PowerColor LCS HD6970 Review


PowerColor LCS HD6970 Review


It's no secret that when we reviewed the HD6970 we were disappointed. After the lofty heights of the HD5870, the HD6970 was too loud, too hot and kinda ho-hum performance.

Improved versions fixed the performance issues, but the heat and noise were still intolerable.

Now thanks to PowerColor we have a card that in one fell swoop has decimated the competition and placed itself atop the AMD single-GPU charts.

Out of the box it's fast enough, but with water keeping everything chilled, even in this glorious weather we're experiencing, the overclocking limit ended up being the chip itself rather than a thermal issue. Even then we got right up to a hair shy of 1100 MHz and the performance just kept on coming. It's easily the fastest HD6970 we've tested.

Speed, impressive though it is, isn't the star of the show. No Sir. The most impressive factor is how well the full-cover block works at keeping everything frosty. A whole days running of Unigine at maximum settings couldn't push the temperature past 48°C which, we're sure you'll agree, isn't warm at all. Hell we've seen cards that idle at around that.

Noise is equally suppressed because you're not attempting to keep a tiny bit of copper cool with a single fan. Instead, with the enormous surface area available in radiators and thermal benefits of liquid cooling, you just need a breeze across your radiator so can use quiet 120mm fans.

Obviously there is a price to pay for a factory fitted waterblock, but whereas most companies know that only the enthusiasts will have a water-loop and price their products at a level where you feel they need a pistol and a mask, the PowerColor LCS HD6970 is only £20 more than the price of buying a card and block and doing it yourself would be, at £360. Not only is the hassle of fitting the waterblock taken out of your hands but because it's factory fitted you still get the excellent PowerColor warranty to give you piece of mind. Maximum kudos to PowerColor for not taking the Highwayman approach to the pricing on the LCS.

It's a stunning product and one we happily give our OC3D Gold Award to.


Thanks to PowerColor for providing the LCS HD6970 for review. Discuss in our forums.

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Most Recent Comments

22-04-2011, 05:24:11

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

Continue ReadingQuote

22-04-2011, 05:40:02

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


22-04-2011, 05:52:26

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.Quote

22-04-2011, 09:42:58

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.Quote

22-04-2011, 10:35:15

Would love one of these too add too my rig Quote

22-04-2011, 13:13:58

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.Quote

22-04-2011, 14:31:42

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

22-04-2011, 18:31:41

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.


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

28-04-2011, 00:17:06

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

28-04-2011, 04:18:15

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?Quote

28-04-2011, 07:28:45

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.Quote

28-04-2011, 12:13:14

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

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

07-05-2012, 14:41:09

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

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