We're at that calm before the storm where video card releases become few and far between. We're at the point where companies release slightly rehashed versions of cards we already know and love. We're at the point where companies are sending out press releases about technology they've already had on the market for ages.
That's where the video card market is at and it's clear with the last few video cards we've looked at, including the one we're looking at today in the Sapphire HD 6870 Dirt 3 Edition OC. The good news is, though, that the calm before the storm means two things.
First, it means these really good mid-range models like the HD 6870 we're looking at today get a bit of a refresh when it comes to cooling, overclock and pricing. For people looking at a well-priced card that offers some good features, this is a good thing.
The second, though, and the more exciting, is the fact it means we've got not only new high end cards coming, but a whole new line-up with the release of the HD 7000 series later in the year. With so many awesome games as well coming out between now and the end of the year, this is exactly what we like to see.
Today, though, it's about a card that has done a great job providing steady FPS to gamers on a budget, the HD 6870. This version comes from Sapphire, though, and sports some Dirt 3 labeling along with an overclock. We'll check how performance is in just a quick few moments, but first we must check out the package, the card and take a closer look at the specifications of the card we have here today.
Looking at the box, the design is very typically Sapphire with the model number present on it. We've also got some Dirt 3 graphics and mention that the card is of course an overclocked edition. The back just gives us a rundown of some of the main features.
Inside the box we've got a quick install guide, driver CD, Sapphire Select Club leaflet and a Dirt 3 coupon that lets you download the full version. In the cable department we've got two Molex to 6-Pin PCIe connectors, DVI to VGA, Mini DP to DP, HDMI cable and a CrossFire bridge.
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- Page 1 [Introduction and The Package]
- Page 2 [The Card & Specifications]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup]
- Page 4 [3DMark 11]
- Page 5 [Unigine Heaven Benchmark]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - Mafia II]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - Just Cause 2]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - Metro 2033]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - Dirt 3]
- Page 13 [Benchmarks - Total War: Shogun 2]
- Page 14 [Benchmarks - Far Cry 2]
- Page 15 [Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF]
- Page 16 [Temperature Test]
- Page 17 [Sound Test]
- Page 18 [Power Consumption Tests]
- Page 19 [Final Thoughts]