AMD Radeon 6800 (how old)

Is the AMD Radeon 6800 old enough that if I upgrade I could see a huge payoff for a card for about 100 - 200 dollar range? Or what would be the least I could spend and still see a significant improvement?

I would say yes, for sure. I recall I had a 6800GT before my current GTX560Ti, which was only around AUD$270 2 years+ ago. 6800 is quite old now.

Check out the Toms Hardware GPU Hierarchy Chart. Typically any card three steps above your current card is a worthy upgrade. 6800 is well down the list and a cursory glance suggests plenty of sub USD$200 upgrade options. ie a USD$120 R7 260 is 13 steps above a 6800Ultra!

Read the rest of the article for best bang for buck in various price ranges as well.

OMG is a 6800 GT 10 years old now? Wow, next thing someone will tell me is N’Sync has broken up.

An AMD Radeon R9 270X, which sells for under $200 these days, would be about 2.5-3 times as fast as a 6850.

There’s some confusion here. A Radeon 6800 does not exist. The 6800GT is an Nvidia card, from the time when Doom 3 and Half-Life 2 were released. Radeons in the 68xx range are the 6850 and 6870, they’re 3+ years old.

Brad Grenz already saw through the confusion, however.

I upgraded my (then almost 3 year old) 6850 about a year ago to a GTX580. I got a huge leap in performance - it’s well worth making the jump.

Whoops, guess that was my bad!

Assuming this is a 6850 that you’re talking about, keep in mind that back in the day this was the best card requiring only a single power cable (6- or 6+2-pin). Make sure your PSU is able to handle the new card.

This is not connected to the original post but is there something going on in the GPU market?

Tom’s lists the best card for under $100 as the GT 640. Yet on the chart that is the same step as my old HD 5670! Surely there is some other cheap card out there?

Hmmmm…I think I left an 8 off and believe it is a 6880?

I will look again when I get back to my PC - I am on my iPad.

6850 and 6870 are the only two I recall from that line. I have a 6870. It does alright, but I don’t really own anything super graphically demanding (no shooter from the last 2 years, for instance).

I’m rocking a 6870 and have been thinking of upgrading. Very handy chart.

I’ve got a 6950 that’s still playing modern games with good detail at good resolution with decent fps. I haven’t felt any need to upgrade. I suppose sometime in the next year or so it’ll probably be time but I’ll wait until a game really challenges my card.

I looked at my system again and my display is listed as:

AMD Radeon HD 6800 series

Open your ATI Catalyst Control Center, go to Information > Hardware. The Device ID should be 6738 (6870) or 6739 (6850). Arcane, I know, but whatcha gonna do?

Yeah, that’s what the driver reports for both a 6850 and a 6870. You can download GPU-Z if you want to see the exact model you have, but the performance difference between the two isn’t large enough to really impact the decision you’re making.

For me, so long as you’re willing to spend $200 for an R9 270X I consider that a really worthwhile upgrade. It will be immediate and appreciable. If you try to spend less than that and drop down to an Radeon R9 260 or Geforce GTX 750 ($140-160) that is a pretty big drop off in performance making it a more marginal upgrade option. But that’s my thinking. I think the extra $50 is worth going from 1.5-2X the performance of your current card in order to get 2.5-3X instead.

Unfortunately there’s a bit of a hole in the nVidia lineup at the $200 price point. A GTX 760 takes you up to about $250 and gets you a little more performance than the Radeon R9 270X. If you can’t go higher than $200 I think the 270X is the clear cut best choice.

Hope that helps.

Yes, Brad it does help - Thanks to you and everyone!

I can probably hold off but everyone keeps saying that Wildstar graphics look amazing but not where i sit (it is fin for me to play - but I just wonder would happen if I invest in a new card). On the other hand I can wait to see if Star Citizen or something else intensive will need something more.

I have not changed a card in a system in a long time. Do we just stick these big cards in? Do they have built in cooling? I know have a liquid cooling system for the cpu but not sure what the Radeon card has.

Most of them have built-in cooling, usually by being double-wide. If your existing card isn’t (I’m virtually positive it is), you might have space issues, but otherwise, yeah, you unhook power cord(s), unscrew from the rear of the case, remove card from PCI-X bracket by pushing the little lever, then push new card in place, screw it down, and hook the power cord(s) back up.

Which, admittedly, is like six steps so it’s not the simplest thing ever, but it’s pretty easy as these things go :)

I’m looking to replace a failing HD6850 as well, and I was surprised to see how stagnant this market has become. Most of the top cards are old architectures with insane TDPs. The only card I currently consider as a true, all-around upgrade is the GTX 750 Ti.