AMD’s Radeon HD 6850 is one of the more attractive mid-range offerings on the market right now, and Sapphire hopes to lure potential buyers in even closer with the help of its “Toxic” edition. It features a customized cooler that runs quiet and keeps temps low, and also cranks up reference clocks for an immediate performance boost.
I couldn’t finish up this article without taking a look at the overclocking potential of this card, so let’s discuss that here. Earlier this week, I put it through its paces to see what it was made of, and with the help of Sapphire’s “TriXX” overclocking tool (which I talked a bit about here), I boosted the card from its “pre-OC” state of 820MHz core and 1100MHz memory to 1015MHz core and 1150MHz memory.
Although I am not sure it was completely necessary, I gave a 0.025v boost to the GPU voltage in order to assure that things were kept stable. As this boost is minor, I’d never expect it to have adverse affects on the card, so I preferred to consider the boost as being a way to give a little more juice to the core and have more confidence in its stability.
It’s important to note that these clocks were verified to be stable by pitting them through a one-hour stress test using OCCT, a tool that tends to be more hardcore than is needed (a good thing because it gives us unparalleled assurance that our OC is stable). It also proved stable through gaming, but due to losing the results from our OC’d game benchmarks, I resorted to just including our 3DMark Vantage results here for comparison.
Overall, the boosts in clocks really helped give a noticeable boost to the performance. That’s almost a rarity when it comes to GPU overclocks, so to see a real difference like this is nice. I’m still not sure I’d want to keep such settings intact 24/7, but the option is there for those who do.
Today’s GPU landscape is good for those looking to purchase, as both AMD and NVIDIA have some great offerings at a variety of price-points. Things will continue to get even more interesting next month with AMD’s launch of the Radeon HD 6900 series, but fortunately for those looking to keep their GPU purchase inside of a modest budget, pricing is sure to remain stable on these cards for a little while.
In our launch HD 6800 article, I mentioned that between AMD and NVIDIA, both companies have their perks. On the AMD side, Eyefinity on a single card is a huge bonus, and so is the lower power consumption. Given the overclocking ability of a card like this, there’s also a lot of headroom awaiting those who feel like pushing the limits.
Sapphire charges a ~$15 premium on its Toxic card, and overall, I’d say that’s worth it. The card comes complete with many different cables, including an HDMI, runs quiet and has extreme overclocking potential. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this card to anyone looking for an HD 6850 offering, or anyone looking towards the $200 price-point in general.
Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 Toxic
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