AMD unveils Radeon HD 6870 & 6850 graphics cards

It's not like we didn't know they were coming, but here they are anyway - AMD's brand new Radeon HD 6870 & 6850 graphics cards.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

It's not like we didn't know they were coming, but here they are anyway - AMD's brand new Radeon HD 6870 & 6850 graphics cards.


Codenamed "Barts" (no, not after the yellow haired member of the Simpson's family, but after the St. Barts trade winds of the Caribbean), the 6800 series isn't as follow-on to the Radeon 5870 series, but according to AMD it's closer in heritage the 5850, but with the performance amped.

AMD's goal with the 6800 series was to create a graphics card line that offered the best performance/watt and performance/mm2 and the fastest sub 150W card in the market. With the Radeon HD 6870 coming in with a MSRP of $239 and the Radeon HD 6850 at $179, AMD might well have pulled off this trick.

As well as better performance/watt and performance/mm2, AMD has also included new image quality features such as Anti-Aliasing modes and higher quality Anisotropic Filtering (this is a post-process filtering technique, so may be available to users of other GPUs via a Catalyst update)..

Here's the full spec of the cards.


  • Compute power: 2.0 TFLOPs
  • Core clock: 900MHz
  • Stream processors: 1120
  • ROPs: 32
  • Frame buffer: 1GB GDDR5
  • Memory width/speed: 256bit, 4.2Gbps
  • Load/idle power: 151W/19W
  • Power connector: Dual 6-pin
  • Outputs: 2 x DVI, 2x mDP, HDMI


  • Compute power: 1.5 TFLOPs
  • Core clock: 775MHz
  • Stream processors: 960
  • ROPs: 32
  • Frame buffer: 1GB GDDR5
  • Memory width/speed: 256bit, 4.0Gbps
  • Load/idle power: 127W/19W
  • Power connector: Single 6-pin
  • Outputs: 2 x DVI, 2 x mDP, HDMI

Common features:

  • GDDR5 memory interface
  • PCI Express® 2.1 x16 bus interface
  • "Eye-Definition" graphics
    • Second generation graphics with full DirectX® 11 support
      • Shader Model 5.0
      • DirectCompute 11
      • Programmable hardware tessellation unit
      • Accelerated multi-threading
      • HDR texture compression
      • Order-independent transparency

    • Image quality enhancement technology

  • AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology
  • AMD EyeSpeed visual acceleration
    • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing (APP) technology
      • OpenCLSupport
      • DirectCompute 11
      • Accelerated video encoding, transcoding, and upscaling

  • UVD 3 dedicated video playback accelerator
  • Enhanced Video Quality features
    • Advanced post-processing and scaling
    • Dynamic contrast enhancement and color correction
    • Brighter whites processing (Blue Stretch)
    • Independent video gamma control
    • Dynamic video range control

  • AMD HD3D technology
    • Stereoscopic 3D display/glasses support
    • Blu-ray 3D support
    • Stereoscopic 3D gaming
    • 3rd party Stereoscopic 3D middleware software support

  • AMD CrossFireX™ multi-GPU technology
    • Dual GPU scaling

  • Cutting-edge integrated display support
    • Integrated dual-link DVI output with HDCP
    • Integrated DisplayPort 1.2 output
    • Integrated HDMI 1.4a with support for stereoscopic 3D
    • Integrated VGA output

  • Integrated HD audio controller
    • Output protected high bit rate 7.1 channel surround sound over HDMI with no additional cables required
    • Supports AC-3, AAC, Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio formats

  • AMD PowerPlay™ power management technology
    • Dynamic power management with low power idle state
    • Ultra-low power state support for multi-GPU configurations

  • AMD Catalyst™ graphics and HD video configuration software
    • Certified drivers for Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP
    • AMD Catalyst™ Control Center - AMD Catalyst™ software application and user interface for setup, configuration, and accessing features of ATI Radeon products
    • Unified Graphics display driver - AMD Catalyst™ software enabling other PC programs and devices to use advanced graphics, video, and features of AMD Radeon™ products

MSRP: Radeon HD 6870 - $239 / Radeon HD 6850 - $179

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