PowerColor LCS HD6970 Review

Test Setup and Overclocking

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.

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Most Recent Comments

22-04-2011, 05:24:11

tinytomlogan
Today we take a look at the latest in PowerColor's Graphics Card range, the LCS HD6970. Factory-fitted waterblock Sir?



Continue Reading

22-04-2011, 05:40:02

SieB
I must admit i'm impressed. After the first review of the 6970 with an air cooler the 6970 seemed pointless but this version is definietly worth the money especially after looking at the performance results.

22-04-2011, 05:40:56

dugdiamond
scrum-dilidy-umptious

22-04-2011, 05:52:26

Karlos_the_n00b
Always liked the look of this. Watercooling without the warranty voiding.

Hope you get to do a review of the 6990 version when its released.

22-04-2011, 09:42:58

MxFScotch
Yeah just tweaking my xfx 6970 that I put a xspc razor block on a few days ago. Sitting at 950mhz and 1425 on the ram amazing what watercooling can do. This card running heaven never breaches 53 Degrees. That's in loop with one 360 rad and a 950 cpu @ 4.0 ghz.

22-04-2011, 10:35:15

Mark26
Would love one of these too add too my rig

22-04-2011, 13:13:58

Zeals
Personally I would prefer a waterblock that completely covers the card, even though they won't really change the performance it will look nicer imo.

22-04-2011, 14:31:42

wotevajjjj
who wrote this ? there's no-one next to author

22-04-2011, 18:31:41

Karlos_the_n00b
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeals View Post

Personally I would prefer a waterblock that completely covers the card, even though they won't really change the performance it will look nicer imo.
I agree, but remember in most cases you won't actually see the waterblock once it's mounted to the mobo. The back you will see however and that's completely covered.

The 6990 version though does have a full waterblock that completely covers the card.

http://www.nordichardware.com/news/71-graphics/42908-powercolor-shows-water-cooled-hd-6990-and-hd-6950-vortex-2.html

Sorry I keep harping on about the 6990. Just really looking forward to that one.

28-04-2011, 00:17:06

Godsmack
Why it still dual slots card? they should make it one slot card.

28-04-2011, 04:18:15

jonowee
Quote:
Originally Posted by Godsmack View Post

Why it still dual slots card? they should make it one slot card.
You did read the full review right?

28-04-2011, 07:28:45

Karlos_the_n00b
Quote:
Originally Posted by Godsmack View Post

Why it still dual slots card? they should make it one slot card.
It's basically PowerColors PCS+ card with a waterblock fitted instead of a cooler. To redesign the PCB so all the sockets on the back span over one slot would just cost too much when you consider how many of these cards there actually going to sell.

I actually welcome this card and really hope we see more cards being sold with waterblocks, hopefully bellow the 300 mark, but at the moment with only the real enthusiasts using watercooling its hard to know how cost effective cards like this are.

28-04-2011, 12:13:14

Godsmack
I didn't read the full review I watched the benches.

I didn't know that the redesign will coast too much. But I think if they make it one slot card it will sell more.

29-04-2011, 05:10:08

MxFScotch
Not enough to justify redesigning PCB to wack off that top dvi port.

07-05-2012, 14:41:09

Mike & Kazri
Will a Razor 6970 waterblock fit the 6950?
Reply
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