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  • mm2587 - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    You guys honestly didn't include the 460 ftw in the charts after the whole mess with the launch article, or at least mention it in passing in your conclusion? Sure I can go back and compare the results with the past articles but that not the point. Here's your chance to compare overclocked cards to overclocked cards and you don't even mention it.

    This article really must be a joke after all it ends with an overclocked "kicking" a reference 460 to the "curb"
    Reply
  • keitaro - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    If it's not mentioned, then it is not mentioned. You said it yourself that you can just grab the numbers from the launch article. So why complain about it? If you believe that this is an omission or something missed, why can't you just point it out instead of making a fuss about it? Reply
  • whatthehey - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    (I'm posting here because otherwise you get lost in the fanboy "debate" below.... My response isn't really to either of the above two readers.)

    You know, I didn't get into the initial 6850 + 460 FTW brouhaha because I figured any sensible being wouldn't have a problem with it. I also didn't bother wading through any of the comments on the "what do you want" follow up. I thought the amount of noise a select few made was stupid then, and it's even dumber now!

    AnandTech, you first need to wade through the users posting comments and do some research on past "input". Half of the users complaining and calling your credibility into question have no credibility to begin with! I swear there were a ton of new users that we have never heard from before. Seriously, do a Google on the most vocal user names and this site. Here are the nay-sayers posting on this article's comments; most of the others (i.e. 7Enigma in particular) are mostly interested in the bottom line rather than fanboy rage. So, here's a Google of site:www.anandtech.com {username}.

    AnandThenMan: almost never a nice thing to say, and definitely anti-Nvidia. Vote: AMD fanboy
    vedye: Never posted before GTX 460 and anti-Nvidia. Vote: AMD fanboy
    spigzone: Off and on poster over time, but EXTREMELY vocal on the 460 FTW issues. Definitely a squeaky wheel, but only represents ONE person.
    Ramon Zarat: Past posting history indicate strong AMD/ATI preference. Vote: AMD fanboy

    If you were to wade through the mass of posts on the two 6800 articles and eliminate flame wars, trolling, etc. you probably only get about 10% of the posts, and they're still a minority.

    I'd say the vase majority of us simply want more data. Had you overclocked a 6850 in the initial review, there would have been nothing to stand on. Maybe a simple statement of, "Time constraints (and lack of a retail card) led us to running stock settings; we'll be back next week with more data on 6850 overclocking." What's really stupid is that the conclusion wasn't even in favor of the GTX 460. All it said was, "yes, an overclocked 460 can do quite well, but it draws more power and costs more so it's not really desirable."

    This is making mountains out of mole hills and then some. Move along, nothing to see here people. AMD and NVIDIA both compete fairly well. AMD has a better midrange part right now, but NVIDIA has faster parts if you're willing to pay the price and power. Two years ago it was all NVIDIA, and back in the 9800 days it was all ATI.
    Reply
  • Galid - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    I still love the fanboys debating for some more performance there and a little less there. Trading blows for some more peanuts on a side and you trow in a 5-10$ difference then light they'll bring wood and burn someone on a stake.

    And when there's not enough difference to speak of then they throw in driver issues and such not so credible arguments. Or how they toasted every card they bought from the other competitor which is actually run by a subsidiary of the devil himself.

    Always making my day when I see a new article about video card I jump right to the bottom and read the comments! :D
    Reply
  • GeorgeH - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    HULK SMASH!! LOUD NOISES!! FANBOY RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE!! ;)

    More seriously, an OC 460 is a little faster than a stock 6870. An OC 6850 is (very surprisingly) almost the same. At $180 for a 6850 vs $190 for a 460 1GB (current Newegg prices), the 6850 wins - although with such a tiny price and performance differential means it really boils down to color preference: do you like red or green? Competition FTW.

    "Kicking to the curb" is over the top, but if it keeps the I❤AMD crowd from throwing another tantrum I'm cool with it.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    Oh, 6850 compute performance fail. Now it matters say the amd fans - so hope they didn't do the stupid and get the 6850. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    It was made abundantly clear to us in the comments in our follow-up piece and in emails to us that you guys disapproved of our inclusion of non-reference cards in articles. As we strive to reflect the needs and wants of you, our reader, we have taken your advice to heart. You will not be seeing the FTW or similar cards in any articles besides their associated roundups. As such articles like this will focus solely on the series being reviewed, and will not contain results from overclocked or otherwise non-reference cards that are not among the cards being reviewed. Reply
  • mac2j - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    It was more about comparing: Reference vs Reference, OC vs OC

    Though I agree the best place for the 460 FTW is in a 6970 OC comparison article not a 6950 one.

    As for this article "MSI R6850 OC is just all-around worse" makes no sense to me - as someone who doesn't care about noise and doesn't know a single person that really does in that kind of range ... of all these cards I would buy the MSI as it has by far the best price to performance.

    I mean it's the only card that outperforms the 5850 and even, in a couple cases, the 6970 ... that's more performance for ~$50 less with similar noise... so calling it "all-around worse" is just crazy talk.... crazy talk man
    Reply
  • Targon - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    You mean 6870, right? The 6950 and 6970 have yet to be reviewed, at least in public, and we don't have any release date for the new high end parts, which will finally allow the 5870 to fade away as the top single-GPU cards from AMD. Reply
  • mac2j - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Ugh yea 68XX not 69XX ... been reading too many Cayman preview articles - sorry. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    The "new policy" purportedly made from "abundantly clear emails" is a self serving policy and will leave us with less information more of the time.
    Anandtech will include only the OC model of the currently being tested card, and thus - they will get a happy pat on the head for the review article from their minders who sent them the test card(s).
    Oh look it's soooo fast...
    "why thank you"
    "your welcome"
    "see you guys at the island party where we can discuss the industry"
    "why thanksfor the tickets and invite !"
    "you're welcome keep up the good promo work!"
    "we will ! "
    "I like how you said it's your viewers desire! Man the spin is awesome !"
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I can't say I read all 55 pages (last time I checked), but if you weeded out the fanboys on both sides you got very similar to what the OP is saying here (and I'm sure the comments to follow will reiterate):

    Comparing stock-clocked cards from a LAUNCH article of a new series to OC variants is questionable (again the key word being launch), but I believe that few of us were asking to not have any factory OC cards included (especially when this review focuses solely ON factory OC cards).

