MSI Radeon HD 6870 Review
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- Packaging and Design
- Test Rig Specs
- Benchmark: Unigine Heaven, 3DMark Vantage
If you care about Eyefinity, efficient power consumption, good performance, HD3D, DisplayPort 1.2 and all the new technologies introduced in the Radeon HD 6870, it is the logical purchase you should make.
While AMD commanded a clear victory during the first round of the DirectX 11 bout, it still didn’t rest on its laurels when coming up with Radeon HD 6800 series. The new GPU marks a number of improvements in key areas which include better Tessellation performance, operational efficiency and reduction in transistor count which would directly translate to a lower price thanks to a mature 40nm manufacturing process. The fact that the Radeon HD 6870 is delivering the last year’s enthusiast class performance at a mainstream price sounds like a compelling upgrade option, which might actually turn out to be a hasty move.
NVIDIA was definitely not going to sit back and let AMD take the cake once more when its GeForce GTX 460 editions had just started to gain traction and acceptance for the Fermi architecture. And they sure did responded in a big way by cutting the prices on the GeForce GTX 460 and 470 boards. The GeForce GTX 460 which performs slightly slower than the Radeon HD 6870 but competes more directly with the Radeon HD 6850 is now retailing for as low as $180. Similarly the GeForce GTX 470 which has a slight performance advantage over Radeon HD 6870 is now going for as low as $260, a mere $20 more from the Radeon HD 6870.
On AMD’s side of the spectrum, things are also heating up. The Radeon HD 5850 has now slipped to about $230 while the Radeon HD 5870 itself has broken the $300 barrier and can be had for about $270 with some rebates. That is a very good value for your money in my opinion but what does it all mean for the Radeon HD 6870?
The decision isn’t very difficult to make thankfully. If you care about Eyefinity, efficient power consumption, good performance, HD3D, DisplayPort 1.2 and all the new technologies introduced in the Radeon HD 6870, it is the logical purchase you should make if you already don’t own a decent DirectX 11 capable GPU. But if you are already rocking anything above a Radeon HD 5770 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460, then its probably not the best time for an upgrade. In fact thanks to all the price cuts, you just might get a bigger bang in performance going for a CrossFire or SLI solution if your system configuration permits.
All in all, the Radeon HD 6870 is a decent evolution of AMD’s DirectX 11 lineup, and the introduction of an upper mainstream board has opened up new price points for competition which very previously uncontested. Now lets see what AMD can do with the Radeon HD 6900 series this December.