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Sapphire Radeon Toxic HD 6870 1GB GDDR5 Review: Page 2 of 8

IF you are looking for an HD 6870 for your system, the Sapphire Toxic Edition is a solid player in the game, excellent cooling, performance and overclocking abound. By Elric Phares

6870 Features

  • 900MHz Engine Clock each card
  • 1GB GDDR5 memory each card
  • 1050MHz Memory Clock (GDDR5)
  • 134.4GB/second memory bandwidth (maximum)
  • 2 TeraFLOPs compute power each card
  • Double slot form factor
  • TeraScale 2 Unified Processing Architecture
  • 1120 Stream Processors each card
  • 56 Texture Units each card
  • 128 Z/Stencil ROP Units
  • 32 Color ROP Units
  • PCI Express 2.1 x16 bus interface
  • Eye-Definition graphics
  • DirectX 11 Support
  • Shader Model 5.0
  • DirectCompute 11
  • Programmable hardware tessellation unit
  • Accelerated multi-threading
  • HDR Texture compression
  • Order-Independent transparency
  • OpenGL 4.1 support
  • Up to 24x multi-sample and super-sample anti-aliasing modes
  • Adaptive anti-aliasing
  • Morphological anti-aliasing
  • 16x angle independent anisotropic filtering
  • 128-bit floating point HDR rendering
  • AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology
  • Independent resolutions refresh rates, color controls and video overlays
  • Display grouping
  • Combine multiple displays to behave like a single large display
  • AMD EyeSpeed visual acceleration
  • AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing technology
  • OpenCL 1.1
  • DirectCompute 11
  • Accelerated video encoding, transcoding and upscaling
  • UVD3 dedicated playback accelerator
  • MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
  • VC-1
  • MPEG-1 (SD and HD)
  • Multi-View CODEC (MVC)
  • MPEG-4 part 2 (DivX, Xvid)
  • Adobe Flash
  • 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
  • Dual-stream HD (1080p) playback support
  • DXVA 1.0 and 2.0 support
  • 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
  • DisplayPort 1.2
  • Maximum resolution 2560x1600 per display
  • Multi-Stream Transport
  • 21.6Gbps bandwidth
  • High bit-rate audio
  • HDMI 1.4a with Stereoscopic 3D Frame Packing Format, Deep Color, xvYCC wide gamut support, and high bit-rate audio
  • Max resolution 1920x1200
  • Dual-link DVI with HDCP
  • Maximum resolution 2560x1600
  • VGA
  • Max resolution 2048x1536
  • Integrated HD audio controller
  • Output protected high bit rate 7.1 channel surround sound over HDMI or DisplayPort 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
  • Unified graphics display driver
  • Certified for Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP
  • AMD Catalyst Control Center
  • Software application and user interface for setup, configuration and accessing special features of AMD Radeon products

Sapphire’s new card is based upon AMD’s Barts XT chip, which was announced last year in October as the replacement for the HD 5770 and 5830. This chip has 1120 SPs which is split into 14 SIMD arrays with 16 SPs per SIMD Each SIMD can do five instructions per clock with four simple and one medium instructions supported. This brings a total of 1120.

The HD 6870 has 1.7 billion transistors and is manufactured on TSMC’s 40nm fabrication process. AMD’s chip has 56 texture units, 32 ROPs (Outputted Pixels), and 128 Z/Stencil units. AMD says this card can do 2 TeraFLOPs of computing power, which is equivalent to last year’s HD 5870.  AMD’s goal with the Barts chip was to deliver near the same performance as last year’s chip for a lower price.

Eyefinity is AMD’s trademarked term for their multi-display technology. With the launch of the HD 5 series last year every video card was capable of 3-display Surround gaming.  This compares favorably with NVIDIA’s solution, which requires two video cards running in SLI mode to run 3 monitors. AMD’s solution allows up to six monitors on their Eyefinity Edition cards. With the launch of the HD 6 series AMD has updated their cards with DisplayPort 1.2 connections, allowing daisy chaining of monitors with MST hubs. In the meantime the HD 6870 can connect up to five monitors at once.

DirectX 11 is rapidly becoming the standard for video games being released today. With features such as hardware tessellation, Shader Model 5.0, Compute Shaders and Multi-threading, DirectX 11 really shines in games that support it like HAWX2. HAWX2 uses hardware tessellation to show off detailed terrain including mountains with crevasses and trees, to the tune of 1.5 million polygons just in the terrain alone.  Without tessellation and displacement mapping the terrain is a lot less detailed. Other games such as Aliens Versus Predator also use tessellation to good effect.

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