    Just keep the comparisons consistent; that's all most of us readers without an agenda are advocating.
    Reply
  • mm2587 - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Thank you. I admit my first post was a bit over the top but really so was the conclusion to this article.

    Here's an article about the extremes of the 6850. A perfect place to mention the extremes of its closest competitor the gtx460 (yes the ftw cost more, but lets face it most 460's are able to clock within 5% of the ftw)

    Instead we're treated with another round of OC'd cards vs. reference cards. The very issue that created the uproar previously.

    I have no agenda here. I'm pretty sure I've switched manufacturers every time I've updated my card. I just want the most bang for my buck regardless of what color the card is. Right now Anandtech's articles are not doing a good job of showing me how to get that.

    I've used and trusted this site for years. Like 7enigma, all I'm asking for is consistency, something that I always thought this site delivered.
    Reply
  • khimera2000 - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I have to agree i was surprised that the FTW card was not included since this was roundup of the 6850 OC cards. But i can understand there hesitation. When they caved to Nvidia they lost alot of respect from alot of there reviewers since no matter how you spin it, and no matter what there intentions everyone who looks at the sight will see it as AT selling out.

    AT now have to be even more carefull not to include anything that might be seen as biyest. and now has to do alot of work to prove that its loyalties rest with its readers and not lining there pockets (good luck)

    If it was found that the FTW card killed the OC 6850 then im pritty sure they would have another flaim fest.

    Its not a perfect approach but I see it as a step in the right direction to patching up there relation with there customer base. Id say a good approach is do a review off all the cards individualy so you can do see there marrets and flaws, then post one big comparison review of the OC 400 series vs the OC 6000 series. then note that you intend to do this comparison at the releas of every OC card.
    Reply
  • MeanBruce - Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - link

    Oh my God, you might have to start thinking on your own, what a disaster. Remember who is in charge here, Anand, not you... Reply
  • krumme - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Excellent Ryan.
    Thank you for listening.
    Reply
  • flipmode - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Well, Ryan - give the people what they want, right? So you're giving in to the Radeon fanboys and opting to limit the products that you show. I don't know what to say. Sometimes you have to stand up to fanboys and stupidity, not give in. Anandtech just got an F for the day today.

    You're simply not supposed to let fanboys dictate policy for you.
    Reply
  • mapesdhs - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link


    Hey, wait a minute Ryan, *plenty* of us said we _did_ agree with including
    the FTW, that it was the right thing to do. You're seriously bowing to the moaners?
    That's effectively admitting your original rationale for including the card was
    wrong, which makes no sense to me.

    As I pointed out, people who objected are much more likely to say so than
    people who didn't mind. So once again we have to pander to the lowest
    common denominator of opinion?

    You should do a particular thing because it is the _right_ thing to do, not
    because the majority say so. An opinion without a rationale is no opinion
    at all. Your reasons for including the FTW were sound; it should have been
    included in this review precisely to offer the comparison which all those
    same moaners said was missing in the earlier article. It's whatt hey wanted
    afterall.

    What a sad day... another win for the those who shout loudest. :\

    Ian.
    Reply
  • medi01 - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Right thing to do was exactly NOT including cherrypickedhardtofindoverclocked card. They realize it themselves. Reply
  • SlyNine - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Wait wait. Can we please respect the opinions of others instead of having an "my opinion is the only valid one" Now I agreed with their decision to include the FTW. But it's no big deal that they don't.

    Otho I agree, It sucks that those who whine loudest get their gears greased first. But if it's not a big deal, who gives a rats @$$.
    Reply
  • JPForums - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    The EVGA GTX460 FTW used in the previous article can be found at newegg for $229.99/$239.99 (less $10 if you rely on MIRs).
    The cards in this article can be found at newegg for $184.99/$189.99.
    Ignoring all the flak anandtech took for including the FTW card in the first place, you are still talking two different price categories.

    While I'm in favor of comparing of including OC competition in an OC review, it isn't an absolute necessity.
    Further, it would be irresponsible to compare cards in different price categories.
    Given the variation in price from these OC units and how much they fluctuate, its near impossible to keep such an OC comparison relevant for long enough to be useful.
    As such, I don't mind the lack of OC competition.
    In fact, I think Ryan did a great job by focusing heavily on the AMD to AMD (6850 OC vs 6870 stock) comparison.
    As long as the same rules apply when nVidia's new cards (stock and OC) come out, I see nothing to complain about.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I disagree. Very few people are hard-capped at exactly X dollars. If I see that $20 more buys me 20% more performance I may just decide to shell out a bit extra coin. Taking this a step further, what is the point in including the GTX480? It's not even close to being in the same price category. It's used as a metric to show just what higher-end cards can do, and allows for the reader to quickly judge how long a past top-of-the-line part still has life before contemplating replacement with a middle-tier part.

    Personally to prevent muddying the charts I think one step above and below the price category (say +/- $50-75 for low/mid-range parts) is really all that is needed, but that SHOULD include the FTW. It's up to the reader to decide if the extra money, heat, noise, etc. is worth it for better performance. I do have to admit though that I like comparing my aging 4870 to the competition and it was nice to see it displayed in this review to remind me of the performance increase I could be seeing on my gaming system (currently game at 19" LCD so it's tough to justify as everything still plays great at that low resolution).
    Reply
  • totenkopf - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    7Enigma, read the title. If you are concerned with relative performance at given price points for the purpose of informed shopping, seek out articles similar to 'best graphics cards for the money' articles like Tom's runs. Also, criticizing their decision to include the 480 because of price seems irrelevant, they are measuring the performance of various 6850's as per the title, the rest of the cards are just simple reference.

    In this case, an additional $75 dollars represents around 40% of these cards initial cost. That's a pretty big extra expense. If i were in the market for a $20,000 car, I wouldn't see myself casually spending an extra $8,000 to take advantage of a deal. Presumably, this article is aimed at readers who already have decided on the 6850 and want to know more about those particular cards, not readers shopping different price points.

    If Nvidia feels the OCed 460 is a better representation of that model, then they should respec the 460 at those speeds (i.e. GTX465). Until then, respect ATs decidion to leave out non-reference boards unless they are particularly relevant to the article (GTX 460 roundup). For reviews to remain relevant they must measure the nominal performance of specific models so average readers don't get confused/misled; people like you are already very well informed about the ever changing GPU market.
    Reply
  • Willhouse - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    I would also like to see an overclocking comparison between Nvidia and AMD. I reveiewed the article here:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3810/nvidias-geforce...

