The GeForce GTX 460 saved Nvidia's backside last year when it launched at $ 200 (currently $ 150 for the 768MB version), beating the existing Radeon HD 5830 while at the same time as the cheaper Radeon HD 5770 was threatened. Meanwhile, the 1GB version of the same card went on sale for $ 230, which took the Radeon HD 5850's value significantly. Despite the eventual price cuts on AMD's part, we felt that the GeForce GTX 460 was a deserved winner at the time and gave users the best bang for their buck.
AMD promised to keep track of Nvidia in 2010 and 2011, so an overhaul was in order. AMD launched its current generation Radeon 6000 cards last October. The Radeon HD 6850 and 6870 are priced at $ 199 and $ 239, respectively – suspiciously close to the GTX 460.
Despite the dubious naming scheme, the Radeon HD 6850 and 6870 were not intended to be replacements for the previous generation Radeon HD 5850 and 5870 boards. In fact, the newer cards were a bit slower depending on the game. AMD repositioned the new generation cards as mainstream offerings, saying these should improve DirectX 11 performance and improve display support.
Regardless of AMD's intentions, the Radeon HD 6850 and 6870 supplanted the 5870 and 5850 alongside the GTX 460, as they offered roughly the same performance at heavily discounted prices.
Looking to today's market, the Radeon HD 6850 remains one of the best options for gamers buying a GPU under $ 200, while the Radeon HD 6870 still falls short with its only real competition coming from the GeForce GTX 560 $ 250 is Ti. It's not very often that mainstream GPUs settle down for a long time. In this case, nothing seems too big on the horizon and we were delighted to hear that HIS is preparing an update for all map versions this year.
The factory overclocked 6870 IceQ X Turbo X and HIS Radeon HD 6850 IceQ X Turbo have upgraded coolers and are said to be the fastest 6850 and 6870 graphics cards available immediately – but at a premium price. The 6870 IceQ X Turbo X is currently priced at $ 250 while the 6850 IceQ X Turbo is priced at $ 190. As a curious guy, we're determined to see if the additional fee is worth it. Continue reading.