HIS HD6970 & HD6950 Review

3D Mark

HIS HD6970 & HD6950 Review

3D Mark Vantage

Starting off with 3D Mark Vantage, we know how the PhysX capabilities of the nVidia cards can help to increase the final score by a few points, but even still it's not a stunning start for the new HD69s. The HD6970 is about on a par with a GTX480 but the newest nVidia cards leave it in the dust. Given that the HD6970 is priced similarly to the GTX570 that's the real competition and it's not even close. The HD6950 is scaled back from the 6970 almost perfectly, and ends up performing similarly to a HD5870.

3D Mark 11

The latest in the Futuremark line is far kinder to the new AMD cards with the HD6970 just edging ahead of its competing GTX570 and even the HD6950 once again is perfectly linear in the performance reduction from the HD6970.

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Most Recent Comments

15-12-2010, 02:42:17

tinytomlogan
After the confusion of the 6800 naming finally its time for the 6900 series releases! Bring on the HIS 6950 and 6970.

Continue Reading

15-12-2010, 03:11:34

F-alienware
Excellent thanks a lot for the effort Tom !

So it was as I thought then. The 6970 does indeed sit between the 470 and 570 and the 570 is now the card to have.

What's a shame is that any one sitting on the side of the bed deciding which woman to spend the night with has now been thrust into the arms of the green bitch. It's going to be a good Christmas for Nvidia... I mean, if you weren't sure before then for 20 less at least then you can be sure now.

Ah well. Good luck to Nvidia. This should keep them from going bankrupt and keep prices fair for us gamers which is, after all, the most important part

Again, thanks for all your effort and hard work. Truly appreciated here

15-12-2010, 03:49:53

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienALX View Post

Excellent thanks a lot for the effort Tom !

So it was as I thought then. The 6970 does indeed sit between the 470 and 570 and the 570 is now the card to have.

What's a shame is that any one sitting on the side of the bed deciding which woman to spend the night with has now been thrust into the arms of the green bitch. It's going to be a good Christmas for Nvidia... I mean, if you weren't sure before then for 20 less at least then you can be sure now.

Ah well. Good luck to Nvidia. This should keep them from going bankrupt and keep prices fair for us gamers which is, after all, the most important part

Again, thanks for all your effort and hard work. Truly appreciated here
OC3D is a team effort dude, Bryan had a large part to play as he always does in this one.

15-12-2010, 03:57:13

F-alienware
Well of course, that goes without saying

Beers all round it is then

Haha this feels kinda weird, but before last night the phrase on the tip of my tongue was

God, I can't wait to see what Nvidia have in response to the 69xx !

It's just a repeat of the 460 really. ATI come back with something barely as good but are late to the party..

Sorry if I missed it Tom, but how big are these cards? they look massive

15-12-2010, 04:02:02

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienALX View Post

Well of course, that goes without saying

Beers all round it is then

Haha this feels kinda weird, but before last night the phrase on the tip of my tongue was

God, I can't wait to see what Nvidia have in response to the 69xx !

It's just a repeat of the 460 really. ATI come back with something barely as good but are late to the party..

Sorry if I missed it Tom, but how big are these cards? they look massive
Just about comes to the edge of the Rampage3 they are not that massive.

15-12-2010, 04:03:15

F-alienware
Ah OK fair enough. It's probably the 6990 that was the Playstation 2 with a big red fan in the end the bigger one

15-12-2010, 04:51:23

Leibritz
Hey,

thank you for the review Can we hope for cat 10.12 update for the benchmarks? Since sites offer varying scores...

15-12-2010, 05:21:19

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leibritz View Post

Hey,

thank you for the review Can we hope for cat 10.12 update for the benchmarks? Since sites offer varying scores...
We wont rewrite the review no dude, and in my 10.12 tests today its made no difference anyways.

15-12-2010, 05:28:31

Leibritz
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post

We wont rewrite the review no dude, and in my 10.12 tests today its made no difference anyways.
Ok, take care

15-12-2010, 05:30:04

PCTwin
Great review as always guys. Not a bod offering.

Hasn't changed my mind about selling some thing so I can buy a gtx570 tho.

15-12-2010, 06:10:24

Rastalovich
@ Tom: Do you happen to know the bios revision these cards have ? Or can find out ?

Someone here is a little baffled, especially by the poor overclocking.

EDIT: Sorry, often they're on a white sticker as what looks like a random set of numbers.

15-12-2010, 06:55:24

Stromatolites
I think the 570 looks like a card to get then. Shame really, as there was so much build up with these new AMD cards.

15-12-2010, 07:24:15

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rastalovich View Post

@ Tom: Do you happen to know the bios revision these cards have ? Or can find out ?

Someone here is a little baffled, especially by the poor overclocking.

