HD 6870 & HD 6850 vs. GTX 460 1GB: An Overclocking Study

Author: Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig
Date: October 28, 2010
Product Name: Radeon HD 6850 / HD 6870 / Geforce GTX 460
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The Cards

Since the release of HD 6800 series reviews, one of the most talked-about cards hasn’t been the new AMD products but rather the EVGA GTX 460 1GB FTW. One of the main reasons behind this is the fact that EVGA’s flagship GTX 460 suddenly showed up in a large cross section of HD 6870 reviews across the net. It’s performance is undoubtedly mind-boggling due to a core clock of 850 Mhz and memory running at 4200Mhz QDR. The FTW’s price is also comparable to the HD 6870 at around $240 but unfortunately, finding one is a bit hit and miss these days and popularity has surged.

For the AMD comparison we used our two highest-clocking samples: a Sapphire HD 6870 1GB and the XFX HD 6850 1GB Vapor Chamber Edition. While we may call these two cards our “highest clocking”, the other products we had weren’t all that far behind. Both of these sport reference clock speeds.

The Software

For overclocking, we used a combination of MSI AfterBurner (for the GTX 460) and Sapphire’s Trixx (HD 6870 & HD 6850).

Unfortunately, since EVGA’s Precision doesn’t support voltage increases at this time we had to fall back onto MSI’s AfterBurner which in itself is an absolutely excellent piece of software. It allows for every modification you could possibly want and features a monitoring window as well.

Sapphire’s Trixx on the other hand isn’t available to the public quite yet but we’ve made use of a pre-release version to overclock the AMD cards. This is actually one of the best AMD-centric utilities we have come across in recent years and it also full supports voltage adjustments on the HD 6800-series; something which no other utility currently supports.

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