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3D Mark Vantage
Using the performance settings for a standard 3D Mark Vantage run, we get a score of P16724, about 500 points higher than a standard 6870.. The GPU score (which we are most interested in) scores 16591, or about 400 points more than standard.
As always, we used the Catalyst Control Center to overclock (at least to until it's limits are reached) and begun by using the Auto-Tune to get a starting point. So the standard 6870 card uses 900MHz GPU and 1050 for the Memory. The default clocks for the HIS Radeon 6870 Turbo are nice 920/1120. Since at this point in time all the 6870's come from the same place, and it seems the 6870's overclock quite well, I was hopefully of a nice overclock from this card.
I would have liked to have gotten higher than I did but the best we could get was 960/1170. Still a nice overclock but since everyone else seems to be doing better, I was hoping for just a little more, enough to get the core closer to the magic 1000 mark. Still, as always, your mileage may vary.
Overclocking – The Difference
So what did our higher clock scores get us? 3D Mark Vantage jumped to a nice P17228, with a GPU score that consistently broke the 17k mark. The run above (the most average of three runs) scored 17181 for the GPU.
Left 4 Dead 2 showed a consistent increase as the clock speeds increased, and not just a small pointless increase either. The standard card did well at nearly 110 FPS. The default HIS Radeon 6870 Turbo scored us another 5 extra FPS for 115. Our Turbo card at overclocked settings of 960/1170 further increased the FPS to nearly 123. It's nice to see an increase that isn't almost pointless from a mid range card (don't forget, the 68xx series are mid-range parts!) for change.
The 6870 is a great card to begin, and the extra clock speeds on the increase the performance nicely. It's not a huge increase in speeds, but then it's not a huge increase in performance either. It's enough to be noticeable and warrant the effort at least, which is a little rare for a mid-range card; usually you need to look at the top end cards for a slight increase to actually be worth it.
The package is quite basic, but everything you need to get started is there. It's quite a nice box incidentally; you can easily get to everything in the box and pack it away again, and it's all recyclable.
Performance wise, the easily beat the NVIDIA GTX 460 1GB, and the 6850 and 6870 cards we compared it with too. In some games, the default clocked 6870 and the were too close to tell apart, but in many games it was enough of a difference to be noticeable.
Price wise, the Radeon 6870 non-Turbo is $239.99 at Newegg at time of writing, while the that we have here is … well, not listed. It should be about $15-$20 extra.
This is the first overclocked out-of-the-box 6870 we've seen so far, and it seems to be at a fair price/performance ratio. Overclockers will likely want to save the extra cash and buy a standard card and overclock themselves; this is nothing new. But if you don't want to overclock yourself, the offers a decent increase for not much more. One thing to keep in mind though; at this time, all 6870's come from the same place and have the same PCB design etc. So don't go buying the Turbo card thinking you'll get a higher overclock because it's been hand picked or has better cooling. It's no different than any other 6870 in that respect. This card is purely for those who don't want to risk overclocking a card but wouldn't mind the extra boost from the higher clock speeds.
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