PowerColor LCS HD6970 Review

PowerColor LCS HD6970 Review

Test Setup

There is a little extra needed to install a watercooled GPU into your system, but whether you have a pre-existing loop or this is your first time dipping your toes in, it’s still a simple procedure. For testing we used an XSPC Radiator and, for simplicity, their Drive-Bay mounted pump and reservoir combo. We did not use a CPU block in testing so that the GPU temperatures were able to be accurately read as a best case scenario.

All the watercooling parts used in this review are available from our friends over at www.specialtech.co.uk

PowerColor LCS HD6970
XSPC RS360 Radiator
XSPC 750 Drive-Bay Reservoir and Pump
1/2″ Barbs and Hose
Catalyst 11.3 Drivers
Intel Core-i7 950 @ 4GHz
ASUS Rampage III Extreme
Muskin Joule 1200w
6GB Mushkin Redline
Noctua NH-D14
Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Overclocking and Temperatures

Overclocking the PowerColor LCS HD6970 is a joy. Because of the waterblock and our big radiator we know that neither heat nor noise should be the limiting factor.

So it proved.

Loading up Afterburner we could max the slider to 1000MHz on the core without trouble. A .025v bump also enabled us to push the memory up to 4500 MHz effective.

With a little bit of behind the scenes hacking we got the core all the way up to 1096 MHz whilst still 100% stable in all testing. However this was the point at which the old silicon lottery won and the scores were actually starting to drop. So we backed it down to 1050 MHz which is the speed we’ll test at.

The temperatures were mind-blowing. After spending the day with Unigine endlessly looping with the settings at maximum the the LCS reached was only 48°C! Cool, quiet and faster than a greased greyhound, this truly is outstanding stuff.

Time for some benchmarks.