So far, Sapphire announced two graphics cards based on Barts Pro GPU – Radeon HD 6850 and Radeon HD 6850 Toxic. We’re talking about cards from Northern Islands series, which is AMD’s second DirectX 11 graphics card generation.
Our today’s test subject, SapphireHD 6850 Radeon (11180-00-40R SKU) currently goes for €154, here.
The card comes with nonreference cooling which is efficient when it comes to cooling the GPU, and fortunately, we can say it’s pretty quiet. Sapphire decided to leave the card at reference clocks, but we boosted it by additional 210MHz for the GPU and 160MHz for the memory (640MHz effectively). Overclocking helped us achieve up to 22% better results in Aliens vs Predator.
Radeon HD 6850 is not a high-end card but rather a product made with medium budgets in mind, the so called Gamers’ sweet spot card. The card hit the shelves at the end of October last year with priced at around €150. As you can see, the price is still the same.
As far as performance goes, Sapphire HD 6850 really puts AMD’s architecture improvements to good use. The card does pretty well in DirectX 11 games matching the HD 5850 and GTX 460 1GB in some benchmarks. Compared to the previous, HD 5800 generation, tessellation performance increase is visible.
If you’ve stuck to DirectX9 or DirectX10 hardware so far and you’re looking for a nicely priced graphics card that will allow for playing all the latest titles, then Sapphire’s HD 6850 should definitely make your list.