ASUS HD6870 Crossfire EXCLUSIVE Review

Conclusion

ASUS HD6870 Crossfire Review

Conclusion

We postulated at the start of the review whether the HD6870 really could be the new King of the rarely mentioned and quite wordy "two cards for the price-of-one but with buckets of performance" sector of the market previously held with a fist of iron by the 4770xf and then 5770xf.

So does it?

Unquestionably.

Whilst the performance of the single card is still not bad, alright, pretty good, and other slightly disappointed adjectives, when paired with another it's breathtaking.

In 3D Mark Vantage it leaves all of the single cards of the last generation for dead, including the HD5970. In many tests it is up there with a HD5870 Crossfire setup, such has been the improvement in the quality of Crossfire scaling.

The extra memory overclock we managed to obtain really gave us a benefit too. With a pure Core overclock there is very little to be gained, but once the memory is pushed upwards too there definitely is a bit of performance to be had. Just not mind-blowing levels.

Crossfire is really where it's at if you're looking to upgrade from a 5 Series card, or even switching across to ATI from nVidia. If you don't plan on going Crossfire then we'd wait for the full-fat 69xx cards to appear.

Results are definitely good enough that the ASUS 6870 deserves a Bronze award, and we're also going to award our Performance award for it in Crossfire as there is no denying the potential there.

       and for Crossfire 

Thanks to ASUS for supplying the 6870 for todays testing. Discuss in our Forums

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Most Recent Comments

21-10-2010, 23:02:47

tinytomlogan
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 Reading

22-10-2010, 01:54:43

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

22-10-2010, 02:00:59

Zeals
That's why we all love OC3D

22-10-2010, 03:30:39

Taurus
Great review and lets hope the 6900 series delivers the full potential of these cards!

22-10-2010, 03:42:30

yggdrasil
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

22-10-2010, 04:59:23

silenthill
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

Mul.
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.

22-10-2010, 05:46:27

F-alienware
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

22-10-2010, 06:20:56

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

22-10-2010, 08:50:39

AMDFTW
nice review odd naming on the card but hey ho.

you deffo deserve a pint fella thats some hardcore dedication there

22-10-2010, 09:34:29

tinytomlogan
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

22-10-2010, 09:41:28

AMD_PBz
Quote:
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!

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.



TOG

*

22-10-2010, 14:11:32

wraithien
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

22-10-2010, 16:21:26

F-alienware
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

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i1...on/piccy-1.jpg

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

26-10-2010, 19:44:48

Deshman
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
Reply
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