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AMD Radeon HD 6950 2GB GDDR5 Video Card

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AMD Radeon HD 6950 2GB GDDR5 Video Card Review
Image Courtesy AMD

Dec 15 2010 - Along with the launch of the AMD Radeon HD 6970 comes the release of its sister, the AMD HD 6850. This card is priced more aggressively starting at $299 in the e-tail market. Equipped with the same amount of GDDR5 memory (2GB) as the pricier HD 6870, the AMD HD 6850 is poised to fall right in between the NVIDIA GTX 460 and GTX 570. It's a perfect fit if you're a gamer who enjoys tweaking settings for better performance and is looking for a solid card that can run the latest games with ease for around $300. If you have an extra $70 to spend, though, it's worth upgrading to the AMD Radeon HD 6970.

Pros

  • Offers Excellent Performance in the Latest DirectX 11 Games
  • Has 2GB of GDDR5 Memory for Fast Texture Loading
  • Aggressive Price

Cons

  • No Regular DisplayPort Connection
  • Lack of an Eight-Pin Power Connection
  • Takes Up Two Slots

Description

  • 800MHz Core Clock
  • 1250MHz Memory Clock
  • 2GB GDDR5
  • 2.25 TFLOPs
  • 88 Texture Units
  • 32 ROPs
  • 22 SIMD / 1408 ALU
  • 256 Bit (5.0 Gbps) Memory Interface
  • 200 Watt PowerTune Maximum Limit
  • Two 6-pin Power Connectors
  • Two DVI, Two Mini-DisplayPorts, and One HDMI v1.4a Port
  • EyeFinity Support For Up to Six Displays
  • Dual Slot

Review - AMD Radeon HD 6950 2GB GDDR5 Graphics Card

AMD Radeon HD 6950 Graphics CardImage Courtesy AMD

The Radeon HD 6950 is a dual-slot slot card that offers an 800MHz core clock, 1250MHz memory clock and 88 texture units. This is somewhat slower than the HD 6970, which offers an 880MHz clock, 1375MHz memory clock, and 96 texture units. Since the AMD HD 6850 is priced $70 less, though, it scores well. This is especially true in regards to power thanks to AMD's new Overdrive panel, which lets gamers tweak the card's power settings for better performance. The HD 6950 boasts a PowerTune limit of 200 watts. Typical gaming power is 140 watts, and the graphics card consumes approximately 20 watts while idle.

The entire line of 6900-series graphics cards features a new VLIW4 core architecture. Both the 6950 and 6970 are equipped with a 256-bit memory interface, but the HD 6950 is slightly slower at 5Gbps. The sheer amount of graphics memory is definitely a positive attribute for a card in this price range and helps to load textures fast.

The card performed well during testing in games, such as World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and Battlefield: Bad Company 2. The average frames per second using the FRAPS utility are listed below for each game. The testing hardware consisted of an AMD 1100T Black Edition running slightly overclocked at 3.9GHz and 8GB of DDR3 memory. The resolution in each scenario was 1920x1200.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

  • Average FPS: 40.77

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Testing Scenario:

  • Settings: High
  • 8x MSAA
  • 16x AF

Average FPS: 82

These scores are respectable and more than just playable. With crisp rendering and excellent textures, this card is a great addition to the AMD 6900-series line and a worthy GPU for most gaming rigs. While the AMD Radeon HD 6970 performs slightly better, the Radeon HD 6950 is an excellent card for $300.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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