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AMD is swinging for the fences with their Northern Islands family of video cards. The HD 6850 is roughly equivalent to the HD 5850 in the previous series of AMD video cards with similar performance and new features. The difference is this card is targeted at the same price range as the HD 5750 was just before this card launched. Its direct competitor from NVIDIA the 1GB GeForce GTX 460 does not have the performance to keep up with this card but is competitive. XFX uses the reference clocks, but the cooler and PCB are custom designs. It is interesting to see the response from NVIDIA to this card that was to lower prices and lower prices for better performing cards benefits the consumer at the cost of margins. In any event this is the first of several launches from AMD and the graphics card landscape should be interesting. XFX has a winner on their hands with the new 6850, its priced right, plays all the latest DX11 games and can compete with any mid level card on the market today, thumbs up for the HD RADEON 6850.