Powercolor HD6970 Crossfire Review

Alien vs Predator & Crysis Warhead

Powercolor HD6970 Crossfire Review

Alien vs Predator

It's become a common theme that results in synthetic gaming benchmarks don't follow through in real-life testing and so it proves here. Although much less than we'd imagine. Despite the GTX580SLI being ahead, as we'd have bet our house it will be, the HD6970XF isn't disgraced at all being only 10 meaningless frames behind the nVidia behemoth, and 20 ahead of the fiscally comparable GTX480 SLI setup.

 

Crysis Warhead

Moving on to Crysis Warhead we firstly have to point out that for our SLI/Crossfire testing we move from our usual 0xAA Gamer setup into maximum territory with full anti-aliasing and Enthusiast levels of detail. Settings that reduce almost anything to a slide-show prove no match for the HD6970XF as it nearly makes 60FPS when at stock and with our overclock it breaks past the magical 60FPS barrier.

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Most Recent Comments

16-12-2010, 20:18:46

tinytomlogan
Following the recent review of the new HD69 cards from AMD, it's time to see how a pair of them from Powercolor fair.

Continue Reading

16-12-2010, 21:59:35

killablade
Well.. I imagine this is a bit of a kick in the nuts for nvidia xD

17-12-2010, 02:34:55

Taurus
Great if you have a 30 inch monitor and the money to buy them!

17-12-2010, 05:14:45

PCTwin
I'm currently benching 2 x HD4890's in x-fire. this review shows just how much I need to upgrade my system.

These scores humble my poor old system.

Excellent effort as always.

17-12-2010, 06:27:36

F-alienware
Quote:
Originally Posted by killablade View Post

Well.. I imagine this is a bit of a kick in the nuts for nvidia xD
I'm not so sure tbh. I mean yes, it's an incredibly fast setup. And yes, when compared to Nvidia's SLI offering it seems to come out on top for a lot less money.

However, there is still the issue of Crossfire and scaling not happening all the time

And it doesn't and that's the problem. I confirmed this last night by running a rather excellent game called Split Second Velocity. Now when I ran this on Xfire 5770 my cards should have easily gotten it to the 30FPS cap it has (blame Disney !). However when running it on my 470 last night and seeing how butter smooth it is I realised then that Crossfire simply was not working. I guess with Crossfired 6970 it would be less, how do you say it? 'apparent' because one card has a lot more muscle than the lower end cards. But, when you absolutely rely on Crossfire (like you do with Crossfired budget cards to give you bleeding edge performance and the ability to run things on max?) you often end up dissapointed.

See, Crossfire will always make an attempt at scaling no matter what. You can enable a logo to come up in the top right corner of the screen to tell you it's working. However, there are a good few scaling methods for Crossfire and the wrong one will hurt performance a lot. I often found that installing the newer profiles didn't work and continually had to remove my drivers and profiles using DS and start all over again.

I'm not bashing on AMD. Far from it. Those numbers at that price point is absolutely immaculate. But, I do feel that again the only value in the AMD cards is in Crossfire, and I still don't think Crossfire can be relied on completely (having used it myself).

I'd still rather have a single 580 tbh. Tom raised a point (and a very good one !) about once you hit a certain level of performance anything more is just a bit of a waste. Dead right, gimme a 580

Again, wonderful review guys. And again, thanks for getting it to us in a true, honest and timely fashion

I doff my cap

17-12-2010, 06:39:58

Rastalovich
Like plenty of the reviewers admit, they don't get to spend weeks playing with these multi gpu setups.

Benching - you can't overlook the fact that if games ran like benching utils, we'd all be drooling all over the place, trying to cram as many cards in a pc case as possible.

Simple thing is, both the camps drivers have hang ups. AMD has the lower quality setting as standard, microstuttering (that I've never seen myself), nVidia has the "return to desktop" feature - which is admirable except when it happens whilst you're playing, and other things others could list. And aslong as the pairings from both of them don't touch single-card single-gpu performance and relative stability for the long run - I'd not touch any of them myself or advise anyone who asks.

Great figures, that, to be fair will get better (AMD & nVidia) each time a driver revision comes out that's been tuned for the game you play. (often without the driver's recognition of the game, your setup will be crap for it)

Meh, dual card/dual gpus don't mean nothing to me outside of benching, but the figures and the graphs always look nice.

17-12-2010, 07:13:59

F-alienware
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rastalovich View Post

nVidia has the "return to desktop" feature - which is admirable except when it happens whilst you're playing
Heh that made me LOL.
Reply
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