Last night we published our Radeon HD 6870 and 6850 review. In it we made a decision to include a factory overclocked GeForce GTX 460 from EVGA (the EVGA GeForce GTX 460 FTW). For those who aren't aware, NVIDIA has allowed a number of its partners to ship GTX 460s at higher than stock clock speeds. A practice that has been done in the past. The cards are available in retail with full warranties.

A number of you responded in the comments to the article very upset that we included the EVGA card. Even going as far to accuse us of caving to NVIDIA's pressure and demands. Ryan and I both felt it was necessary to address this front and center rather than keep the discussion in the comments.

Let's start with the obvious. NVIDIA is more aggressive than AMD with trying to get review sites to use certain games and even make certain GPU comparisons. When NVIDIA pushes, we push back. You don't ever see that here on AnandTech simply because I don't believe this is the place for it. Both sides (correction, all companies) have done nasty things in the past but you come here to read about products, not behind the scenes politics so we've mostly left it out of our reviews.

NVIDIA called asking for us to include overclocked GTX 460s in the 6800 series article. I responded by saying that our first priority is to get the standard clocked cards tested and that if NVIDIA wanted to change the specs of the GTX 460 and guarantee no lower clocked versions would be sold, we would gladly only test the factory overclocked parts. NVIDIA of course didn't change the 460's clocks and we ended the conversation at that. We gave NVIDIA no impression that we would include the card despite their insistence. The decision to include the EVGA GeForce GTX 460 FTW was made on our own entirely.

We don't like including factory overclocked parts in our reviews for reasons we've already mentioned in the article itself. This wasn't a one off made for the purpose of reviewing only, it's available from online vendors and a valid option from a price comparison. Furthermore it presented us with an interesting circumstance where the overclock was large enough to make a significant impact - the 26% overclock pushed the card to a performance level that by all rights could have (and should have) been a new product entirely.

From my standpoint, having more information never hurts. This simply provides another data point for you to use. We put hefty disclaimers in the article when talking about the EVGA card, but I don't see not including a publicly available product in a review as a bad thing. It's not something we typically do, but in this case the race was close enough that we wanted to cover all of our bases. At the end of the day I believe our conclusion did just that:

At $179 buy the 6850. At $239 buy the 6870 for best performance/power. If you want the best overall performance, buy the GTX 470. However, as long as they are available the EVGA GeForce GTX 460 FTW is a good alternative. You get the same warranty you would on a standard GTX 460, but you do sacrifice power consumption for the performance advantage over the 6870.

We were honestly afraid that if we didn't include at least a representative of the factory overclocked GTX 460s that we would get accused of being too favorable to AMD. As always, this is your site - you ultimately end up deciding how we do things around here. So I'm asking all of you to chime in with your thoughts - how would you like to handle these types of situations in the future? Do we never make exceptions even in the case of a great number of factory overclocked cards being available on the market? Do we keep the overclocked comparison to a single page in the review? Or does it not matter?

And if you're worried about this being tied to financial gain: I'll point out that we are one of the only sites to have a clear separation of advertising and editorial (AnandTech, Inc. doesn't employ a single ad sales person, and our 3rd party sales team has no stake in AT and vice versa). The one guarantee that I offer all of our writers here at AnandTech is you never have to worry about where your paycheck is coming from, just make sure you do the best job possible and that your conclusions are defensible.

If we've disappointed you in our decision to include the EVGA FTW in last night's review, I sincerely apologize. At the end of the day we have to maintain your trust and keep you all happy, no one else. We believed it was the right thing to do but if the overwhelming majority of you feel otherwise, please let us know. You have the ability to shape how we do things in the future so please let us know.

Whether you thought it was an issue or not, we'd love to hear from you. I do appreciate you reading the site and I want to make it better for you in the future.


Take care,

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  • owbert - Tuesday, November 2, 2010 - link

    everything regarding the review is fine.
  • Bates777 - Tuesday, November 2, 2010 - link

    People like you make America easy to fleece.
  • softdrinkviking - Tuesday, November 2, 2010 - link

    i have no problem with the OC card being in the review.

    this is because... 1. you were very upfront about the inclusion of this special card and 2. you explained why it was relevant to include it in this situation.

    this also means i think you should keep the OC inclusion on a special basis, and you should probably make all OC cards a special color in the performance charts, like bright green or something that stands out so we know it's not a normal card.
  • Antah Berantah - Tuesday, November 2, 2010 - link

    I love competition and I love best price performance, so I always try to find the best cards from both company.

    Before GTX 460, I agree that reference cards must be compared with reference cards only since I thought that all cards is indifferent in overclocking capability with exception not more than 50 mhz.
    Then came GTX 460 that can be easily overclocked 300 mhz higher than its reference clock, and I change my mind. With this overclocking capability, GTX 460 not just compete with its rivals from AMD but also compete with its older brother GTX 470, furthermore almost all the GTX 460 in store now (at least in Jakarta) is factory overclocked with names like hawk, cyclone, sonic, platinum, OC, SOC, etc, and its hard to find one with reference clock.

