The whole HD 6850 Shader issue has become quite a large pain as it's made it hard to really know where the HD 6850 stands internally due to both our models carrying the increased Shader amount. We'll have adjusted results for the model as soon as possible and all will be right in our graphs again.
Of course, if it works out that you're able to unlock the HD 6850 to 1120 Shaders then we're just ahead of the curve. We can hope, can't we? Today, though, it's all about the HD 6870 and its overclocking ability. We figured with voltage, 1GHz on the core wasn't going to be a problem, and sure enough it wasn't.
At the results we ended up with, 1035MHz on the core and 4600MHz QDR on the 1GB of memory, the overall performance was very strong. It does come at the cost of a bit more noise and a little more heat, but we can see in some situations the overclock managed to boost performance from unplayable to playable; and for us that's the most important aspect of overclocking. Getting extra noise and heat and in turn pushing your FPS from 220 to 250 is really pointless. Moving from a 27 FPS minimum to a 32 FPS one, though; this is going to really make your gaming that little bit more enjoyable.
Getting into specifics of the card, the Sapphire HD 6870 is what we would've expected out of a HD 6870. What's particularly nice is that Sapphire has thrown a good little bundle together that carries with it some extra cables, which some users are really going to appreciate.
While the HD 6870 isn't going to be an upgrade from a HD 5870 and not much of an upgrade from a HD 5850, it's an upgrade from a lot of other models and that's important to know. Overclocking adds a nice boost in performance and TRIXX from Sapphire is looking the goods with the software being used twice now in our HD 6800 series content.
For the most part the Sapphire HD 6870 doesn't really hold any surprises. At the moment that's not a bad thing as the HD 6870 on a whole is a good product with excellent scaling when it comes to Crossfire.