PowerColor HD 6850 1GB SCS3 Passive Review

Author: SKYMTL
Date: July 3, 2011
Product Name: HD 6850 1GB SCS3
Part Number: AX6850 1GB5-S3DH
Warranty: 2 years
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A Closer Look at the PowerColor HD 6850 1GB SCS3

With a passive cooling system, PowerColor can be forgiven for sticking to the reference specifications on this one as any additional core or memory speed bump would have likely added a significant amount of heat.

Gone are the race cars and other oddities of past PowerColor boxes and they’re replaced by a straightforward product shot and some quick marketing points on the flip side.

This particular product needs good interior packaging since the card itself weighs an absolute ton. PowerColor has done exactly that by including high density foam and separate compartments for the included DVI to VGA adaptor and Crossfire cable.

The HD 6850 SCS3 definitely has a unique design and yes, there really is a graphics card under that gargantuan heatsink. When looked at from afar, it seems like the PowerColor has taken a tower-style CPU heatsink, cut a hole into its fin array and then mounted in on the HD 6850’s PCB.

The SCS 3 heatsink uses a pure copper contact plate which disperses its heat into five large 6mm heatpipes which then snake their way up into the high density fin array. The fins themselves are made out of aluminum which has been plated in a black nickel finish to increase their hardness and prevent corrosion over time. PowerColor has also added an anodized backplate which makes direct contact with the PCB behind the core and some rear-mounted GDDR5 memory modules in order to further aid cooling performance.

Truth be told, pictures really don’t do this heatsink any justice. Its construction quality is absolutely top notch, the contact it makes with the core is firm get the mounting pressure it exerts doesn’t bow the PCB and quite a bit of thought was obviously given to its design.

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