[Tested] SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6870 1024MB Review

SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6870 Review Index

7 – SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6870 Power consumption and Overclocking (TriXX)

SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6870, FurMark 1.8.2 Xtreme mode

For the power consumption, I used FurMark 1.8.2 and the upcoming FurMark 1.9.0. The graphics workload in the new FurMark 1.9.0 has been slightly increased, leading to more power consumption (few watts in more). But this extra graphics workload can make the difference with high overclocking settings. It was the real first test of the new FurMark 1.9.0 (will be released in few days).

The total power consumption of my testbed in idle is 110W (HD 6870 with default clocks).

With default settings (GPU core: 900MHz, Vcore or VDDC: 1.175V, memory: 1050MHz), the total power consumption of the system is 282W for a max GPU temperature of 85°C (FurMark settings: 1920×1080, fullscreen, Xtreme burn-in, no AA, no postfx).

We can the calculate the power consumption of SAPPHIRE’s HD 6870. The Corsair AX1200 PSU has an efficiency factor of around 0.9 (see this article, there is a graph of the AX1200 efficiency).
P = (282-110) * 0.9
P = 155 watts

I tested SAPPHIRE TriXX to overclock the ENGTX580. SAPPHIRE sent me the latest 0.4.21 beta version. If you don’t know TriXX, here are some screenshots:





More information about TriXX can be found on TriXX homepage.

So, using TriXX, and by modifying the GPU core clock and the GPU voltage (or Vcore or VDDC), I managed to get a stable value under FurMark for a GPU clock of 1000MHz and a GPU voltage of 1.300V. Cool isn’t it? Okay on other websites, they find values like 1045MHz for the GPU but hey, here at Geeks3D, we use the Xtreme burn-in mode of FurMark and this test is really severe with the hardware. So 1000MHz under FurMark is nice!

Here are some tests I did:

  • FurMark 1.8.2, GPU core: 900MHz, Vcore=1.175V. Total power consumption: 282W (HD6870 alone: 155W), GPU temp: 85°C, GPU current: 68A and GPU power draw: 79W
  • FurMark 1.8.2, GPU core: 940MHz, Vcore=1.175V. Total power consumption: 288W (HD6870 alone: 160W), GPU temp: 86°C, GPU current: 71A and GPU power draw: 83W
  • FurMark 1.8.2, GPU core: 960MHz, Vcore=1.187V. Total power consumption: 296W (HD6870 alone: 167W), GPU temp: 87°C, GPU current: 73A and GPU power draw: 86W
  • FurMark 1.8.2, GPU core: 980MHz, Vcore=1.193V: FREEZE!!!
  • FurMark 1.8.2, GPU core: 980MHz, Vcore=1.281V. Total power consumption: 333W (HD6870 alone: 200W), GPU temp: 91°C, GPU current: 87A and GPU power draw: 111W
  • FurMark 1.8.2, GPU core: 1000MHz, Vcore=1.300V. Total power consumption: 347W (HD6870 alone: 213W), GPU temp: 92°C, GPU current: 92A and GPU power draw: 119W
  • FurMark 1.9.0, GPU core: 1000MHz, Vcore=1.300V. Total power consumption: 355W (HD6870 alone: 220W), GPU temp: 94°C, GPU current: 99A and GPU power draw: 128W

As you can see FurMark 1.9.0 is not a toy… Nearly 30 amperes (GPU current) in more for the GPU compared to default clocks. Nothing to say, SAPPHIRE HD 6870 is a card for overclockers.

FurMark Approved

SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6870 + FurMark 1.8.2

To reproduce such overclocking test, I recommend you to have some quality hardware, because we exceed the electric specifications of the system. In my case, a GIGABYTE A-UD5 motherboard and a high-end PSU: Corsair’s AX1200!

Here is a comparative table of the power consumption of the card ALONE (not the total power consumption of the system):

Power: 330W – ASUS ENGTX580 (core: 871MHz, Vcore:1.088V)
Power: 290W – ASUS ENGTX580 (default settings)
Power: 272W – EVGA GTX 480
Power: 220W – SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6870 (core: 1000MHz, Vcore: 1.300V)
Power: 185W – ATI Radeon HD 5870
Power: 155W – SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6870 (core: 900MHz, Vcore: 1.175V)
Power: 147W – ASUS EAH6870
Power: 135W – MSI N460GTX Cyclone 768D5 OC

The max total power consumption of SAPPHIRE HD 6870 is 220W while the GPU one is 128W (according to GPU-Z). The difference, 220-128 = 92W, is the power consumption of the rest of the board (especially the VRM).

SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6870, FurMark 1.9.0
SAPPHIRE HD 6870 and FurMark 1.9.0

SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6870 Review Index