Radeon HD 6970 And 6950 Review: Is Cayman A Gator Or A Crock?

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I've never seen a Tom's article with more spelling and naming errors. I mean who is the proofreader here?? They even referenced a HD5780 which doesn't even exist. sighhhhh
I really don't understand why GDDR5 is sooo expensive when it's been out for yeeeeaaaaarrrrsssss.....DDR3 is already cheaper than dirt and it's only been out for 1/3 the time.
 

4745454b

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I must be a bigger AMD fan then I realized.

How are these cards a "failure"? Since when is AMDs single GPU card supposed to reach the highest that Nvidia offers? From what I saw the 6970 is a match for the GTX570/480. Pricing might need to be adjusted depending on where the GTX570 ends up and what features you value, but the 6970 seemed to compete against its intended target well enough. Sure it would be great if it can take on the GTX580, but it wasn't supposed to do that. That's the job for the 6990.
 

sportsfanboy

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Hmm, I thought the 6970 was the successor to the 5870, I guess not. So they will need the 5990 dual chip card to be a ton faster than the GTX580. Was under the impression the 6970 was going to do that.
 

nevertell

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If only they had the same linux support nvidia has....

But they don't.

You know another thing they won't do ?

They WON'T GET A PENNY OUT OF MY WALLET!!!
 

Darkerson

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Considering they got stuck having to reuse the 40nm process, instead of the 32nm they wanted to use, Im overall happy. It will always be a back and forth between AMD and Nvidia. And for the price, the 6950/6970 series isnt bad at all. Cant wait to see what the next generation on 28nm brings!
 

enengi

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These must be the worst cards I've ever waited for...Value, performance, temp and even power consumption...is a disappointment. The only good point is CF scale can compete with SLI now, let's hope that amd wont screw it up with the next CCC like they did with the previous CCC for HD 5000. But I dont care about SLI/CF, I only use single gpu because there are tons of good games just dont support multi-gpu, and I can't bear with microstuttering. Finally, I think I've got my decision, the GTX 570 will be my next card. BB ATI/AMD.
 

robwright

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So very, very confused by AMD's branding/marketing these days, which is ironic since the comapny has spend the last year trying to simplify its branding with Vision and the dropping of ATI. I'm not sure what the rational was for naming the 6000 series cards this way, but I have a feeling the explanation would give me a nose bleed...
 

rohitbaran

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[citation][nom]beans4you[/nom]All I can say is I bought my ASUS gtx480 for 480$ on newegg.ca back in Aug lol and two 460's in my bros setup for 400$. Have not seen any slow down in any situation, thats what counts right? weeeoooooo![/citation]
Lol! That $480 investment looks so bad now.
 

rohitbaran

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[citation][nom]dalta centauri[/nom]So Nvidia is on the top of the hill for now, that's great. Nvidia and AMD have fought to be the 'king' for a while now, slowly beating the competition until their the only ones left (Consumer sell point, I'm sure there's Companies that sell GPU's that I haven't heard of though.)Nvidia had a time when they kept reusing the same architecture, and it brought them down; now it happens to be AMD's turn, but these are bringing the price down for the 5800+ series.Really it's nothing surprising, I'm sure in 1-2 years AMD will come out with something that topples Nvidia's line up, and then Nvidia does the same. This is competition after all, we'll see what happens.[/citation]
Dude, 69xx series features a different architecture than 68xx and all previous ATI cards. I am disappointed by the performance gain over previous gen, but considering the failure of 32nm process and redesigning the GPU for 40nm process, they did sacrifice few things, one major being chopping of the cores. So, I still think it is a decent product, but it is the best available for its price. I say best for its price because (speculation) GTX 570 is the same architecture as GTX 4xx series, and probably all the major optimizations through drivers have been achieved. Radeon 69xx is a new architecture and I presume to see some good 10-20% gains through driver releases.
 

rohitbaran

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[citation][nom]tony singh[/nom]In my opinion , HD 4870 >> HD 5870 >>HD 6970 , with respect to its impact on my mind !![/citation]
I agree, if you are talking performance gains over last generation.
 

firefyte

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It's interesting to see how things will develop with newer drivers.
But howabout benchmarking in 3dmark 11, instead of vantage?
 

rohitbaran

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This one thing I would like to point. nVidia was touting GTX 295 as world's fastest card when Radeon 5xxx came out, even if 295 was last gen. Everybody loled them. But looks like AMD is going through the same phase right now.
 

