MSI R6850 Cyclone PE / OC Graphics Card
Author: Shawn Knight
Editor: Zahn Funk
Date: 06-27-2011
Provided by: MSI

Discrete computer graphics are one of the toughest markets to keep current with. New graphics cores are released on a pretty frequent basis from both ATI and NVIDIA and with naming schemes that change nearly as often, it can be difficult to determine where each card stands in relation to others in the same price range. Today we will be taking a look at the MSI R6850 PE / OC graphics card, a mid-range GPU that was launched at the end of last year. Codenamed Barts, this GPU is built on a 40nm process with support for DirectX 11 & Open GL 4.0. Other notable features include HDMI 1.4a & DisplayPort 1.2 support as well as AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology and CrossfireX support.

MSI supplied us with their Cyclone Power Edition / OC edition card which features an aftermarket cooler, a 6+1 phase power system, triple over voltage adjustment and comes factory overclocked. The card arrived in the attractive retail package shown above with a large photo of the card on the front that highlights the Cyclone cooler. On the back is a detailed list of features and a minimum system requirement list. Included in the retail box is the graphics card (with plastic caps on all connectors), various user guides and installation instructions, a Crossfire cable, dual 4-pin Molex to 6-pin PCI-e connector and a DVI/ VGA adapter. Below is a list of features and specifications, borrowed from MSI's website.

MSI has increased the GPU clock up to 860 MHz, an increase of 85 MHz over AMD's clock rate of 775 MHz. Additionally MSI has pushed the GDDR5 memory clock speed up to 4400 MHz, up from 4000 MHz on the reference AMD design. A factory overclock isn't uncommon as many manufacturers use this method to differentiate their cards from the competition but according to Newegg's current stock, the MSI Cyclone is the fastest factory overclocked 6850 available in terms of GPU speed. The next closest options are 40 MHz slower offered by Sapphire, HIS, XFX and Gigabyte.

Let's move ahead and take a closer look at the MSI R6850 Cyclone PE / OC Graphics Card.

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