The Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 sports reference clock speeds, but comes with a custom cooler that promises superior cooling properties over AMD’s reference design. Peering beneath the blocky cooler casing, we can see a traditional fan and heatsink combo design that has numerous cooling fins and thick copper heat pipes to quickly draw heat away from the GPU core.
The other Sapphire card in our roundup is the Sapphire HD 6850 Toxic Edition. In keeping with other “Toxic” cards from Sapphire, the Sapphire HD 6850 Toxic Edition has a custom cooler and is factory overclocked for better gaming performance. Core clock speeds have been bumped up to 820MHz whereas memory clock speeds have also been boosted to 4400MHz DDR.
As its name suggests, the XFX Radeon HD 6850 Black Edition is the company’s current flagship Radeon HD 6850 card. It comes with a custom-designed cooler that, upon closer inspection, has a heatsink design reminiscent of MSI’s Cyclone coolers. It is also factory overclocked, running at 820MHz at the core and 4400MHz DDR at the memory - similar to the PowerColor PCS+ HD 6850.