    Base on these facts, I agree that any reviews of the cards between $180 - $270 must also including GTX 460 and its overclocking capability to give a comprehensive description about best price performance available on the market.

    So Ryan, you've just done a great review and I appreciate that you still down to earth by saying it as an incomplete review.
  • mapesdhs - Tuesday, November 2, 2010 - link

    "... furthermore almost all the GTX 460 in store now (at least in Jakarta) is factory overclocked ..."

    That is indeed the irony, 460 cards with the original 675 core are more expensive
    than a readily available card with an 800 core. :D

    I found a couple of sellers which were only selling factory oc variants.

  • BigDUSA - Thursday, November 25, 2010 - link

    As long as you make it known that the card is factory O/C. I see no problem.
  • TheHolyLancer - Monday, November 29, 2010 - link

    Seriously, can anyone find them now? I see 6870 and 6850s are in supply (with inflated prices gg), but there are NO 850 Mhz 460s around period at this time.

    Where is that market availability quoted in the 6870/50 review?
  • ComputerNovice22 - Sunday, December 5, 2010 - link

    Honestly I have loved this site from the first day I visited it for one main reason. The reason is simple, basically I have always felt that this site gave some of the best reviews of products (tech related products) that I have ever read in my entire life. Overall every review on this site has always been very in depth (in my opinion) and on top of the fact I have felt every review has always been great as far as overall content is concerned. I have always felt that the fairness displayed in the articles on this site is simply second to none. Sadly when you visit most review sites it's almost always instantly clear that their opinions are biased towards certain products.

    Even though it's very understandable that it could have come across like they might have been being influenced by NVIDIA if you look at all the articles on this site and compare the quality of every review on this site you would quickly come to the conclusion that they have always taken the "high road" and showed a much higher level of integrity in their reviews on this site than what is standard in this day and age.

    So even though its obvious where I stand on the issue of anandtech being fair in their reviews I am just going to go ahead and say that I fully support any decisions that anandtech makes when making decisions on what products to compare with each other and or how they chose to test the products they review. For one simple reason, because from what I've seen they have always maintained some level of fairness in every review I've personally ever read threw on this site.
  • greycoyote - Monday, December 6, 2010 - link

    I have lost a lot of respect for your site over this particular review .To me it seems you allowed a company to push you into doing something against your avowed policy. In this case I think it was a poor choice.
  • mapesdhs - Tuesday, September 14, 2021 - link

    Hello all from late 2021! Reading again the comments in this old thread (including my own) has been quite the rabbit hole. It's extraordinary just how much time and effort we all spent raging about this issue, which for many boiled down to pricing and hence perceived value. Other issues aside, how much we argued back in 2010 about differences of mere tens of $ is amazing, given what has happened to the market since 2018. In 2010 I remember feeling slightly guilty at spending 350 UKP on two EVGA FTWs, oh the expense! Now I look on Scan and see an RTX 3090 for 2500, while the modern x60 card (3060) has jumped by more than 3x compared to the final generation of 460s (I later bought a couple of new GTX 460 v2 cards for 115 UKP each, which btw oc to well over 1GHz, leaving the FTW far behind).

    If the gamers of 2021 could have told us back in 2010 what was coming, nobody would have believed it. :D

    FWIW I used my FTW SLI setup for quite some time, also across a platform change from P55 (i7 870) to Z68 (5GHz 2700K), then several GPU upgrades from the 2nd hand market (560 Ti SLI, 580 3GB SLI), then switching to a single new GTX 980 (I sold the 580s for a profit, bought by a movie company for CUDA, so the 980 upgrade only cost 100). That alas is when the pricing really started to climb, especially with Turing. Finally I bought a used 1080 Ti for 450 UKP and two years on it remains solid, no modern product yet makes any sense as a replacement (anything usefully faster costs far too much). I wouldn't mind a drop in stock power consumption and noise, but not when something at least as fast (3060 or 6600 XT) costs more than what I paid for the 1080 Ti.

    In the meantime I've adopted a different approach, and in 2021 it may be suitable for many: stick to 60Hz, downlock your card, play older games. I'm using a 48" 1080p TV, currently playing games that are not that complex, such as Subnautica BZ and ETS2 (not been impressed by newer game launches in ages), so much so that a hefty downclock still allows the games to run at max settings with 60Hz locked, which of course means it's much more efficient, cooler, etc. Ah well, until some GPU market sanity returns, it's a thing one can do, and at least I gain from 200fps h264 encoding with NVEnc when I need it (2x faster than any Turing/Ampere gamer SKU).

    I wonder how the rest of you have faired since the heady days of 2010 sensible pricing. Gaming tech product costs in 2021 have gone quite bonkers (obviously made worse by several external factors, especially crypto, but SKU upselling was already well underway by 2018), and who back in 2010 could have imagined what would happen with AMD 7 years later with Ryzen? Funny old world...


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