ASUS HD6870 Crossfire EXCLUSIVE Review

Introduction and Technical Specifications

ASUS HD6870 Crossfire Review


As mentioned in todays other review of the HD6870 it is intended as a replacement for the HD5830, although with increased performance using less silicon.

With an expected retail price of around £200 we just couldn't resist taking the ASUS version for a test drive. A 15MHz overclock on the core doesn't sound a lot, but it might just be enough to tip it over the edge.

For those of you who've followed us for a while you'll know how much we love getting the maximum performance possible for the lowest relative outlay. With the 5 series of ATI Radeon cards the deal was very similar as the one we saw with the 4 series, namely that two mid-range cards in Crossfire can outperform a similarly priced high-end card. With the 5 and 4 series that both consisted of the 5770 and 4770 respectively in Crossfire.

Thanks to the bizarre decision to keep the saming numbers but adjust where they fit in the scheme of things, it means that the closest we can get to it with the 6 series is two HD6870s in Crossfire. Naturally we couldn't wait to see if the trend has continued.

Technical Specifications

The ASUS version of the HD6870 is almost identical to the reference one except for a small 15MHz boost on the core speed.

Transistors1.7 Billion
Core Clock915 MHz
Stream Processors1120
Performance2.0 TFLOPs
Texture Units56
Texture Fillrate50.4 GTexel/s
Memory TypeGDDR5
Memory Clock1050 MHz
Memory Bandwidth134.4 Gbps
Idle Power Draw19w
Release Data22 October 2010

Let's have a look at the pictures.

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Most Recent Comments

21-10-2010, 23:02:47

So youve waited all this time for a 6870 review, and in true OC3D fashion we go that step further and bring you a full crossfire review on the day of release!

Continue ReadingQuote

22-10-2010, 01:54:43

You always amaze me with how quick you jump on these reviews and have them out.Quote

22-10-2010, 02:00:59

That's why we all love OC3DQuote

22-10-2010, 03:30:39

Great review and let’s hope the 6900 series delivers the full potential of these cards!Quote

22-10-2010, 03:42:30

Was hoping for more bang than that but as the same as the 5xxx once the drivers get sorted out I imagine we will see a big jump in improvement so cant wait for that. Would love to see these OC'd to there limit if there as stable as tom said with out even turning up the voltage.

Also glad to see these push the 460 prices down Quote

22-10-2010, 04:59:23

Seems that AMD have caught the infection from Nvidia and are selling us the same cards from their last generation with a bit of small improvements which gives me an idea of their marketing team (just call it a new name 6870 and everybody will think its super and it will sell like hot chocolate)


22-10-2010, 05:35:36

Tom deserves a pint for pulling this one off - There definitely wasn't a lot of time available to churn the 6870 review out. ^^

Right now, the renaming scheme does sound terrible. However, I would tend to believe that the family naming scheme will make a lot more sense once the products above and below the 6850/6870 are launched.Quote

22-10-2010, 05:46:27

I think in their eyes (AMD) the 6850 is supposed to be as fast as the 5850 and the 6870 as fast as the 5870. I think that's how they're trying to fool people into replacing their 5 series. And, with the prices sounding so keen for those kinds of speeds people may well rush out and buy.

As stand alone cards they will make no sense to 5 series owners right now. It seems that the 6870 has been designed and specced to take on the 1gb 460 though, and, offers a good Crossfire setup for the pennies. Shame about the overclock headroom but I guess they have to compete now (where as they didn't before) and so they're going to need to squeeze on the GPU a bit themselves.

If I hadn't gone 5770 Crossfire I would be strongly considering one of these cards right now. However with the huge price drop on the 470 I'm leaning toward green as long as they come up with a cooler and don't just keep knocking out toast 'r' ovens. Time will tell I guess.

Great review as ever. Sounds like you had some serious fun Tom Quote

22-10-2010, 06:20:56

Awesome review guys (VB & Tom)! Now you can finally both go and get some sleep Quote

22-10-2010, 08:50:39

nice review odd naming on the card but hey ho.

you deffo deserve a pint fella thats some hardcore dedication thereQuote

22-10-2010, 09:34:29

VB and I got these at 4pm yesterday, VB respectfully went to bed when the NDa was lifted at 5, I had to wait till all the PR's got up and finally got a few hours at 10am! Was a very long day!

Hey 12hour review is a new record Quote

22-10-2010, 09:41:28

Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post

VB and I got these at 4pm yesterday, VB respectfully went to bed when the NDa was lifted at 5, I had to wait till all the PR's got up and finally got a few hours at 10am! Was a very long day!

Hey 12hour review is a new record
Breaking records is the norm around here

Excellent review as always thanks guys.

Cheers for all your hard work burning the midnight oil!Quote

22-10-2010, 11:59:51

Toxteth O'Grady
Nice work Tom.

Performance in 3DMark Vantage looks the same as the OC SLI EVGA 460s you reviewed last month here..

I'm glad I went with the MSI Hawk 460 SLI for the rig I put together here rather than waiting for the 6000s.

I finished the build last night and I've just run 3DMark Vantage with everything at stock and got a Performance score of 30253.

I'll have a tweak of the cpu and gfx tomorrow and see what sort of oc score I can push it to.



22-10-2010, 14:11:32

I think I speak for eveyone hear Tom (and V when I say job well done, you put in more effort than I think any other site I know does when it comes to getting your reviews up and to the detail level you put in. Right as to the card the nameing scheme is irritating me no end, I dont see why on earth they decided to do it. Performance wise it's pretty good though I was expecting a more significant bump between these and the five series. I think when the 5850/5870 and 5970 succesor six series cards launch we will see a more significant performance difference, therefore I'm going to hold off clicking that buy button just a little longer. Again fanatastic work to all the OC3D team as always Quote

22-10-2010, 16:21:26

You'd be absolutely crazy to buy any of these 6 series now. They are full retail release prices. I also think ATI are taking the pee somewhat tbh. After what they specced them at seeing this pic

I can't help but LOL.

The 6870 by that picture's reakoning is a wee bit faster than a 5850. However, a 5850 can be had for the same price and you can overclock the babylons off of it. And after what the specs almost promised (the slaughtering of the 460) it is pretty bad.

I just don't even see the point of this range (yet). it does nothing the last one didn't at marginal speed differences. Maybe there are loads of people out there who need a GPU but the upgrade would be financial suicide.

And the naming is completely hypocritical IMO. They said last time that the reason they called the 5970 a 5970 and not a 5870x2 was because they wanted to keep the flow with their models and not confuse any one. 5970 was obviously a higher number than 5870 so you could easily tell it was a better card. And then they go and call these cards after ones that are faster by the last three digits.

It honestly and truly sounds like they are trying to fool people with the model numbers which is bang out of order from any company. I *really* have a BIG pet peeve with that. Rebranding is a crime, but fooling with the numbers to make the mediocre sound better is just as heinous IMO.

Sorry for the rant, I guess I am just completely miffed. Sorely dissapointed would be an understatement. It wasn't just me either. I remember Tom making a comment a couple of weeks back saying the 460 should be very very worried. Looking at these it should be cracking up laughing, least alone worried.

The 5 series were revolutionary and the clear winners. These? very dissapointing Quote

26-10-2010, 19:44:48

Grats Tom; very impressed and fantastic review. My 5870 just died so I'm holding on for your review of the 69xx series, hopefully they won't disappoint Quote

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