HIS HD6970 & HD6950 Review
Published: 15th December 2010 | Source: HIS | Price: £223 - £289 |
It's not often we see a huge shift between various manufacturers. The battle between nVidia and ATI has been a long running one with punch and counter punch made between the two heavyweights.
ATI just about took the lead with the Radeon 9800 Pro, which was quickly beaten out by the incredible GTX8800 Ultra. ATI battled hard with pricing undercutting the nVidia replies from then on, although they were usually just a shade slower as was the case between the GTX285 and HD4870.
This all changed when the HD5870 was released which comprehensively outperformed everything nVidia had to offer. The problems of the GTX480 are well documented but recently everything has been turned upside down. Firstly nVidia released the GTX580 which, besides a reasonably high price, is probably the perfect graphics card. AMD responded with the HD6870 which not only was the first time they've used a x870 number for something other than their high-end card, but also was quite a lot slower than the HD5870.
Last week we looked at the GTX570 from nVidia, their more "for the masses" card and found it to be all things to all men. Today we're looking at the new top-of-the-range cards from AMD, the HD6950 and HD6970 courtesy of HIS Digital.
As you can see the difference between the two cards is fairly slight with the 6970 having the expected increase in clock speed and processing units. However when you look at the difference in raw processing power of the two cards it's clear that the HD6970 has a massive advantage. 20% extra FLOPS for a small boost in stream processors and clock speed is mightily impressive and should make a significant difference in the end results.
The positioning of the new cards is especially strange. Given the re-numbering of them by AMD we have expected to see the HD6970 right at the top-end of their line. However, they still show the HD5970 up there. This is more of a GTX575 and GTX550 in comparison terms. We'll have to see if that stands true in the final reckoning.