    The nvidia cards are behind by ~6 fps in crysis and more or less equal on Bad Company 2. That appears to be the only apples to apples games comparison.

    However, there is a key difference. No attempt was made to overclock the Nvidia memory, which you claim is key in the AMD article. I'm no expert, so maybe nvidia memory doesn't overclock well and the comparison is fair. However, there does not appear to be an apples to apples comparison in the recent AMD article, and I think this is worth a revisit.
    Reply
  • Willhouse - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    Oops, sorry. I re-read the 6850/70 launch article and the GTX460 FTW performance is a pretty fair comparison (the memory was overclocked somewhat) to the cards from this article. Its omission from this article is strange to me though. Reply
  • blandead - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    why would the gtx460 ftw it has nothing to do with this, go cry a river.

    its about 3 overclocked cards and reference others. not super super overclocked 460 ftw which is a competitor to 6870 in first place. so yea go look if you want.
    Reply
  • vedye - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    The damage to Anandtech's image is already done. Before I easily trust every words it says. Now I look at these articles with grins of salt. It's a commercial website after all. Just read it as a joke. Reply
  • Minion4Hire - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    ??????

    Are you kidding? You're kidding, right?

    Anandtech is a site that gives a shit about its readers. They respond very well to feedback and always try to do well by their audience. You have literally NO clue about what this site is about and what they have done over the years.

    This supposed OC 460 debacle is a joke. I read the original article without the slightest problem with it and was entirely surprised when a bunch of oversensitive people got all butt hurt over nothing. What's wrong with comparing any given card(s) at any given price point(s)? The data speaks for itself. EVGA managed to offer one very competitive GTX 460. Kudos to them. I really don't care where or how Anandtech sourced said 460, they were able to include it in the article and that's awesome. The more data the better.

    Seriously, Ryan, Anand, just do your thing. Don't worry about offending anyone and don't hold back. You guys serve up great content, and have consistently done so for some time now. I and many others look forward to the rest of your Barts coverage as the other 6000-series products trickle their way into the market.
    Reply
  • vedye - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    This "supposed OC 460 debacle" is a joke to you because you are a NV fan. I am using a GTX480 but I'm disgusted by NV's PR actions.

    Did NV PR called Anandtech asking him to include an OC 460? Yes he did. And he included a limited edition that has the highest OC percentage. No matter what you say.
    Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    Limited edition? Is that why it has been for sale, in stock, ever since the article came out??

    The debacle was a complete joke. As if it shouldn't be allowed to compare a product with "OC" in the model number, because model numbers really mean so much.
    Reply
  • tech6 - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Please don't feed the troll. Reply
  • haplo602 - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    on the test setup page:

    Video Cards: AMD Radeon HD 6870
    AMD Radeon HD 6850
    AMD Radeon HD 5870
    AMD Radeon HD 5850
    AMD Radeon HD 5770
    AMD Radeon HD 4870
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1GB
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 768MB
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216
    XFX Radeon HD 6850
    MSI R6850 OC
    Asus EAH6850

    However the card is nowhere in the graphs. Yet 5770 is there .... I was actualy interested in that comparison. thanks for the good work.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I actually don't have the GTS 450 on the new test suite. We'll be updating Bench this next week, at which point it'll show up. Reply
  • Marburg U - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    http://img838.imageshack.us/i/gpu46068706850ocstud... Reply
  • DoktorSleepless - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I would actually love to see the GTX 460 FTW in these charts because 850 mhz is a typical OC you can get from any regular GTX 460. The 460 and the 6850 are direct competitors so having both their overclock results side by side would be nice. Reply
  • kmmatney - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I have a HD4890, which is a power hog, yet I can run it at near silence, fully overclocked, with an Accelero S1 Rev 2 and a whisper fan. Too bad they don't offer a card with this sort of cooler pre-installed - then it would be possible to overclock these cards and still keep a quiet system. I wonder if this cooler will fit on these new cards? The cooler worked great onteh HD4890, but I did have to buy an extra heatsink for the VRMs (and had to hacksaw that to make it fit). Reply
  • Pantsu - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Can't the XFX cooler be adjusted with a tool like Afterburner? I mean that would solve the noise issue afaik. But if it's stuck that way there's no reason to buy it. Reply
  • casteve - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    +1. Why not use Afterburner to remove some of the variables and see how the tested coolers stack up db vs temp? Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Sunday, November 14, 2010 - link

    Yes. Reply
  • El_Capitan - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Newegg's Lowest prices (11/8/2010):
    HD 5870 1GB.................$299.99 (plus $2.99 shipping)
    GTX 470 1.28GB............$249.99 (free shipping)
    HD 6870 1GB.................$239.99 (plus $7.56 shipping)
    HD 5850 1GB.................$239.99 (free shipping)
    GTX 460 1GB..................$189.99 (plus $3.99 shipping)
    HD 6850 1GB.................$179.99 (plus $7.56 shipping)
    GTX 460 768MB.............$159.99 (free shipping)
    GTS 450 1GB .................$109.99 (free shipping)

    Just comparing the above, there's really two competitive ranges:

    The $239.99 to $249.99 price range which includes the GTX 470 1.28GB, the HD 6870 1GB, and the HD 5850 1GB.

    The $179.99 - $189.99 price range which includes the GTX 460 1GB, and the HD 6850 1GB.

    How, if we're going by OVERCLOCKED comparisons for a SINGLE card, especially at the highest two resolutions (1920 x 1200 and 2560 x 1600):
    1. The GTX 470 1.28GB overclocked definitely edges out both the overclocked HD 6870 1GB and HD 5850 in performance, while the HD 6870 1GB would be my pick over the HD 5850 1GB, both being the same price.

    2. The GTX 460 1GB and the HD 6850 1GB are both great cards. However, seeing the Max Overclock for the HD 6850 with a Max Overclocked Voltage at 1.22v being 960MHz, and a Max Overclock witnessed for the GTX 460 1GB with a Max Overclocked Voltage at 1.087v being 1015MHz (most are in the 880MHz - 950MHz range), the GTX 460 1GB has a greater potential of overclocking ability than the HD 6850. Given that a GTX 460 1GB overclocked slightly betters that of a GTX 470 1.28GB at stock, the winner is obviously the GTX 460 1GB.

