Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 Toxic Edition Review
Sapphire provide a very thorough bundle with their Toxic 6850 and this includes standard items such as power and CrossFire cables but they go the extra mile by including a mini-DisplayPort to DisplayPort connector along with an HDMI cable. Also bundled with the 6850 is an invitation to join the Sapphire Select Club, an initiative which allows us to download free and discounted software as well as enter competions. Sapphire Select Club
The card itself has gone through a complete redesign since we last saw a 6850, including a new cooler which uses a copper GPU block and 3 heatpipes which run through a set of aluminium fins. Additionally the main power circuitry and memory is also covered by a metal plate to dissipate heat. From simple changes such as moving to a blue PCB to moving onto a 9.5" 6870 based PCB and enhanced cooler we have one of the most impressive 6850 we have seen.
Our early sample of the 6850 had slightly different artwork to the retail model but otherwise the card was identical to retail models which means 40nm Barts core which contains 32 ROPs and 960 unified shaders. There is 1GB of GDDR5 attached to the card and this connects to the core via a 256-bit memory bus.
As with the reference models there is a single CrossFire connector on the 6850 Toxic which tells us that we can connect a maximum of two cards together.
Sapphire have gone for the standard outputs of 2x DVI, two mini-DisplayPort and HDMI 1.4. These can power four displays at any one time and output Dolby TrueHD/DTS Maser Audio 7.1 sound. Reference design 6850 uses one six pin connector but as this is a 6870 based PCB Sapphire have attached a 2nd power socket which gives the card more power if required, enhancing stability at higher speeds.
The core on this model is set to 820MHz and 1100MHz is the memory speed. This is an increase of 45 and 100MHz over the standard model. PCIe 2.1, DirectX 11 and DirectCompute 5.0 are all supported on this card as is acceleration of high definition content. Additionally AMDs new morphological anti-aliasing and improved anisotropic filtering are present which improve image quality over their previous range of cards.