HD 6870 Roundup: Diamond, PowerColor, MSI, Sapphire & XFX
As AMDís HD 6000-series of graphics cards has matured, their popularity seems to be on the rise. Lower prices which have finally stabilized in the face of some tough competition and the upcoming release of some highly anticipated games have contributed to this renewed interest in AMD DX11 products. The situation couldnít be better for the companies hawking these cards and many of them have introduced their own versions which break away from the usual reference designs.
In our opinion, the HD 6870 Ėironically a card which many once deemed overpriced- is now perfectly placed to take advantage of this upsurge in demand for high performance GPUs with a sub-$250 sticker price. Right now the GTX 560 Ti and HD 6950 1GB occupy the upper end of this segment with a steady cost of $249 but the HD 6870 acts as a bridge between $249 and $189 with non-reference designs doing most of the legwork. Indeed, the sheer number of choices is mind boggling.
In order to get a clearer picture of what AMDís board partners have on offer, we canvassed retailersí pages and came up with a list of five HD 6870 boards that piqued our interest. Some like the ones from PowerColor, XFX, Sapphire and MSI deviate from the reference design in extreme ways while Diamondís card sticks to a known layout while offering higher clock speeds. This should make for a good cross section of the current selection of available HD 6870 cards.
Even though all five cards we are testing in this roundup are quite a bit different from one another on a number of levels, not one of them currently costs more than $219 after rebates. So the potential for value-oriented performance is certainly there but will some of them be too close to the GTX 560 Tiís price for comfort?
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