    Please include the GTX 460 1GB overclocks when comparing overclocks with the HD 6850. Most of us are mature and smart enough to make our own decisions based upon test results, rather than guesswork. Those that are biased one way or another are going to believe what they want no matter what. All that we really losing out on, is our confidence that the site that's doing the review is behaving the same way. If we don't see it here, we're just going to go see it somewhere else.
    Reply
  • Will Robinson - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Yep, the stuff said so far about AT being smart to discuss this is right.
    I don't think anyone seriously believes the site would be biased.
    I trust AT.
    Having said that it's a shame those people who dismiss the complaints of many over the inclusion of overclocked cards don't wise up a bit.
    They don't agree with you but it doesn't mean they are wrong.
    Reply
  • expose - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    What the title says, might as well admit within the article that you are catering to a audience and no longer practicing journalism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journalism
    Doing a o/c feature on a card and then print a conclusion based on no results from the competitors stock o/c or any o/c results this time is amateur.
    No longer professional or unbiased, and almost useless content because of random unpredictable motives.
    Reply
  • jabber - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I was rather dissapointed two weeks ago when we had all the 6850/6870 reviews that put stock AMD units up against purely OCd Nvidia units and no one seemed to dare to just OC a 6850/70 to a similar degree for the sake of apples to apples. I guess Nvidia's review instructions to the tame (paid) press worked a charm.

    Ok so putting OCd AMD units against non OCd Nvidia units may redress the balance but its still not what any of us wanted to see in the first place.

    Am I the only one not taking crazy pills around here?

    We's like to see a list of stock AMD and Nvidia unit benchmarks and then a list of OCd AMD/Nvidia units.

    Just like in the old days. Is that too hard?
    Reply
  • FeynmanDIagrams - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Unfortunately reviewers can't always include 100 different comparisons due to time constraints. It takes a long time to benchmark a single card. This reviewer might not of had access to a 460FTW either.

    I use a standard MSI Cylone 460 1GB that I manually OC'd to 950/1050 on air. You don't have to buy the "super super overclocked" editions to get these speeds, just have adequate cooling. You're typically only going to find extreme overclock comparisons on overclocking forums rather than review sites.

    While they don't include PhysX or CUDA, they are affordable mid-range cards that help keep competitor's prices in check. While AMD has had Crossfire driver issues in the past, Nvidia still seems to have major stuttering issues and low GPU usage for the past 9 months. They also seem to require you to run on a Bloomfield chip to have decent GPU usage(even that doesn't always fix it), where as even the 5870/5970 can make full use of the card on a modest Phenom or C2Q chip.

    The 6850/6870 seem like excellent choices compared to their 460/470 competitors.
    Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    you wrote... All of the cards could hit 850MHz core at stock clocks
    All of the cards could hit 940MHz core at 1.172v, the 6870 load voltage
    We had to give the cards significantly more voltage to get above 940MHz. This culminated at 1.22v on the Asus and MSI cards for 960MHz

    I think "All of the cards could hit 850MHz core at stock clocks," should be "All of the cards could hit 850MHz at stock VOLTAGES," but maybe I am completely misunderstanding the info reported here?
    Reply
  • jcn4boxes - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    mm2587, while obviously upset, has a valid point.
    amd vs nvidia "fan boyz" should have no place in hardware reviews, imo.
    rather the data should be presented and let that speak for itself.
    i hope the "kicking to the curb" notion is just that and not a peace offering to a advertiser/contact.
    Reply
  • Galcobar - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Never understood the flaming which results when a review includes factory overclocked video cards.

    For one point, it's not a YMMV situation -- a card purchased with a factory overclock will conform to those specifications. Think of it this way: if all the stock clocked cards were pulled from the market, would that mean the cards are no longer reviewable? Of course not, given the stock clocks are as much an arbitrary factory choice (to achieve a certain yield) as the overclocks.

    Where it gets particularly odd is how processors whose only difference is the multiplier can be reviewed with no howls of indignation. When Intel turns up the multiplier and sticks a higher model number on it, they're issuing a factory overclocked chip and charging more for it. Yet no one complains a 950 should not be reviewed next to a 930...

    The whole point of reviews is to look at price, performance, and the balance between.
    Reply
  • khimera2000 - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    ill give you a clue. one is overclocked, and represents the top of the OC scale for factory cards, also represents what a hand picked model can do.

    the other is a stock card.

    at the time it was the only card i found that clocked at that speed, and the others trailed by at least 100mhz. the FTW card is just nvidia showing off and did not represent what was available on average at the time.

    Just like now where its noted that its vary difficult to find non OC 6850, but these where not included in the review even though they where available the day i read the review.
    it would mean that AT would have hand pick a card for every new releas. I can see that being a pain.
    Reply
  • totenkopf - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Galcobar, your comparison to processors is a little misleading. when Intel augments the speed of their silicon, the respective parts are sold with distinct model numbers (950 vs. 930 as you pointed out) which is far different, and more dependable, than the 'OC' nomenclature. OCed graphics cards, on the other-hand, share the same technical designation with their non OCed counterparts. If little Billy asks his mom for a GTX460 FTW for Christmas, what do you suppose the odds are that he ends up with a stock GTX460 or some other 'OC' labeled variant?

    I will say that this whole argument is the stuff of fanboys. Purists and enthusiasts that frequent this site shouldn't be concerned with factory OC junk anyway, it all boils down to arguing over how one's favorite company is being represented. The whole OC edition thing is just money grab, product differentiation crap designed by OEMs to make people think they are getting a better product and part with more money. Usually the performance gain is negligible. Regardless, what good is an OCed card when they cost more money? The only consumer interest in OCing ought to be paying less to get more; which means you're better off getting the reference board for less money and making it faster. I don't think OCed cards have a place in reviews except in cases like this article. OCing was never supposed to be this mainstream, it defeats the whole purpose when it's up-cost marketing.

    Besides, semantically speaking, if you buy it in that configuration, it's kinda still stock. The Shelby isn't an OCed Mustang... it's a Shelby. Tuning it yourself could be considered OCing.
    Reply
  • Galcobar - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    If you want to argue that the crucial difference lies in model numbers -- which is to say, labelling -- then you'd want to remember that cards with higher overclocks do use different model numbers.

