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PowerColor 6850 ($130) or HIS 6870 ($140) ???

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I know this has been asked several times on various sites, but I have more of a specific question regarding these two cards and their current pricing.

PowerColor 6850 for $130 after MIR - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131374

HIS 6870 for $140 after MIR - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161389


So here are several things I'm thinking about...

-The prices are almost the same, only a $10 difference so that doesn't matter to me. I'm upgrading a 4670 and don't want to go crazy with cost. $140 or less is a great price point for either of these cards as they are on the recommended list in the monthly "Best graphics cards for the money" that gets put out by Tom's Hardware (and they were recommended at the pricing of $170 and $185).

-Regarding performance, it would seem to makes sense to just spend the extra $10 since the 6870 is a better/faster card. I'm also taking into account that the 6870 needs 2 six pin connectors vs the 6850 only needing 1 six pin. I don't care about the difference on my electric bill, but I do care about stuff like noise levels and heat generation. My system and power supply can handle either card.

-Regarding brands, I know that Sapphire, XFX, Gigabyte, etc might be more "name brands", but the PowerColor has 145 reviews with a 4 out of 5 average. The HIS has 13 reviews with a 4 out of 5 average as well. In professional reviews I see various sites put out, PowerColor and HIS cards have been used several times and seem to do well compared to other brands.

-I've read several people say that the 6850 is a better value for the money since it overclocks better than the 6870. However, I'm sure that was more so the case when the cards had a $30-$40 difference, not a $10 difference.

-I'm choosing these cards since they have free shipping and good rebates right now. They seem to be the best value right now. I've sent a lot of rebates in and usually get them, so that's why they are getting factored in the price. I'm not worried about any extras other cards come with like vga adapters, power adapters, etc... all I need is the card itself.

So anyway, I need to make this purchase asap since I don't want them to run out of stock and the rebates expire in a couple days. Please let me know what you guys think and the reason why you'd choose one card over the other.

Thanks!!!
post #2 of 6
For the 6850 choose either the HIS or Sapphire. The 6870 is the better buy at $10 more.
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post #3 of 6
i say 6870
post #4 of 6
If you don't want to look into upgrading for awhile, 6870, but if you plan to buy another 6850 anytime soon and somewhat be future-proof, do it.
Like you mentioned, 6850 overclocks better, but it's pure luck you'd get a card that would overclock really far.

Good luck
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post #5 of 6
The 6870 is the best choice, undoubtedly.

A 6850 will *potentially* overclock to a higher relative percentage. That is, compared to it's stock clock rate, the top overclock will be a larger percentage.

For a typical generalized example:

6850: 775core 1000mem
6850 OC: 950core 1150mem
total: 175core 150 mem

6870: 900core 1050mem
6870 OC 970core 1160 mem
total: 70core 110mem

Completely hypothetical but fairly realistic potential/probable results. Some individual chips of either model will fare better or worse depending. The point is that the 6870 has less distance to travel to the maximum potential overclock from it's stock rates, and both chips use the same basic silicon. Thus the 6850 is more or less a downclocked 6870.

Either way, the value of the 6850 being a massive (relative) overclocker was in it being a fair bit cheaper than the 6870, but given that the 6870 will perform higher stock or max overclock, there's no reason to go for the 6850 here.
Edited by willibj - 12/28/11 at 4:32pm
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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for your input! At 6am Newegg sent out an end of the year clearance ad which had the HIS 6870 discounted another $10. So now that both cards were the same price, it would be foolish to get the lower-end card.

Several reviews online do show the 6870 being slightly noisier than than the 6850, but it seem like both are pretty quiet to begin with. Another reason why I asked which card you guys would buy is because I remember reading about one of the newer AMD cards being plagued with line and artifact issues. People said the drivers were terrible. I've been looking for which card in particular was criticized and I couldn't find it. I've gone through so many websites in the last week it's not even funny lol.

Anyway, I bought the 6870. Thanks again!
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