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PowerColor HD6790 1GB, SCS3 HD6850 1GB, PCS+ HD6950 2GB Graphics Cards

Interesting solutions, including a passively cooled one.

August 15, 2011



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Today we shall review some more Radeon-based graphics cards from PowerColor with very interesting cooling systems.

Specifications

PowerColor HD6790 1GB GDDD5

  • GPU: Radeon HD 6790 (Barts)
  • Interface: PCI Express x16
  • GPU clock rate (ROPs/shaders): 840/840 MHz (standard)
  • Memory clock rate, physical (effective): 1050 (4200) MHz (standard)
  • Memory bus: 256-bit
  • Stream processors: 800
  • Texture units: 40 (BLF/TLF/ANIS)
  • ROP units: 16
  • Dimensions: 216x111x38 mm
  • Board color: red
  • Output connectors: DL-DVI-I, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort
  • Multi-GPU mode: CrossFire X (Hardware)

PowerColor SCS3 HD6850 1GB GDDR5

  • GPU: Radeon HD 6850 (Barts)
  • Interface: PCI Express x16
  • GPU clock rate (ROPs/shaders): 775/775 MHz (standard)
  • Memory clock rate, physical (effective): 1000 (4000) MHz (standard)
  • Memory bus: 256-bit
  • Stream processors: 960
  • Texture units: 48 (BLF/TLF/ANIS)
  • ROP units: 32
  • Dimensions: 223x130x64 mm
  • Board color: red
  • Output connectors: DL-DVI-I, SL-DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort
  • Multi-GPU mode: CrossFire X (Hardware)

PowerColor PCS+ HD6950 2GB GDDR5

  • GPU: Radeon HD 6950 (Cayman)
  • Interface: PCI Express x16
  • GPU clock rate (ROPs/shaders): 850/850 MHz (the standard is 800/800 MHz)
  • Memory clock rate, physical (effective): 1300 (5200) MHz (the standard is 1250 (5000) MHz)
  • Memory bus: 256-bit
  • Stream processors: 1408
  • Texture units: 88 (BLF/TLF/ANIS)
  • ROP units: 32
  • Dimensions: 275x111x38 mm
  • Board color: red
  • Output connectors: DL-DVI-I, SL-DVI-D, HDMI, 2 x Mini DisplayPort
  • Multi-GPU mode: CrossFire X (Hardware)

Design

Comparison with the reference design, front view

PowerColor HD6790 1GB GDDD5 Reference AMD Radeon HD 6790

PowerColor SCS3 HD6850 1GB GDDR5 Reference AMD Radeon HD 6850

PowerColor PCS+ HD6950 2GB GDDR5 Reference AMD Radeon HD 6950

Comparison with the reference design, rear view

PowerColor HD6790 1GB GDDD5 Reference AMD Radeon HD 6790

PowerColor SCS3 HD6850 1GB GDDR5 Reference AMD Radeon HD 6850

PowerColor PCS+ HD6950 2GB GDDR5 Reference AMD Radeon HD 6950

All three cards are custom products made by PowerColor. Actually, most solutions this company offers are customized, except maybe Radeon HD 6990. Anyway, HD 6790 and HD 6850 share the same PCB — the one of HD 6870 without the second power socket. This comes as no surprise as HD 6790 is based on a cut-down Barts core, essentially sharing it with Radeon HD 6850/6870.

The HD 6790 and HD 6850 cards have shorter PCBs than the reference one, but the memory chip layout has remained the same. It's interesting that ATI (now a part of AMD) initially put memory chips on both PCB sides, making very compact graphics cards. However, that layout was too expensive and they adopted the single-sided variant.

By the way, have in mind that the reviewed HD 6850 has a passively-cooled modification as well (see below).

The HD 6950 graphics card is also shorter than reference, but bears a certain resemblance nevertheless. The same PCB is also used in HD 6970.

Maximum resolutions and frequencies:

  • 240 Hz maximum refresh rate
  • 2560 x 1600 @ 60Hz max. digital (DVI) resolution
  • 2048 x 1536 @ 85Hz max. analog (VGA) resolution

All cards require supplementary power. HD 6950 has two 6-pin sockets, HD 6790 and HD 6850 only have one.


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