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

Asus EAH6850 DirectCU
There’s just one Asus Radeon HD 6850 model: a DirectCU model. It offers minimal overclocking, with the GPU clock up from 775 to 790 MHz (+2%) while the memory is clocked at the reference clock. It’s on sale at €170.

The card

24cm long, the Asus Radeon HD 6950 is slightly longer than the reference model. Its PCB has been designed for two 6-pin PCI Express connectors, which makes us think that in fact the same PCB is used here as for the Asus Radeon HD 6850 and 6870. Given that these connectors are placed on the top and not at the back of the card, this PCB doesn’t actually require any more space in the casing.

While the PCB has been designed for a 4 phase GPU power supply, only three are used on this model. Note that they have been placed between the connectors and the GPU and not at the back of the card as they are on the reference design.

Asus has retained the connectivity used on the Radeon HD 5000s rather than going for the connectivity used on the reference Radeon HD 6000s: 2 DVI Dual-Link outs, an HDMI out and a DisplayPort out. The Hynix GDDR5 is certified at 1.25 GHz.

A metal bar guarantees the card’s rigidity to prevent any problems there may be when handling it, especially as the cooler is only fixed around the GPU with four screws. The cooler is made up of an aluminium radiator with two copper plated heatpipes which are in direct contact with the GPU. An 8cm fan is mounted on top. There’s a small radiator for the sensitive power stage components.

The bundle

A CD with drivers and a manual, a quick installation guide, a DVI to VGA adaptor, a small CrossFire connector, a double molex to 6-pin PCI Express power supply cable convertor and a disk holder came with the Asus card.

The card is guaranteed for three years.

Asus also supplies the SmartDoctor overclocking/tweaking software. This allows you to control the fan and protection mechanisms while modifying the GPU voltage, in addition of course to any overclocking.

Infrared thermography

Graphics card at idle.

Graphics card in load.

Overclocked graphics card in load.

System at idle.

System in load.

The EAH6850 DirectCU is well cooled.

Temperature and noise readings

The Asus Radeon HD 6850 is pretty quiet, at idle and in load and handles very similarly to the reference card. However no hot air is expelled from the casing, as you can see from the fact that the temperature of the air coming out of the casing is identical at idle and in load.

Our opinion
With the EAH6850 DirectCU, Asus is offering an excellent Radeon HD 6850, well cooled, quiet and well finished. It will therefore be a viable replacement for the reference model which can’t be found in stores.

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Gigabyte HD 6850  

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