    768-P3-1360-TR
    768-P3-1362-TR

    versus

    i7-930
    i7-950

    That Intel sells the processors based directly on model number and uses the names in-house, while video cards are sold using the names and keeps the model numbers written small on the box doesn't really change the relationship.

    Higher cost for what amounts to a software change.

    Whether those software changes are worth paying for is another arguement entirely, but you are paying for an assured level of performance in either type of processor.
    Reply
  • tech6 - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Nice work Ryan.

    Let's all turn it down a notch about the 460 OC cards. This was never an issue and it still isn't. A number of available cards are chosen for comparison purposes but you can never include all possible variations. So those that are seeing some sort of conspiracy that has Anand taking bags of cash from a vendor in return for leaving out some card in his comparisons - it's time to take off you foil hats and come out from your basements. AT is an excellent and thorough tech review site and to throw out unsubstantiated charges of bias is just a cheap shot. If you have some sort of persuasive proof to contrary then please share it with the rest of us.
    Reply
  • silverblue - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    ...it may be better to just compare the 6870 and its OCed variants to the best 460s around in a separate article. It's obvious (at least, to me) that in terms of performance, the OCed 6850s cannot match the 460 FTW and that the true competition would be the OCed 6870. In terms of power and temperature, the 6850 will win, but that's not of much concern when people want the fastest card. Reply
  • Veroxious - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Well I guess it's a case of damned if you do and damned if you don't..... IMO you should have included the superclocked EVGA GTX460 (focusing the article on OC results) as it would then be an apples to apples comparison. If one does refer back to the 6850/6870 article you will see that the 2 best overclocking cards (Asus and more so MSI) are neck and neck with the EVGA GTX460 FTW. So buying any of these cards would be an excellent buy.

    The DIFFERENCE is while the EVGA is arguably a limited version/best case scenario for the GTX 460 it costs $240. There is no price for the MSI card but the Asus card is $185 (out of stock currently on Newegg). As you can see in the article ALL the 6850 cards could hit 940Mhz on stock volts.

    So you have a 185$ card that will give you the performance of a $240 card? No wonder there is no stock. At this price ($55 less) it gives the term "value for your money" real meaning. Can I have 2 please?
    Reply
  • El_Capitan - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I'm sorry, but the EVGA GTX 460 1GB FTW isn't the best overclocking GTX 460 1GB card. It may be the best factory overclocked card, but the winner goes to:
    1. ASUS from $199.99 to $219.99 where available, hitting 1015MHz core clock.
    2. MSI Hawk from $189.99 to $199.99 where available, hitting 960MHz core clock.

    Comparing those prices to any of this review's HD 6850 cards that range from $184.99 to $189.00 plus shipping, the prices are equal.
    Reply
  • Stuka87 - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Am I the only one who is not seeing *ANY* XFX scores on the benchmarks page?

    None of the graphs have it there??
    Reply
  • Lazlo Panaflex - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I'm not seeing them either...WTH? Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    The XFX is stock-clocked, and when overclocked all of our cards reach common clocks. So we don't break out the scores separately. Reply
  • rpmrush - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I love the in-depth vid card reviews here. I really wanna c the custom cooled 6870 cards. I'm waiting to pull the trigger on the one that is quietest with decent overclocking head room. Reply
  • danielkza - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    At page 8:

    "All of the cards could hit 850MHz core at stock clocks"

    Didn't you mean:

    "All of the cards could hit 850MHz core at stock voltages"
    Reply
  • tomoyo - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    It's funny to me that it'll seem like our wants are flipflopping, but the issue is pretty clear.

    An article about a brand new video card that isn't overclocked, should be compared against the same type of video card.

    An article about overclocked video cards should be compared against overclocked video cards of the same market.

    Simply put, you unfortunately made the wrong mistake both times, but at least this issue is pretty easy to correct. I hope you also add overclocked GTX 460 results into this one as an update, it does make sense to. The issue originally was that you compared an overclocked GTX 460, but did not compare it to an overclocked Radeon 6850.
    Reply
  • spigzone - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Ryan - "It was made abundantly clear to us in the comments in our follow-up piece and in emails to us that you guys disapproved of our inclusion of non-reference cards in articles."

    Your statement utterly disingenuous = DISHONEST.

    It was crystal clear the howl that went up was specifically for using massively overclocked GTX460 cards in the FIRST REVIEW of the new AMD GPU series AND that it violated your own editorial policy on such 'first' reviews AND at that you didn't even include a Overdrive o/c'ed 6850/5870 for comparison.

    It was ALSO crystal clear the readers DO want non-reference and o/ced cards in FOLLOW UP articles.

    LIKE THIS ONE.

    THIS IS WHERE ALL THOSE O/Ced AND NON-REFERENCE CARD STATS BELONG.

    This is really disappointing.

    And VERY dishonest.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    While a little harsh, this is pretty much dead on (once you weeded through all the fan-boy posts that had no sane basis other than a love/hate for their particular brand).

    And as mentioned the fix for this is so simple it shouldn't take more than an hour to correct. Put the 460 FTW in the charts, mention the pricing is more than the 6850 variants and let the buyers decide.
    Reply
  • mapesdhs - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link


    Hear hear!

    The closing comment in the article is really dumb. Nobody in their right mind
    would buy a stock 460 1GB for reasons I posted about before (they're either
    more expensive than oc'd 460s, or not available at all - some sellers only
    sell oc'd versions; one seller's _cheapest_ 460 1GB has an 800 core!).

    So in the equivalent but opposite manner to the earlier article, readers are
    left with a misleading and inaccurate conclusion. That's a real shame. The
    earlier article was good because it showed how a real card that I could buy
    performed. This article gives no useful comparison info at all as that same
    card is left out, all because of a bunch of moaners. While I didn't agree with
    those who opposed the inclusion of the FTW in the earlier article, the strong
    sense from all of them was that they thought such cards *should* be included
    in this kind of article. Oh dear...

    This is like watching a pilot sheer a plane left/right too hard in turbulence -
    no sensible middle course adopted, so the tail fin falls off. What some
    perceived as an earlier mistake has merely been made worse.

