Powercolor HD6970 Crossfire Review
Published: 17th December 2010 | Source: Powercolor | Price: £283 ea. |
PowerColor HD6970 CrossfireX
ASUS Rampage III Extreme
Intel i7 950 @ 4GHz
6GB Mushkin Redline RAM
Corsair AX1200 PSU
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Thanks to the extra day between the two reviews we're able to run our tests using the official Catalyst 10.12 drivers so hopefully this will show if the genuine drivers provide any performance improvement over the betas.
For our testing we're going down a slightly different path than normal. Usually we do our best to match cards that we expect will have similar performance, along with ones that would be at a similar price.
The HD6970, as I said on Wednesday, is priced to compete with the nVidia GTX570 so it would make sense to compare to a SLI GTX570 setup. The problem is that so many cards have been released recently, and so many manufacturers are keen to move them around as swiftly as possible, that we've never had two at the same time to test and certainly haven't got one to hand now.
So what does it mean? Well for our synthetic testing we'll be including the HD6870 Crossfire setup, but we can tell you now that it really doesn't cut the mustard and so wasn't included in our gaming benchmarks for time reasons. The main bulk of our tests will be against the GTX480 in SLI, which just about matches up on price. The GTX580 in a single card to see how well a cheaper solution performs, and then the GTX580 in SLI to see how our PowerColor HD6970s perform against the fastest setup on the planet.
Despite all that the real key to the testing is to get a feel for the performance we might see from the potentially forthcoming HD6990 which is going to be a twin-GPU card based upon these new HD69 GPUs. Considering the HD5970 still holds its head up high then its sequel should be good for a long while and today's testing should give us a clue of future events.
In keeping with the reference nature of the cards we achieved an identical 70 MHz overclock. A lot of the overclocking capabilities of the HD6970s seem to be limited by the new TDP method of clocking with the Catalyst Control Centre. It will be interesting to see if any Partner companies come up with an alternative solution to enable higher speeds to be obtained.