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Roundup: 9 Radeon HD 6850s!
by Damien Triolet
Published on April 13, 2011

Sapphire HD 6850
The first Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 follows the reference card clocks. It’s on sale at a very attractive €150.

The card

Sapphire is using the reference PCB, which gives us a relatively compact model here, at just 21.5cm long. Although there are four phases available for the GPU power stage, only three are used. A small radiator is positioned here to cool the sensitive power stage components.

The cooler is made up of an aluminium radiator with two large heatpipes connected to a base with a copper insert. There’s an 8cm fan for cooling.

The bundle

Sapphire delivers its card with a CD for drivers, an installation guide, a Sapphire Select Club access card, a DVI to VGA adaptor, a small CrossFire connector and a molex to 6-pin PCI Express power supply cable convertor.

Sapphire guarantees this model for two years.

Infrared thermography

Graphics card at idle.

Graphics card in load.

Overclocked graphics card in load.

System at idle.

System in load.

This Sapphire card is well-cooled overall. It does however send quite a bit of hot air straight towards the hard drives.

Noise and temperature readings

The GPU remains well-cooled and a small amount of air is expelled from the casing. Although the card is very quiet in idle, it does make iself heard in load.

Our opinion
Sapphire has produced a card with the sole problem being noisier in load than the best models. It is however on sale at a very low price which will certainly make plenty of users ready to ignore this small fault, especially as the GPU temperature remains relatively stable. It will therefore be possible to reduce the fan speed slightly.

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