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

By Kenny Yeo - 22 Oct 2010

Unigine "Heaven" 2.1 Results

Unigine "Heaven" 2.1 Results

Unigine is a tessellation heavy benchmark and will be a good gauge of how effective the new tessellation unit in the Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850 is. Running on DirectX 11 and with tessellation enabled, the new Radeon HD 6870 was easily able to outclass the 1GB GeForce GTX 460 and by a good 5% to 10% too. But perhaps what’s more impressive is that it was able to even outperform the powerful Radeon HD 5870.

Sadly, the ASUS EAH6850 DirectCU was less impressive, because although it was easily quicker than the old Radeon HD 5850, the 768MB GeForce GTX 460 proved to be a right handful for it. Also, the GeForce GTX 470 was by far and away the fastest card, showing just how efficient the Fermi architecture is at handling tessellation.

Disabling tessellation and reverting to DirectX10, however, the advantage was squarely with the new Radeon HD 6800 series cards. Here, the Radeon HD 6870 was about 20% quicker overall compared to the 1GB GeForce GTX 460, while the HD 6850 was about 10% quicker overall than the 768MB GeForce GTX 460. Also, both of the two Radeons were substantially faster than the GeForce GTX 285, which once again goes to show just how far graphics technology has progressed.

DirectX11 Results

DirectX 10 Results

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