EDIT: Sorry, often they're on a white sticker as what looks like a random set of numbers.
Ill try and find out dude, from the other sites I have spoken too we are all seeing the same thing, just some are reporting or wording their thoughts differently.

15-12-2010, 07:50:14

murphy7801
Nvidia has blitzkrieg AMD high end cards all they need to do is release 565/560 (which due to nvidia's new releasing system could be when ever) and there market dominance will be complete. Well looks like I'm going to be buying gtx 570 though SLI review would be great Tom!

15-12-2010, 08:40:15

murphy7801
Also looking a the fps they seem vastly similar to your under 600 gaming pc

15-12-2010, 11:22:47

Heebs
From what I've read these cards pick up the pace when you go to extreme resolutions. I might have to keep an eye out on those new ASUS cards especially if I pick up a new monitor. That seems to be a total game changer for these cards.

15-12-2010, 11:57:26

silenthill
Ok the 570 & 580 are out and also 6950 & 6970 but NO new games to take advantage of these cards, I have played every game on the planet with my 480s with no problem at all so why would I buy a new card if the current games are all running fine & even the future games are all designed mostly for the 360 & PS3 like Crysis 2 which should run fine on a 460, I really believe weve got to a state were the hardware is one generation more advanced then the software & these FU...KING game consoles are killing PC gaming .

15-12-2010, 13:22:22

Delusion77
Disappointed I didnt really expect that much more than my 5870 by looking at the specs. Hopefully next year ATI blows nvidia out of the water again!

15-12-2010, 14:19:30

Techyandy
Great reviews as always. I always like to hear unbiased reviews which actually compare the competitor products critically. It's kind of nice just listening to the review while i work, saves me having to alt+tab every 20 seconds

I have been waiting for this review since the 500 series cards, now i know (like many) that a 570 is a good way to go. "Expensive but good"

15-12-2010, 14:20:51

F-alienware
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techyandy View Post

Great reviews as always. I always like to hear unbiased reviews which actually compare the competitor products critically. It's kind of nice just listening to the review while i work, saves me having to alt+tab every 20 seconds
^ that lmao.

I woke up this morning at 6 and was bugger tired. Too tired to read so I skimmed the results and whacked on the vid

15-12-2010, 14:31:29

Rahu X
So I guess the leaks were right after all. That is, the 6970 being more a direct competitor with the 570/480 rather than the 580.

With how it's priced though, this really has me leaning more towards Team Green in order to have a holly jolly Christmas this year. I'm going to try to get a 580, but if I can't manage to find them in stores or on the manufacturer's website, I guess I'll go 570.

Thanks for another great Review, Tom.

15-12-2010, 16:02:02

tiagojcp
I used to love ATI not only for their products, but also for their market aproach and company philosophy. Now it seems that all that as changed, and I feel like a lost child looking at an evil green dude reaching his green hand towards me. And I feel tempted to follow him and "greenise" myself.

Lets hope that something like the Sapphire Toxic 6970 saves de product and the company.

But I really think this is a nice humility lesson for AMD, like the one ATI gave to Nvidia some time ago (and they've learned it well).

OR MAYBE, this is just a curse! The guy that came up with the ATI name many years ago, didnt like to see some AMD dude messing with his legacy.

15-12-2010, 16:30:15

BertDaSquirt
@ tom i was wondering if its worth going for the 6950 instead of the 6870 for the extra 20 or so???

15-12-2010, 17:37:13

murphy7801
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heebs View Post

From what I've read these cards pick up the pace when you go to extreme resolutions. I might have to keep an eye out on those new ASUS cards especially if I pick up a new monitor. That seems to be a total game changer for these cards.
Only reason I can imagine they do better on extreme res is due to having 2 gb gddr5 which means can handle more textures at larger sizes if they do a double gddr 570/580 I would like to see how they perform ?

15-12-2010, 18:02:52

Black
I thought that 69xx will perform much better, shame as Nvidia wont lower their prices now

15-12-2010, 18:43:02

F-alienware
Quote:
Originally Posted by BertDaSquirt View Post

@ tom i was wondering if its worth going for the 6950 instead of the 6870 for the extra 20 or so???
Neither. Get a 570.

Honestly this is one of those situations where the answer is so clear cut that you would be a complete berk to ignore it and go with AMD. I mean, at least wait for the next decent AMD card.

BTW. Does any one find it the least bit strange that since changing the brand name to AMD they've been a bit tom tit? no OC headroom and pretty dissapointing?

15-12-2010, 19:24:01

murphy7801
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienALX View Post

Neither. Get a 570.

Honestly this is one of those situations where the answer is so clear cut that you would be a complete berk to ignore it and go with AMD. I mean, at least wait for the next decent AMD card.

