Sapphire’s HD 6870 is a reference design. The card is 9.5 inches long, pretty much like the HD 5850, and their respective performances are pretty close as well.
Sapphire HD 6870’s cooler is dual slot and quiet. Fan speed is automatically regulated, but if you want full control you can always use Catalyst Overdrive. For HD 6800 owners, Sapphire has a new version of TriXX tweak utility, which can be used for fan RPM regulation, overclocking and GPU voltage changes entirely in software.
Compared to the HD 5000 series, the new HD 6000 series packs more outs on the cards’ I/O panel. There are two mini-DisplayPort 1.2 connectors, one HDMI 1.4a and two DVI connectors. One DVI connector is single link with maximum resolution of 1920x1200 whereas the other is dual-link with maximum resolution of 2560x1600.
HD 6800 series pretty much made the HD 5000’s Eyefinity 6 cards obsolete, as now each HD 6800 can run up to six monitors. This is thanks to multi-stream technology and will only take two mini-DisplayPorts but you will need a DisplayPort hub.
As for audio, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, AC-3, DTS i and up to 7.1 channel audio are supported via HDMI 1.4a at 192KHz/24bit resolution.
Unlike the HD 5850, the HD 6870 has only one CrossFire connector. This means that 2-way CrossFire is basically the only CrossFire configuration possible.
Radeon HD 6870 is powered via two power connectors. Its maximum consumption is 151W, whereas one connector provides “only” 150W.
Sapphire HD 6870 packaging is eye catching, like always. Within the box (made of recycled paper), you’ll find the standard stuff as well as an HDMI 1.4a cable (1.8m) and a mini-DisplayPort-to-DisplayPort dongle.