AMD Radeon HD 6870 and 6850 Overclocked Round-up

Article Index

Performance Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: Now that we've seen all of the results, let's talk about the numbers. First, we'll discuss the PowerColor HD 6870 PCS+. Throughout testing, we found it remained competitive with MSI's overclocked GTX 460. And though it was measurably slower than the HD 5870 in almost every case, the 6870 PCS+ was 3% faster than the stock 6870 on average. From a head to head standpoint, both the PCS+ and HIS Turbo 6870s provided almost identical performance. Even with its redesigned cooler, though, the PowerColor card ran warmer and consumed more power than the overclocked HIS 6870 under full load.

Next, the HD 6870 Turbo from HIS did very well in our testing. Like we said, its performance was neck and neck with the PCS+ 6870, usually providing identical scores during our benchmarks. The most surprising feature about the Fan Turbo 6870 is that it ran 5 degrees cooler and consumed 8 watts less than PowerColor's 6870 PCS+. 

Finally, PowerColor's 6850 PCS+ turned in a decent performance, but it was never able to catch the stock 6870. On average, it ran 11% slower than the stock XFX 6870. Also, we only saw a 6 watt power saving over the HIS 6870 when we expected a larger difference. The PCS+ 6850 ran 5 degrees cooler at idle and 6 degrees cooler at full load than the HIS card.

The Recommendation:  If we had around $220-$275 to spend, which mid-range Radeon card would we choose for our next build? From a performance perspective, it was a toss up between the two 6870 cards we reviewed today. PowerColor's card had a 20 MHz advantage on the GPU, but the HIS Turbo used faster memory. Considering the HIS Turbo will run you $15 less, the choice between the two is straightforward. Yes, PowerColor's product definitely looks better with the customized heatsink, but unfortunately the redesign did not translate into better temps under load. And while the 6850 PCS+ did not disappoint, it trailed the overclocked 6870s throughout testing by about a 16% margin. With that said, it's hard to argue against the HIS Radeon HD 6870 Turbo. It keeps up with the performance of the competition while sporting a lower price tag. As a result, we recommend it to anyone in the market for a new Radeon graphics card in its price range.


  • HIS HD 6870 Fan Turbo
  • PowerColor HD 6870 PCS+
  • PowerColor HD 6850 PCS+ 




Related content