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AMD Radeon HD 6870 & HD 6850
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by Rob Williams on October 22, 2010 in AMD-Based GPU

It’s been a long time coming, but gamers can finally relax… AMD’s Radeon HD 6800 graphics cards are finally here. They may still be built upon a 40nm process, but AMD has brought a lot to the table here. We set out to see how the HD 6850 and HD 6870 compare to their closest competition, NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 460 and GTX 470.

Mafia II

For fans of the original Mafia game, having to wait an incredible eight years for a sequel must’ve been tough. But as we found out in our review, the wait might be forgotten as the game is quite good. It doesn’t feature near as much depth as say, Grand Theft Auto IV, but it does a masterful job of bringing you back to the 1940’s and letting you experience the Mafia lifestyle.

Mafia II

Manual Run-through: Because this game doesn’t allow us to save a game in the middle of a level, we chose to use chapter 7, “In Loving Memory…”, to do our runthrough. That chapter begins us on a street corner with many people around, and from there, we run to our garage, get in our car, and speed out to the street. Our path ultimately leads us to the park, and takes close to two minutes to accomplish.

The results from AMD’s cards impressed me quite a bit here, because while Dirt 2 and Just Cause 2 seem to be more AMD-bound as mentioned, Mafia II has been the opposite. But here, both of AMD’s latest perform quite well, surpassing NVIDIA’s “equivalents” by just a tad.

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Min FPS
Avg. FPS
NVIDIA GTX 480 1536MB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX High, 0xAA
23
61.922
AMD HD 5870 1GB (Sapphire)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX Medium, 0xAA
39
60.947
AMD HD 6870 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX Medium, 0xAA
33
54.626
NVIDIA GTX 470 1280MB (EVGA)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX Medium, 0xAA
30
50.955
AMD HD 5850 1GB (ASUS)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX Medium, 0xAA
27
38.468
NVIDIA GTS 450 1GB (Reference SLI)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX Off, 0xAA
35
49.230
AMD HD 6850 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX Off, 0xAA
34
44.377
AMD HD 5830 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX Off, 0xAA
33
39.252
NVIDIA GTX 460 1GB (EVGA)
2560×1600 – Max Detail, PhysX Off, 0xAA
27
38.625
AMD HD 5770 1GB (Sapphire FleX)
2560×1600 – Medium Shadows, Medium Geometry, SSAO Off, 0xAA
33
44.160
AMD HD 5770 1GB (Reference)
2560×1600 – Medium Shadows, Medium Geometry, SSAO Off, 0xAA
30
44.030
NVIDIA GTS 450 1GB (ASUS)
1920×1080 – Max Detail, PhysX Off, 0xAA
38
46.118
AMD HD 5750 1GB (Sapphire)
1920×1080 – Medium Detail, PhysX Off, 0xAA
32
47.660

The beefier card of the two, the HD 6870, could handle Mafia II at 2560×1600 with PhysX enabled to Medium, but for that, AA had to be disabled (it makes almost no difference in this game regardless). For the HD 6850, we used the same settings, except we also disabled PhysX entirely.