PowerColor HD6970 Devil 13 Review

PowerColor HD6970 Devil 13 Review


As with all of the current generation of Radeon 6000 cards there are two ways of thinking about the results.

With our “everything is available” heads on it’s very difficult to recommend any Radeon over even a mid-range nVidia card, such is the performance differential. Even the GTX560Ti is there or thereabouts and more often than not the GTX570 upwards will give you a hugely more enjoyable experience both in terms of driver stability, which is always something to consider, and actual performance. Not only that but the pricing is so competitive that it just makes fiscal sense to go with the Green team.

However, we know that not everyone wants to move to an nVidia card. We understand that there are a lot of people who swear by AMD and will have nothing else in their system.

So if you are one of these people, then the PowerColor HD6970 Devil 13 is definitely the card for you. It’s the zenith of the HD6970 options out there.

It looks fantastic. The red and black scheme ensures it will fit in with nearly everyone’s rig. Not only that but the packaging is replete with an array of wonderful touches giving a sense of theatre to opening it up, an element that cannot be underestimated.

The cooler is great too. Sure it’s not whisper quiet, but considering that the reference AMD cooler is akin to sitting next to a Dyson and about as good at cooling, then PowerColor have done an excellent job in keeping temperatures and noise at manageable levels.

Performance is excellent for a HD6970 card. In certain scenarios the weaknesses of the Cayman XT/Catalyst drivers become apparent, but it’s certainly a better performer than we were expecting and a very free overclocker, happily hitting 1000MHz thanks to the BIOS switch and the excellent power circuitry. Although quite who would buy this and not instantly hit the BIOS switch to get the better performance and higher overclock is a mystery.

With the 7 series due some time next year this is the swansong for the Cayman-equipped cards and the PowerColor is the perfect way for the HD6970 to bow out. Pricing is a bit steep at £350, but if you absolutely must have an AMD card in you system you couldn’t do better. So although if we look at the market as a whole it’s difficult to recommend, for those with a streak of red in their soul it’s the one for you.

We’re happy to award it our Performance Award.


Thanks to PowerColor for providing the Devil 13 for review. Discuss in our forums.