AMD Radeon HD6870
Posted by: Dan on: 25.01.2011 01:00:00 [ Print | 0 comment(s) ]
If you came to this review hoping that the 6870 was going to bring market dominating performance back to AMD, then I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed.
AMD made it clear to us that the 6800 series are a refresh of the 5800 series, and while they have made some performance tweaks and improvements (specifically in things like tessellation) there is no ground breaking performance update here, and the cards sit pretty much where their 5800 series counterpart did. Sadly in our tests, the Overclocked 5870 was faster than the 6870 in quite a few benchmarks.
But being disappointed by this lack of performance update is only seeing half the picture, as while the performance might not have moved much; that wasn’t AMD’s focus. AMD’s main goal for this product refresh was to bring the power usage down at the same time as selling the cards for less. Needless to say they’ve hit these targets bang on; the 6870 uses around 50w less than a 5870 at load, and being on sale for £170, clocks in at least £40 cheaper than the 5870 is selling at (months after launch no less). Also as we all know with AMD’s new branding on the cards, it is the 6970 that is the proper replacement for the 5870.
So while the AMD Radeon HD 6870 offers comparatively little to current HD 5800 series owners, it does make upgrading to 5800 series performance for less money a very nice incentive to anyone else looking for a new graphics card.
- Impressive Performance Per Watt
- Tessellation Improvements
- Runs Quiet
- Lower Cost Than 5800 Series
- No Performance Difference For 5800 Series Owners
Reality Check: The 6800 series update is performance per watt focused, and as such brings 5800 level performance for cheaper and does so using less power. This makes the AMD Radeon HD 6870 a winner for everyone but current 5800 owners, but those owners will more and likely be looking at the 6970 which is the proper replacement for the 5870. But still the 6870 holds its own and well worth a look.
Reviewed by Dan
Thanks to AMD for supplying the card for review