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AMD Radeon HD 6870 & HD 6850 - Northern Islands Ahoy!

By Kenny Yeo - 22 Oct 2010

Temperature, Power Consumption & Overclocking


Although the new Radeon HD 6800 have been optimized for more efficient operation including having a reduced die size, operating temperatures remain on the high side, with the Radeon HD 6870 clocking a considerable 70 degrees Celsius, whereas the ASUS EAH6850 DirectCU and its custom cooler was, unsurprisingly, cooler at 64 degrees Celsius. Nevertheless, while the results here suggests that the new chips will be cooler to run, they still lose out to both variants of the GeForce GTX 460.


Power Consumption

Power efficiency has been a hallmark of the new generation Radeons and with Northern Islands, AMD has only improved it. The new Radeon HD 6870, though faster than the HD 5850, recorded nearly identical power draw figures both at idle and at load. The ASUS EAH6850 DirectCU did well too, and on a whole, both of the new Radeons racked up lower power draw figures compared to their direct competitors.



Happily, the two new Radeon cards are also eager overclockers. Using the effective MSI Afterburner overclocking utility, we were able to attain a maximum overclocking state of a full 1GHz at the core and 4400MHz DDR at the memory for the Radeon HD 6870. This gave us a substantial 14% increase in performance.

With the ASUS EAH6850 DirectCU, we were able to reach 950MHz at the core and 4800MHz DDR at the memory, which gave us 7216 3DMarks, an improvement of 5%. This was comparable to a reference clocked Radeon HD 6870.



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