BTW. Does any one find it the least bit strange that since changing the brand name to AMD they've been a bit tom tit? no OC headroom and pretty dissapointing?
It just seems they recycled the old 5000 series and tried to push that tech to the max with fine tuning and revisions I mean the 6970 has less stream processors than the 5870 (6970=1536 5870=1600) how is that progression ?

15-12-2010, 19:35:50

Dewinte
The GTX 570 being recommended makes even more sense with the price rise I saw on aria for the GTX 580... From 405 to 460, happening after an underwhelming 6970 well just lol. Wish I'd got my money already to do the order before the price rise. The GTX 570 seems a wonderful card to anyone considering a new GPU and has ~300 to spend.

16-12-2010, 05:03:44

Zeals
Great review TTL and Bryan. It's reviews like this that make this my review site of choice, you guys don't sugarcoat anything, you just tell it as it is.

16-12-2010, 05:31:22

F-alienware
Quote:
Originally Posted by murphy7801 View Post

It just seems they recycled the old 5000 series and tried to push that tech to the max with fine tuning and revisions I mean the 6970 has less stream processors than the 5870 (6970=1536 5870=1600) how is that progression ?
Yup spot on. Looking at the 470 vs 5870 reviews it's pretty clear to see that the 6970 is pretty much on the same performance level as the 5870 when compared to the 570. I don't know if the 6970 is a recycled 5870 because the chip has a different name but I guess only AMD know that. If it is a new chip that could explain the crappy overclock yields. But yeah, the worst thing about these 6 series cards is that they are what they are. You have no performance to squeeze out of them you just have to take them as they are. And I guess that's fine if you're a complete AMD die hard but there really is no reason to buy them unless you're a die hard.

This once again comes back to the "don't buy brand new hardware when it's released unless it's an exception to the rule".

The 570 @ 260 or so was that exception. Amazing performance, cool, quiet and bloody fast. The 6 series are not. The 5850 now costs bugger all for a great CF setup, the 5870 costs bugger all (at last look around 170 or so) meaning the extra 100+ for a 6970 just isn't worth it. I mean yes, the 6970 is a fast card for sure, but then so is an overclocked 5870 for sure.

I got a 470 for 173. I've not overclocked it yet but I bet if I did it would run right up the bum of the 6970 for 110 less.

16-12-2010, 07:26:04

Rastalovich
Be very weary of dismissing the 6970 out-of-hand in this/these intial testing(s). Don't fall into that trap.

I have a feeling pre-christmas was a necessity just to cash in on pressies for the period. Do-not be suprised if this/these get revisited by reviewers who give a damn later in Q1'11.

I really don't think the story is quite over yet.

16-12-2010, 09:11:02

Rastalovich


Erm, you stick too much juice over that pcie 8x pin connector ? Or clumsy with the screwdriver ?

16-12-2010, 09:13:18

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rastalovich View Post



Erm, you stick too much juice over that pcie 8x pin connector ? Or clumsy with the screwdriver ?
All the cards are like that, AMD made the coolers wrong and everyone had to be hand filed before shipping!

If you look carefully there is also something on the pcb around that area too

16-12-2010, 09:21:00

Zeals
Well perhaps when the next generation of games with full on tessellation that will put Uniengine to shame. Although I haven't heard of any game on the radar that is even close to bring out the full potential of the improved tessellation of these cards; so atm nVidia FTW for better or worse.

16-12-2010, 09:25:51

Rastalovich
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post

All the cards are like that, AMD made the coolers wrong and everyone had to be hand filed before shipping!

If you look carefully there is also something on the pcb around that area too
Argh, I'm probably looking too closely and missing it, what's on there ?

I have a feeling that cooler shroud was a last minute thing. A plan B if you like.

16-12-2010, 11:59:50

F-alienware
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post

If you look carefully there is also something on the pcb around that area too
Looks like pigeon poo solder to me.

18-12-2010, 09:18:56

VonBlade
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rastalovich View Post

Do-not be suprised if this/these get revisited by reviewers who give a damn later in Q1'11.
Not sure if I like the implications there Mr Rastalovich

18-12-2010, 09:40:40

Rastalovich
Many sites will review an item and not review it's revisions, further releases or updates - which from that initial point forward bases all their opinions on the original release. These mistakes are costly to the consumers/enthusiasts who'll swallow that initial judgement and miss out on what a good product it may really be months down the line.

18-12-2010, 10:25:01

tinytomlogan
We'll be back with more and newer cards, we are glutton for punishment here

18-12-2010, 11:38:23

F-alienware
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rastalovich View Post

Many sites will review an item and not review it's revisions, further releases or updates - which from that initial point forward bases all their opinions on the original release. These mistakes are costly to the consumers/enthusiasts who'll swallow that initial judgement and miss out on what a good product it may really be months down the line.
I sort of understand what you're saying but in a way mate I see it like this.

