Overclocked AMD Radeon HD 6850 Duel - HIS vs. MSI

By Kenny Yeo - 9 Apr 2011

Mainstream Redux

Mainstream Redux

Powered by the 960-core Barts PRO GPU, the Radeon HD 6850 is AMD’s stalwart in the mainstream segment. It greatly unsettled NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 460’s stranglehold in the US$170 - US$220 price segment, and in our initial review of the Radeon HD 6850, we found it to be a decent card for mainstream users. Unfortunately, its been more than five months since the Radeon HD 6850 was launch and its position has been threatened by newer releases from NVIDIA such as the GeForce GTX 460 SE and more recently the GeForce GTX 550 Ti.

To keep things fresh and interesting, vendors are coming up with customized versions of the Radeon HD 6850. Factory overclocked and sporting custom coolers, these versions of the Radeon HD 6850 promise greater all round performance and efficiency. We have already covered seven custom Radeon HD 6850 cards in our earlier roundup and today, we will be looking at an additional two cards today.

Here are the contenders for today’s roundup:

HIS 6850 IceQ X Turbo

Taking a page out of MSI’s Military Class suite of components, the HIS 6850 IceQ X Turbo also has solid state chokes and full solid state capacitors, for better efficiency and stability. On top of that, the card also has a custom-designed IceQ X cooler and is factory overclocked for better gaming performance. The core is clocked at 820MHz while the memory at 4400MHz DDR.

The IceQ X has a unique ice-blue translucent cooler that makes it stand out from the competition.

The card has the usual twin DVI ports, HDMI port and single DisplayPort.

The IceQ X cooler has no less than four thick heat pipes to quickly draw heat from the GPU core.


MSI R6850 Cyclone II Power Edition

The MSI R6850 Cyclone II Power Edition is company’s current flagship Radeon HD 6850 cards. It has the new second-generation Cyclone II custom cooler along with a host of other features. Most notably, it has the Military Class II suite components which includes Hi-C Caps, Super Ferrite Chokes and Japanese-made solid capacitors to improve the card’s efficiency and stability.

Its core has been bumped up from 775MHz to 860MHz, whereas memory clock speeds has been upped from 4000MHz DDR to 4400MHz DDR. These significant increases in clock speeds, should net the card a decent gain in performance.

The MSI R6850 Cyclone II Power Edition OC looks markedly different from a reference card thanks to its unique cooler.

The MSI card has the same twin DVI ports and single HDMI and DisplayPort.

Physically, the second-generation cooler is similar to the older design, except that it is visibly bigger.

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