With the Radeon HD 6950 and 6970 uncovered and out in the open it became apparent that the Radeon HD 6950 is bit of a weird product to position. Basically its in its own class and segment.
Tagged with a price tag of roughly 269 EUR however this card could be a fantastic sweet spot for those that would like to pursue the CrossfireX way . See with two Cayman PRO GPUs on board you effectively can double up everything without being extremely CPU limited. Each Radeon HD 6950 graphics card has 1408 Shader Processors on-board, so for less than 550 EUR you could get a graphics solution with 2816 shader processors and two times 2 GB graphics memory partitions.
The theory is daunting and the concept interesting. Today's article will not only show you the CrossfireX performance of these two cards, but also will roughly reveal what AMDs to be released product under codename "Antilles" will bring to the market in terms of performance. Antilles will replace the Radeon HD 5970, a dual-GPU solutions merged into one graphics card.
And we have to tell you, where we are a little puzzled about the Radeon HD 6950 all by itself, but in CrossfireX this solutions seems to kick ass massively.
Joining us today in this article is a R6950 board from Gigabyte, this is a reference board with a Gigabyte sticker really. Since we do not continuously want to report about reference performance we decided to get the Gigabyte board as leading card in this review. So on the next page we'll chat a little about multi-GPU setups, we'll walk through the Gigabyte bundle and then head on over to check out variables like power consumptions, heat, noise and of course all game tests ... the results will not disappoint, no Sir.
R6950 Twin Frozr II OC review
Radeon HD 6950. A series (6900) that has been received with somewhat mixed feelings. Everybody expected the overall performance to be a notch higher. Then again armed and tagged with the right price these boards can kick ass for sure and certainly you can play all your games in high monitor resolutions with exemplary quality settings.
MSI is addressing the product as well with several models. One of the ... well, quirks is bit a big word, but the slight negative of the R6950 was its huge size and the huge cooler. As such MSI went back to the drawing board and redesigned the PCB, armed it with quality components and decided that they would need to slap a nice cooler on there. As such we see the model as tested today, running slightly above reference specification yet with the latest twin Frozr II cooler mounted on top of it.
The end result is a nice performing product that remains quite silent yet keeps cooling performance well under control as the load temperature of the R6950 now drops back to roughly 60 Degrees C, and that is interesting especially when you are tweaking and overclocking. As this article will show you, we'll bring the card quite close to a full GHz clock frequency, and that my friends means added value on what seems to be a very interesting product.
Radeon HD 6950 1GB vs GeForce GTX 560 Ti review
When the GeForce GTX 560 Ti was released shortly ago, one things was clear - the price versus performance ratio would be great. Especially with the extensive factory overclocked models in mind, these cards perform really well.
Initially the 560 Ti was targeted solely against the Radeon HD 6870, but the one thing that became clear real fast was that the slightly more powerful Radeon HD 6950 was not far away from the GTX 560 Ti at all performance wise. So a couple of weeks ago AMD decided to sort of 'ambush' NVIDIA, by releasing a 1 GB version of the Radeon HD 6950, a product with the very same features and specifications as it's big brother, the 2 GB version was priced way below what we all expected it to be.
The strategy here is, and pardon my French here, AMD wanted to cock-block NVIDIA both performance and value wise. Therefore it is with little surprise to find out that AMD is inserting the 1 GB Radeon HD 6950 SKU for only 229 EUR.
And in US dollars AMD’s partners are introducing the AMD Radeon HD 6950 1GB variant, bringing all the capabilities of the AMD Radeon HD 6900 Series to new price points. Between $200-$300 end users can choose from:
- Radeon HD 6870 1GB: drops from $239 to $219
- Radeon HD 6950 1GB: introduced for $259
- Radeon HD 6950 2GB: drops from $299 to $269
But bare in mind, new SKUs of the AMD Radeon HD 6950 1GB will be available beginning mid-February, but as you can understand it is yet another interesting development from AMD as the sheer horsepower you can purchase these days under the 300 USD bracket ... is truly amazing.
In this review we are not going in depth on architecture, you can read that in our reference reviews. This is more a quick comparison in-between the two cards. Please understand that the R6950 1GB is identical to the 2GB version specs wise, except that memory partition of course.
First off, we'll dive into a photo-shoot showing both cards, and
comparing them a little. We'll address power consumption, heat and noise
levels and then put both cards to the test.