A card when released is reviewed on its merits when released. Not when the company decide to pull their fingers from their backsides and sort out the drivers. Yes, the cards will no doubt improve down the line because heck, the 470 and 480 sure have with the inclusion of adaptive performance. But, those fixes do not really excuse a poor initial release.

I, personally, would not expect Tom and Bryan to spend hours going back over trodden ground just because AMD were not patient enough to fix the issues that might need resolving before bolting their load and chucking the cards out. The very fact that the PCIE power socket needed rigging just shows to me what a poor release effort this is. Thus, they should definitely be taken at face value on a release product at release prices at the time of release.

Just my 2p worth. I mean, let's face it the 5xx Geforce cards were an instant success at launch because this time around Nvidia did their homework, took their time and did it right. Same thing with the 5xxx Radeons.

This 69xx release however is piss poor IMO.

18-12-2010, 17:26:59

Rastalovich
Yeah I know what you're saying mate.

But just as an example, let's say HIS release a 'custom' bios in mid-jan that works mostly for their cards ?

Shader changes, voltage/clock change, and suddenly it's a 570 beater, not just a competitor.

Purely speculation of course.

18-12-2010, 19:56:45

F-alienware
Well that would be completely awesome. TBH after looking at AMD's sales figures for the last couple of months I can see why they rushed them out. Losing all those sales at Christmas would have been pretty bad.

Business is business I guess, and as long as the punters are happy then hey, who am I to argue?

19-12-2010, 05:15:28

Rastalovich
I don't know how the sales figures are really going to carry through pre christmas tbh. Long gone are the days where companies based sales figures on actual purchases - these days sales figures mean HIS sent 1000 units to Scan - it no longer takes into account if any of them are purchased by the end user. It's clever, and the likes of Microsoft exploit it heavily.

I think I saw 1 single review from someone like TomsHardware about the bios revision that nVidia sent out, just after the review samples of the 480 went out (which was the same reference card everyone had), which changed a fair few things in terms of temps/performance and overclock-ability. One of those cases where you could then overclock to 800-850 with just the stock cooler and the temps stayed around 80 something. Quiet a big difference to what the blanket reviews said a week or so earlier. Still left you with a hurricane in your system, but nevertheless it made a difference. Anyone with a old 8800GT wouldn't have cared This is more or less why the likes of Zotac/MSI/ASUS then came out with custom cooled versions that were frankly really good, they changed the cooler pretty much.

The old enthusiast would've changed the cooler themselves in anycase.

This card went on to then smash records all over the place, and the consumer is being repeatedly reminded that this card is a failure ? Yet it was the fastest single gpu card out there, just as the 580 is today (cept it's got a better cooler). And for the multicard fans, the records were being broken there too. Sure you can remind them of the noise of the stock cooler and the price you pay for wanting the top-most card, but to hammer home that the card had the failings of the original review samples was pretty unfair.

Either way, I just hope this 6970/6950 get a fair crack of the whip, unlike the 480 got. Certainly they pushed it through for prechristmas release, but I'm looking at the new year for some extra performance by whatever means.

19-12-2010, 09:16:47

F-alienware
Well I will admit that when the 470/80 launched I was a hater. I guess I was expecting something better to come along right away and drive down the prices of Radeons.

As time went by and things improved? well, it seems that Nvidia were the ones to drive down prices. The 470 on launch wasn't worth 300+ IMO. It was worth the 173 I paid for it and the 35 for the Zalman cooler (Amp cooler basically). That comes to 208 and the Amp still costs 250+. I'm hoping I can get some OC out of it too but I've never OCed a GPU before in my life.

Gotta say it sucks that multi monitors seem to stop adaptive performance working. I don't like idle temps of 63-66c tbh. Cooler should fix that though.

20-12-2010, 05:28:51

Rastalovich
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienALX View Post

Well I will admit that when the 470/80 launched I was a hater. I guess I was expecting something better to come along right away and drive down the prices of Radeons.
This is really my point. The 480 came out, got bad press straight off the bat, understandable with the samples that went out initially, then the dust settled and it was the fastest single gpu card for the length of it's generation.

The enthusiasts that used it so many weeks/months after the initial reviews turned them into record breakers, even with stock cooling. And yet the biggest labels it had was - too hot, too loud (which it still is as stock), too expensive. An epic fail - which in all honesty it wasn't, outside of the majority of review sites.

Well just as a heads up, the 570 is more-or-less a 480 with a 'decent' cooler, and the 580 is the fastest single gpu out there - but expensive. The fastest card is always relatively expensive.

The reference 480 stock card is still installable, clockable to 825+ and have temps from 45 idle to 85 full load. Replace the cooler and things get even better (especially for your ears).
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