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AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 Graphics Card

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AMD Radeon HD 6850 Graphics Card

AMD Radeon HD 6850

Image Courtesy AMD

Nov 11 2010 - For gamers looking for a midrange graphics card, the AMD Radeon HD 6850 is a viable option. When tested against an NVIDIA GTX 460 , the AMD HD 6850 edged ahead to take the lead. The 6850 offered better frame rates in many popular games and benchmark tests. It's a worthwhile buy if you're seeking a graphics card that rings in at $179 and offers support for some of the latest technology.


  • Updated Second Generation DirectX 11 Graphics
  • Price
  • Support for 3D Gaming, CrossFireX, and Eyefinity Technology


  • Takes up Two Slots
  • Not all Games Can Be Played at Maxed Out Settings


  • 775MHz Engine Clock
  • 1GB GDDR5 Memory
  • 1000MHz Memory Clock (GDDR5)
  • 128 Gbps Memory Bandwidth (Maximum)
  • 1.5 TFLOPS
  • 960 Stream Processors
  • 48 Texture Units
  • 128 Z/Stencil ROP Units
  • 32 Color ROP Units
  • PCI Express 2.1 x16 Bus Interface
  • DirectX 11 Support
  • AMD Eyefinity Multi-Display Technology
  • AMD HD3D Technology
  • DisplayPort 1.2 - Max Resolution: 2560x1600
  • HDMI 1.4a - Max Resolution: 1920x1200
  • Dual-link DVI with HDCP - Max Resolution: 2560x1600
  • One HDMI Port, Two DVI Connectors (One Dual-Link), Two DisplayPorts

Review - AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 Video Card

AMD Radeon HD 6850 Video CardImage Courtesy AMD

Along with the recent launch of the AMD Radeon HD 6870 comes the release of the AMD Radeon HD 6850. After being derailed in the sub-$200 market by the NVIDIA GTX 460, AMD (after dropping the ATI name) is back with a vengeance in a quest for market share. The AMD Radeon HD 6850 is a midrange card priced at $179. Measuring approximately 9 inches in length, the Radeon HD 6850 is a bit smaller than the 6870, but it still packs a punch with an abundance of features, such as dual-GPU CrossFireX technology. Unfortunately, it is a dual-slot card, so make sure you have two slots available.

As reported earlier, AMD's 6000-series naming model is a bit confusing. The AMD 6850 is best described as an upgrade to the ATI Radeon HD 5770, HD 5830, and previous generation graphics cards. The AMD Radeon HD 6850 GPU boasts 1GB of GDDR5 memory and a 1000MHz memory clock. The core clock is 775MHz with 960 stream processors, 48 texture units, and 32 ROPs. By comparison, the more expensive AMD HD 6870 has a 900MHz engine clock with 1120 stream processors, but it costs $239 compared to $179 for the HD 6850.

Just like the AMD HD 6870, the PCI-Express 2.1 x16 AMD Radeon HD 6850 also offers second generation DirectX 11 graphics with faster tessellation and AMD Eyefinity support. Eyefinity technology allows multiple monitors to be used together as one large visual display for enhanced gaming. Gameplay was smooth in popular games using the AMD 6850. Gamers looking for a card under $200 won't be disappointed with this newly released graphics card. It supports the latest technology with one HDMI 1.4a port and two DisplayPort 1.2 connectors.

Another positive feature of the AMD HD 6850 is support for 3D gaming thanks to AMD HD3D technology. This is a great way for gamers to branch into 3D multimedia without breaking the bank. Please be aware, though, that additional hardware is required to experience movies and games in 3D.

Overall, the Radeon HD 6850 is a step in the right direction for AMD. Not only does the 6850 take on the NVIDIA GTX 460, it surpasses the rival thanks to second generation DirectX 11 performance enhancements. Priced at $179, the HD 6850 is a great way to experience the latest games on a budget. But if you have $60 more to spend, the AMD Radeon HD 6870 is a more powerful option that runs graphic-intensive games at higher settings.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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