Asus EAH6850 DirectCU REVIEW

Price: 300USD ~ Rs 13,500


The AMD Radeon 6850 is actuality and how! This new mid-range agenda may not assume like a backup of the Radeon 5850, but it consumes beneath ability and is priced lower, so we are not complaining. In addition, Asus has customized the architecture of their agenda with a custom cooler, which adds some temperature enhancements, alone at a slight amount premium.


* Plenty of muscle for mid-range gaming
* Lower power consumption
* Price is going to become better


* Barely better than the Radeon 5850

Full Review

It is time for the next round of the war between graphics chip makers AMD (Radeon) and Nvidia (GeForce). AMD fired first, with their “Barts Pro” and “Barts XT” GPU chips, codenames for the Radeon 6850 and Radeon 6870 respectively. With this series, the ATI brand name has been discarded, DirectX 11 (also Direct Compute and Tessellation) performance has been improved, and support for DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4a and stereoscopic 3D has been added.

So here we are and the table below shows how the specs of the stock Radeon 6850/6870 differs from the Radeon 5850 and 5770 cards.

The 6850 at first glance, does not feel like a 5850 replacement.

This card from Asus has 1GB of GDDR5 video memory clocked at 1000 MHz and a GPU core clocked at 790 MHz. It has a 256-bit memory interface and 960 unified shaders that support DirectX 11.

Being a replacement of the Radeon 5850, the Radeon 6850 will pretty much maintain the same levels of performance for the mainstream graphics card segment. As you can see from the GPU-Z screenshot below, the Asus EAH 6850 DirectCU graphics card goes beyond the reference specs. It could be further overclocked as well, using the Catalyst drivers and the Asus SmartDoctor and GamerOSD software provided.

To be precise, the Asus card’s core clock speed is 15 MHz faster.

Asus has used a different cooler for the Radeon 6850. Being a “DirectCU” edition and all, there is more metal in contact with the GPU and memory chips, all for the sake of keeping it cool. The fan is quite good in keeping the card at a manageable temperature and did not get too noisy at all. Though it has a dual-slot cooler, the card still felt quite thin and unassuming. The Radeon 5850 in contrast, looked the part of a fully veiled monster.

The Asus EAH6850 DirectCU looks unassuming and friendly.

View from the top. Notice the presence of just a single 6-pin PCI-E power input slot.

Keep in mind that the open cooler design means atleast a bit of heat will be left in the PC cabinet and that you must use a fairy decent cabinet in any case for such a card. The cooling and the GPU, all taken together, only ask for a single PCI-E 6-pin power input. Compared to two such inputs needed for the Radeon 5850 card, this we think is a pretty good improvement and allows for even PSUs rated slightly lower (400W) to run this card just fine.

Display outputs at the rear consisted of the standard formula – one port each of HDMI and DisplayPort, and two DVI ports.

To prevent bottle-necks as much as possible, the test-bed consisted of an Intel Core i7 965 processor, Intel DX58SO motherboard, Intel X25-M 80GB SSD, 3GB of Kingston DDR3-2000MHz HyperX RAM, Tagan BZ-1300W PSU and Windows 7 Ultimate. We used the latest driver for the Radeon 6850 available at the time of testing – AMD Catalyst 10.10.

The graphs here show only performance numbers as seen at the default speeds set by Asus, and selected from a wider set of tests conducted. To put the results in context and help you compare, we juxtapose its benchmark scores with two other mainstream graphics cards. These are the Zotac GeForce GTX460 from the opposing Nvidia camp, and the previous generation card, AMD Radeon 5850 itself.

Below is a graph of how the Asus EAH6850 DirectCU card fared in synthetic benchmarks:

Bottom Line

AMD has a winner on their hands with the Radeon 6850. Its performance is close to that of the Radeon 5850. Future driver and price revisions will make it a very strong competitor against the Nvidia GeForce GTX460. With a custom cooler and leaner looking design, Asus has added their stamp on this graphics card. However, we did wish that AMD had called this the Radeon 6750, making for a very powerful statement from their side.

  1. That’s a really good read about Asus EAH6850 DirectCU REVIEW | Stuff Sneak

      • Om
      • February 3rd, 2011

      Thank you so much 🙂

    • Om
    • January 6th, 2011

    thanks to PCW

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