AMD told us that from the start partners will be able to mix up the HD 6850 and we can clearly see that here from Sapphire. The card doesn't look like the reference design which uses a similar cooler setup to previous mid to high end cards.
Looking around the card, we've got a single 6-Pin PCI-E power connector which is no doubt good news for people not wanting something too power hungry. Across the top but closer to the front we've got a single CF connector which gives us the impression that you're able to only pair the card with one other HD 6850 and not a third. This is a little disappointing; it was a pity the GTX 460 carried with it support for only two cards and support for three was something some people would've liked. For that reason I thought that AMD would've given us support for three cards.
Looking at connectivity, we've got two dual-link DVI connectors along with a single HDMI and DisplayPort connector. This isn't really anything too unusual; if you're interested in Eyefinity you'll still need at least a DisplayPort monitor to make use of it.
The HD 6800 series and just the HD 6000 series in general are a refresh of the HD 5000 series. What AMD hope to achieve with them is a bit more performance with less power. Unlike the HD 5000 series which brought a large amount of new features over the HD 4000 series like DX 11, we don't really see that with this as it's ultimately a refresh.
The Sapphire HD 6850 we're looking at today isn't overclocked which means the core clock comes in at 775MHz (the reference clock). The same goes for the 1GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit bus which comes in at 4000MHz QDR.
While GPU-Z isn't updated to give us all the correct information yet, some important numbers not mentioned are the Stream Processors. The HD 6850 carries with it 960; a good chunk down on the 1440 seen on the HD 5850, but a nice increase from the 800 seen on the HD 5770. As we just mentioned, the HD 6850 carries with it a 256-bit memory bus like the HD 5800 series, not 128-bit like the HD 5770. ROPs are also double to that of the HD 5770 coming in at 32, the same amount as the HD 5850. What you have is a card that's between the HD 5770 and HD 5850. If we had to lean to one side more than the other, we would say it's more HD 5850 due to that wider memory bus.
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