (Watts Idle/Load)||19/151||27/188|
|Power Connectors||Two 6-pin||Two 6-pin|