    Ian.
    Reply
  • tomoyo - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I don't think there's any dishonesty here at all. While I just mentioned that Ryan did make mistakes, I think they were 100% honest mistakes. His goal is to satisfy the readers. I think the effort is there, but in this case, the way it was handled was incorrect. It's pretty ugly to accuse someone of dishonesty without any reason to. Reply
  • Ramon Zarat - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I didn’t read the whole 5 pages of comments, I didn’t need to.

    The very first comment and the subsequent “attempts” to address it was more than enough for me and unfortunately, even reinforced the impression of partiality toward Nvidia many noticed in the first article.

    This second article was the perfect opportunity to set the record straight and prove once and for all the 6850 is indeed a better buy over the 460, even a cherry picked and overclocked to death one. Pitting them one against the other was the thing to do, but no, Anand didn’t. Asking why he didn’t is kind of answering the question.

    The reality is those 6850 can all hit 1Ghz on air with the help of a slight voltage adjustment. Most reach 950Mhz at stock voltage. Some even report near 1.1Ghz stable, still with air cooling, but at 1.3V. The 460 can do 850Mhz on air under the best of circumstances, period.

    What we all want to see is an overclocked to death 460 against an overclocked to death 6850. Ask both Nvidia and AMD to send you the best of their respective sample and let see what a 460 at 850Mhz can do against a 6850 at over 1Ghz… If we are to accept bogus cherry picked sample, and we all know the limited 850Mhz edition are just that: super top cream golden cherry not representative of the vast majority of 460 GPU, lets assume ourselves entirely.

    Give us the power and thermal at those speeds. Also do a SLI VS CF at those settings.
    Again, we all know the answer: The 6850 destroys the 460 on power, speed, scalability and price ratio when apple to apple protocol is applied.. For some reason, this web site doesn’t want you, the reader, to know about it.

    Ramon.
    Reply
  • El_Capitan - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Really, read the 5 pages of comments. Maybe you can also stop speaking out of your ass.

    http://forums.overclockersclub.com/index.php?showt...
    http://img101.imageshack.us/i/furmarksingle4601005...

    Listen, it's fine if the HD 6850 overclocks like a monster and there's results to prove it, but don't belittle the GTX 460 1GB with bogus claims. Why don't you provide us with some proof? Obviously AnandTech can't provide it, but you know how to Google, right?
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I spent a bit of time over my lunch break to compare the Asus OC 6850 card in this review and the FTW 460 in the previous review. I put together a table in Excel but will have to summarize since this comment system is so archaic.

    I chose the Asus for 2 reasons: it was the top pic in this roundup due to power draw and noise and could OC to the same levels at 1.172, and it has such a low OC that at "stock" OC it is basically a reference 6850.

    Here is my summary:

    -At STOCK OC the Asus is 13-24% slower than the 460 FTW (10%, 13%, 24%, 13%, and 17% for Crysis, Battleforge, Civ 5, BC2, and ME2 respectively)

    -At 940MHz core only CIV 5 has a significant win for the 460 FTW (16%), the other games are a wash (-2 to 2%)

    -Idle power consumption is equal (I had to use the reference 6850 from the previous article since it is not in this OC article but they should be within a watt or two)

    -Load power consumption in Crysis is 13.5% lower with the Asus as compared to the 460FTW (269w vs. 311w)

    -Load power consumption in Furmark is 18.4% lower with the Asus as compared to the 460FTW (292w vs. 358w)

    -Idle noise levels are equal (again had to base this off of the previous article at reference clocks so could be slightly higher at idle but not likely)

    -Load noise levels are 3.5dB higher with the Asus as compared to the 460FTW (that IS significant as 3 dB is a doubling in sound pressure)

    So here's my recommendations:

    If you care only about performance the 940MHz OC'd Asus is tough to argue against. It's cheaper and behaves almost exactly like a 460FTW in the games tested except for CIV 5 where it is 16% slower at 1920X1200 resolution (both still very playable at 35.5fps and 42.2fps)

    If you care about power consumption the 940MHz OC'd Asus uses significantly lower power (13.5-18.5% less, 40-60w less)

    If you care about noise level the 940MHz OC'd Asus is significantly louder than the 460 FTW (3.5dB higher).

    If you do not want to OC these cards and use them strictly at their "stock" OC speeds the 460FTW is in a different class (both price and performance). The upgrade is worth it.

    So basically the only situation I would recommend the 460FTW over one of these 6850 OC cards (knowing that they *should* OC to 940MHz core, 1150MHz ram) is if the user does not plan to OC the card. And for that reason I definitely think the 460 FTW should have been compared in this review of aftermarket OC cards as it significantly changes the conclusion of the previous article.

    Sorry for the long rant.....
    Reply
  • spigzone - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Long post maybe, but that was the opposite of a rant.

    Thanks for taking the time to lay out the hard numbers on this.
    Reply
  • El_Capitan - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Yup, same sentiments. Reply
  • SunLord - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I've yet to find a single 6850 that has two mini display port since launch and I highly doubt that they exist in the US if at all outside of the AMD branded reference card. Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    AT normally tears the cooler off to examine the card, and then dissects the cooler itself too. Neither 6800 article has done this though. It should be an even bigger priority when we're comparing non reference cards that are competing purely on their unique designs. Are these cards on loan? Do they have to be returned in the same condition they where received? If so, I say just ship them back without reviewing them. :P

    I just came from XBitLabs, where they did a proper teardown of both a stock 6850 and 6870, and that Asus card looks a lot like the stock 6870 board. It has the two top mounted PCIe power connectors, and the VRMs appear to be between the GPU and IO ports. I would not be surprised if it really was a 6870 PCB. Check it out!
    Reply
  • khimera2000 - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I appreciate the review, it looks alot less of a hot article as the last one, and its clear that a good amount of effert went into this article just by the comments AT left, and the way the article was written.

    I was also wondering when will the review of the higher end 6xxx card be availabe?
    Reply
  • Cali3350 - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    A lot of Doom and Gloom here about the OC cards. Let me try and tell you, Ryan and Anand, what I think the people want as a majority:

    1. Never use OC'd cards in a initial review. Ever. You guys, quite frankly, should have known this and the flak you are getting for using it is deserved imo. Nvidia conned you guys into making their cards unfairly better than the competition in the main review article of a major launch and you fell for it. That article will likely get much more readership than any roundup, and is likely to be looked up in higher numbers down the line. You played that one like a PR branch of Nvidia and you made people angry (imo rightly so). Dont ever do this again. Do not review anything but stock clocks in your GTX 580 review tommorow, and dont you dare use a overclocked anything in your upcoming Cayman review either.

