About a month ago I was talking about how I wanted to get myself a new GPU, to get rid of that pathetic HD 5450. Well, I did, and I bought myself a nice XFX HD 6850. It was only £120 from eBuyer and came with a free copy of Shogun 2 (worth £29.99 on Steam), which seemed like a good deal (doubt I’ll ever play that game though). Came nicely next day (ordered on Fri, got on Sat). Installing was a breeze in the NSK2480 — although I had to remove my ATX, CPU and fan power cables temporarily to slot it in. Also had to remove my TBS6981, but with my issues with PVR, this isn’t a problem for the moment.
Why do I say it’s a beast in sheep’s clothing? Because of the overclocking potential. My card came with a default Core Clock of 775 Mhz (normally 750Mhz in other HD 6850 models), and a Memory Clock of 1000Mhz. That’s not shabby on it’s own, but I was able to clock it up to what was essentially equivalent of a HD 6870. Without any voltage changes, I managed to up it to a 900Mhz core clock and a 1150Mhz memory clock. GPU temps hit 73C at load. The reason this is achievable, is because the XFX HD 6850 uses a vapour chamber style cooling system, that will support the GPU core clock up to around 1Ghz. This requires significant voltage increases after the 920Mhz range. I could probably push the memory clock higher, but there’s no need, and 1200Mhz will definitely induce artifacting. Besides, the memory clock does not provide much of a performance compared to the core clock.
So don’t underestimate the HD 6850 as a card. It might seem on the weak side, but it sure has some over clocking potential. And I can get around 35FPS in Crysis maxed out with 8XAA.
That brought my WEI scores up, but seriously, do you need a 980X to get remotely near 7.9 for CPU? It would seem that the processor rating is the hardest to max out on WEI. Not that the scores are at all reflective of actual performance.