Our first Barts XT: XFX Radeon HD 6870
The XFX Radeon HD 6870 is essentially an AMD reference board with XFX stickers slapped on it. In fact, a large portion of higher-end cards regardless of manufacturer are usually reference boards too.
The Radeon HD 6870 sports two 6-pin PCI Express power connectors. Its rated TDP is 151W; the limit for using a single connector is 150W. Well, AMD could have gotten away with using a single power connector, but they are not taking any chances, especially with users who have screwy power supply units.
As the Radeon HD 6800 Series is a mid-high end card, do not expect to do 3-way CrossFire. There is only one connector for a 2-way CrossFire configuration. Similarly, NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 460 supports only 2-way SLI.
At the I/O end of the card, there are two DVI outputs, one HDMI output and two mini DisplayPorts.
There is an XFX-branded exhaust vent; it has better ventillation than the smaller rectangular slits on the default bracket.
Looking at the back of the XFX Radeon HD 6870 immediately tells us that this is definitely a reference card.
Our second Barts XT: ASUS EAH6870
The ASUS EAH6870 is another AMD reference card, with its own branding.
No, this is not ‘just another sticker'; ASUS has opted to use a thin aluminium plate with a smooth matte finish instead. Combined with a similar ‘stripes’ design and color theme as the cooler, the EAH6870 gives a minimalistic feel which we found attractive.
Two 6-pin PCI Express power connectors at one end, and a single CrossFire connector at the other.
Same outputs found on the EAH6870 as both the XFX and ASUS cards are AMD reference boards.
The only way to tell the XFX Radeon HD 6870 and the ASUS EAH6870 apart when both have their backs face up, is by their internal coding label.