    2. Always use OC'd cards in your comparisons. This a COMPARISON article of AIB's and the products they are offering. Ofcourse we want to see how a overclocked 460 compares to a overclocked 6850, this is the article where we go over what is out there in the retail market, not what is officially supplied by the creators. This article loses a lot of value without a 460 OC'd in it.

    Launch articles = what we are getting from the creators of the product.

    Comparison articles = what we are buying in the real world.

    I love this site, and I do not think your biased, but I wont defend you over the 68XX review either.
    Reply
  • AnandThenMan - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I agree with what you are saying here. The problem is, the genie is out of the bottle. Anandtech should not let the 68xx review stand as is, the FTW results should be removed, and all references to it. And if that is not done, then overclocked AMD cards must be included in all future reviews, no exceptions. In fact, Anandtech should accept a hand picked, delivered to their door card from AMD.

    If neither are done, then I would question all results published here, there is a credibility problem to say the least. You can't start picking and choosing how reviews are done depending on the hardware. That is exactly why policies are in place. Sadly that policy was ignored.
    Reply
  • Jamahl - Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - link

    This.

    Ryan Smith and Anand deserve the fallout over this. They brought it on themselves as does any site that shifted their goalposts in the past few weeks.
    Reply
  • Dwebtron - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I'm super interested in this one, as I'm holding on to mine... but it never appears in the charts? Reply
  • RaptorTek - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link


    Its really the immature fanboys that cant handle seeing their company/card lose that make a stink about including the FTW OC cards in the mix. It makes them feel insecure about themselves and their decisions on being a fanboy for which they decided to spend their hard earned money on. When it comes down to it, the more data we have available the better the decisions we can make on what really is the best hardware for the price. Having the FTW 460 1gb in the stock 6850/6870 article was good since it showed what the contending cards possibilities were. Including the FTW 460 1gb in this OC article would of been even more relevant for side by side comparisons. I would hope Anandtech can see that even if some of "the readers" complain about these things, its really for the best in the logical comparison of these cards.
    Reply
  • El_Capitan - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Indeed. Why would any logical person WANT LESS data?

    Fanboy: My HD 6850 that I bought for $189.99 is better than a stock GTX 460 1GB you purchased for $239.99, and overclocks higher!

    Realist: I bought by GTX 460 1GB for $189.99 and it overclocks to 1015MHz without unlocking the voltage, what are you talking about?

    Fanboy: AnandTech doesn't show that, so it's not relevant!

    Realist: You're retarded.

    Fanboy: You're an Nvidia fanboy!

    Realist: I also own a HD 5870 2GB that I bought for $250.

    Fanboy: Yeah, right, whatever!

    Realist: ...

    Fanboy: Stupid fanboys, they think they know everything.

    Realist: :Facepalm:
    Reply
  • AnandThenMan - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    You both completely missed the point, and sounded childish and fanboy-ish in the process. Reply
  • jsrivo - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    From what I've read, the OCed cards are reaching 800-900MHz on average, and claiming that 1015MHz is realistic for most buyers is a bit fanboyish, in my opinion. Reply
  • Etern205 - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    XFX cost $10 bucks more and has the exact same spec as the reference.
    Where does that $10 go to? To that "XFX" cut out on the I/O plate?

    All of them went and have gone with a single standard display port, rather than the 2x mini DP, thus you can only have 3 monitors rather than 6 in Eyefinity mode.
    Reply
  • Etern205 - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Disregard the 2nd complaint, looks like the HD6850 do not have 2x mini DP, except for the reference card in the press shots Reply
  • tigersty1e - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I think everybody was mad about the other article because it was pinning a stock ATI card with an OC'd Nvidia card.

    When you bring in an article about OC'd ATI cards, I want to see the competition's OC'd cards.
    Reply
  • totenkopf - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    I only now checked the prices...

    Is this a joke? What is all the fuss about the GTX460 FTW? It's the same price as a stock 5850 or 6870 and ~same performance. If you were a rational human wouldn't you buy either of those AMD cards and just OC them to the gills like the FTW... but smoke the crap out of it? more importantly, why are people up in arms about including it in this review when it isn't even supposed to compete with the 6850? It's a bad buy any way you slice it it seems.
    Reply
  • Quidam67 - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    This drama about the GTX460, in relation to *this* article is out of hand.

    Frist off, the evga 460 FTW card is a Factory overclock, but this article is about the custom overclocking potential of the HD6850 cards.

    So if they were going to include GTX460 cards, it is irrelevent what the stock clock is. What is relevent is, after being custom overclocked, which card comes out first?

    Along those lines, most people already acknowledge that this sort of comparrison is best saved for the HD6870 cards where overclocked GTX460's are more likely to meet their match.

    Although I did not agree with AT's choice to include the evga GTX460 FTW in the HD 6850/70 launch article, I fail to see how they have done anything wrong with this piece. Perhaps you just need to wait for the right article to come out -so here's a suggestion, why don't you just ask for it, without hurling insults?

    Lastly, I think this forum (sadly) needs moderation. Some of the behaviour here is not of an acceptable standard, and dilutes the many quality posts that are made by people of a more rational and civil nature.
    Reply
  • vedye - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    It's called credibility crisis. I just have a different feel to the Anandtech website now. Reply
  • Andyburgos - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    (Takes a long breath, and warns about a long post)

    Hello everyone, and specially to the AnandTech staff.

    This is my first post, for I have created an account specially for this "overclocked cards or not?" affaire; I´m late to the party, and that´s because my opinion is maybe very different to what I have seen until now, and I wouldn´t like to upset anyone.

    I´m 21 years old, I work with computer hardware since I was 14, and not even living on the other side of the world (Argentina) has changed the fact that AnandTech is and was so important for my computer life as my first Athlon XP, my first 64-bit OS install or my first dual core processor. AT and the now derailed Tom´s Hardware were, back in the early 2000s, my main source of information, and the great articles on those pages helped me understand many things about computer hardware and software. Anand is GIFTED at explaining things, and I have yet to find one of his articles being boring; and the new reviewers, a bit unpolished at first and way improved now, are doing great and they provide new points of view: they make AT a more complete site.

    The fact that I live in Argentina and yet AT is my primary site for hardware information is a testament to the fact that I find them completely unbiased and absolutely professional in their reviews. In my country, while there are a couple of good publications about computer science, we are very far from this great standards.

    However, and with the most absolute respect, I think you need to review some of your reviewing standards. The staff has grown, and along the new points of view have come very different article layouts, wich make them a bit "harder" to read; the video card market has changed a lot in the last five or so generations, and you need to think about what to do with factory overclocked cards, as this case; processors have also changed a lot, and even Turbo results are worth discussing (i.e., what role plays thermal throthling in Intel and AMD processors and how does that affect performance instead of providing absolute numbers). As a loyal reader, wich has read every single hardware article from 2003 to now, I feel entitled to tell you what I think is best in this case, and as a general guideline to provide standars in other reviews:

    1) AVAILABILITY OF THE PRODUCT: in the GTX 460 FTW case, I think you missed that a bit. I mean, it may be available in USA, but in Argentina, while we keep up the pace in the generation of the cards, we do not in brand availability. The FTW is hard to find here, I think it must be in other "remote" locations, and a part of your readers are from there; at least in my city, you´re being read more frecuently than most national publications.
    Of course this does not affect the benchmarks, but it deserves a disclaimar as much as the inclussion of the FTW.

    2) PARTICULARITY (couldn´t find a better word in my dictionary) OF THE PRODUCT: the FTW was a heavily overclocked, non reference, not-so-broadly-available card; it can not be compared in any way to a reference Radeon 68x0. However, it CAN and it MUST be compared DIRECTLY with overclocked, non reference, not-so-broadly-available card as the MSI 6850. The GTX470 might be very competitive in terms of performance with the 6870, but if you say "ok, the 470 is faster, but mind you, it is a hot and power hungry card" and leave it at that you are openly aproving a very, lets be polite and say "unpolished" mArch as the GF100 is, and by oblitterating the fact that the GTX470 is basically lowering the price for making up all the mess they made in the first place you are making the same ripoff that nVidia made by renaiming the 8800GT 9800 GT and then GTS250, or AMD by calling Barts 68x0. The same goes for Intel: their naming scheme SUCKS BADLY, and you should be complaining about the fact that some i5 series are even dual core, or even worse i7s in notebooks. I´m saying this because I sincerely believe that Anand is one of the smartest thinkers in the I.T. industry, and he has to be heard.

    3) REFERENCE OR NOT: I will put it as simply as I can. Comparing a GTX460 FTW with a Radeon GeForce 6850 is like comparing a 1992 Nissan 240ZX stripped of all the inner panels, seats, air conditioning, etc., and the engine tuned to the max with a 2009 370Z. Both of thouse cars have made tradeoffs (noise for speed, size for performance for example) and both run at a similar final speed, but they do so in a different way. I think it is not a fair comparison: with the FTW, you get warranty along a heavy overclock, so the above comparison is not very fair, but the idea remains: compare by price, and reference or not. For example, you say that the FTW is worth having a different name such as GTX461, 465, whatever; but by comparing it to the stock 6850 you are saying "what the hell, it works out anyway" you are doing the same thing that EVGA and nVidia did by calling it 460 FTW.

    4) AT always changes for the best, you are very smart at changing for this is a constantly moving industry. Review your standards permanently, and listen to your readers but don´t get mad at it: can´t please everyone.

    Sorry for the long posts, and for those that will inevitably think I am a fanboy I will tell them that my 4 last video cards were Radeon 9600SE, GeForce PCX5900, GF 7300 GT, and recently GF9600GT.

    Best regards Anand & staff, and keep building the best hardware site on the net.
    Reply
  • vshin - Friday, November 12, 2010 - link

    Ryan, dunno if you're still reading these comments but I just want to thank you for a good review of the various 6850 cards. It was a tremendous help. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Friday, November 12, 2010 - link

    Is there a way to change the fan speed profile so it won't be so aggressive/loud?

    Since it's using a vapor chamber, one would assume it should be able to run with a slower fan speed.
    Reply
  • King.Koba - Thursday, December 02, 2010 - link

    Now that Sapphire's 6850 Toxic edition is out. I'd like to see it compared to these other factory over-clocked cards. Sapphire has been the biggest player in ATI/AMD cards for a long time and their Toxic series has always brought a little more to the table.

    This time, it has a 6870 style PCB with 2 6pin connectors. The potential of having 75 more watts available might allow it to push far past the other cards which were tested. It would be interesting to see if that potential translates in real world testing.
    Reply
  • doylecc - Tuesday, December 07, 2010 - link

    I, too, was unhappy with the inclusion of an OCed Nvidia card in an AMD launch article--it was inserting a "ringer" with an unfair advantage.

    However, in an OC article, anything goes! This is the place you should have included OCed Nvidia cards for comparison.

    The general principle should be:
    --Stock cards only in launch articles (since launching cards often have no OCed variants available)
    --OCed card reviews can be open to all since the very nature of the cards being reviewed is "non-standard".

    We just want to compare apples to apples.

    Thanks for a good review.
    Reply
  • Masterofevil22 - Saturday, February 19, 2011 - link

    Just received my new XFX 6850 with Dual Fans!! First thing I did was to install the newest drivers 11.2 and MSI Afterburner to OC this new supposedly mod friendly hardware. First attempt with stock vcore is %100 stable at 925Mhz GPU and 1150Mhz on the RAM. I can actually get the RAM to 1200Mhz stable, but the GPU has only got a small amount of headroom left at the stock voltage and I CANNOT UNLOCK THE VOLTAGE REGULATOR IN AFTERBURNER!!

    Any ideas on how to remedy this would be appreciated!!?!!?!!?
    Reply
  • Phylyp - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    Ryan: Thank you for this review - A week ago, I was going to pick an XFX 6850 based on prior experience with XFX & its brand reputation. Your article highlighted that the Asus 6850 was better aligned to my needs (low noise as my first priority, temperatures as my second, performance as my third).

    Funnily enough, my card came with two 6-pin connectors, though it shares the same specs as you've listed. It wasn't a problem for me because I had adequate connectors on my PSU for this. I had done adequate research, but Asus's lack of detailed technical info on their website meant that I didn't know of this until I received the card.
    Reply

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