rohitbaran

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[citation][nom]_Pez_[/nom]I would like to see something extreme on the side of AMD, One single GPU with a Die size of 550mm2 and as many transistors as are capable to be in there,and Im very sure that Hipotetical GPU would be a real monster without competition but AMD is too shy to do that .. why AMD ?? why ????! what stops you in doing something different?[/citation]
GPUs aren't created like: O, lets make a GPU of the size of Texas. No lets make a GPU of the size of Minnesota. They require research which involves power consumption, performance, introduction of new features. A higher GPU size will not only be very power hungry but difficult to produce and will give poor yields, something the world saw with the not so impressive GTX 4xx series.
 

reaper2794

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I'm pretty disappointed. I mean they already screwed up the naming scheme and now they release 2 cards that are both worse than the 580 which was released BEFORE. What are you doing AMD? There's nothing exciting about this, we don't need some "PowerTune" technology, we need freakin horsepower.
 

beans4you

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lol yet to see 480 prices drop really.. not to mention 100$ is a night at a bar so $480 on a card thats been whooping ass is fine by me. Soon as I put 2 580s along side it my 38+ pound antec 1200 setup is going to be ww3 ready lmfao
 
Due to the 6970's price of $379 and performance AMD should make 2 more cards. Add a 6980 with 2X 6870 GPU's for around $500 to fill the gap. Without question there will be a huge gap both in performance and price between the 6970 and the 6990. Due to prices of the 6970 I would guess the 6990 will price north of $700.

Nvidia needs to add 2 GPU's on a single card. A 2X 570 if possible or a powerful 2X 560 beating a SLI470 setup. Nvidia needs a $650 $700 price tag I would guess to match the 6990.

To win over gamers the single chip approach era is over. Both company's have better value and performance in dual card setups. Which ever company does this best should be the king of the hill from here on.
 

hp79

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Tom's hardware page navigation is so dumb and stupid. Why did they have to change it like this (I know it's been for more than a year now), and why are they keeping it this way? Man it is so annoying to select a page I want to read.
 

robwright

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It's funny....a few years ago, SLI and Crossfire seemed pretty pointless. You paid for two cards but didn't get anywhere near double the performance. Now, a 460-SLI and 6850-Crossfire are beating the respective so-called flagship products for both GPU makers.
 

hixbot

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I'm not impressed with this gen of cards, whether it be Nvidia or ATI. They haven't improved enough since last gen. What happened to that chart that promised double the performance?
 

Spanky Deluxe

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It's obvious that the 6xxx series is just an incremental improvement over the 5xxx series although this was largely to be expected due to the lack of the 32nm process available to AMD.

For those with 5870s thinking of upgrading to 6970s, here's a breakdown of the performance gain in the games tested:

1680x1050 1920x1200 2560x1600
Metro 2033 High 20.95% 25.08% 24.26%
Metro 2033 Low 21.25% 3.95% -15.56%
Lost Planet 2 30.60% 29.13% 30.28%
Alien vs Predator High 10.87% 9.22% 34.08%
Alien vs Predator Low 12.10% 13.75% 35.71%
Battlefield Bad Company 2 High 5.52% 14.52% 11.22%
Battlefield Bad Company 2 Low -8.77% 15.22% 11.11%
DiRT 2 High 8.78% 9.00% 9.60%
DiRT 2 Low 15.00% 16.79% 7.48%
Just Cause 2 5.48% 6.64% 9.26%

So in summary (ignoring minimum fps):

The 6970 is 13.7% faster than the 5870 at 1680x1050 on average with the smallest speedup being 5.48% and largest 30.60%.
The 6970 is 15.60% faster than the 5870 at 1920x1200 on average with the smallest speedup being 6.64% and the largest 29.13%.
The 6970 is 19.78% faster than the 5870 at 2560x1600 on average with the smallest speedup being 9.26% and the largest 34.08%.

On the whole, I would say that a good estimate for newer games will be that a 6970 2GB card is about 30% faster than a 5870 1GB card. If what the rumours say are true and the 6990 turns out to be basically two 6950s stuck together then that doesn't necessarily bode well when being compared to a current 5970 which is two 5870s stuck together (downclocked but designed to run at full clocks).
 

tamalero

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[citation][nom]robwright[/nom]So very, very confused by AMD's branding/marketing these days, which is ironic since the comapny has spend the last year trying to simplify its branding with Vision and the dropping of ATI. I'm not sure what the rational was for naming the 6000 series cards this way, but I have a feeling the explanation would give me a nose bleed...[/citation]

I think the name change of the series from 58XX series to 69XX series is like shotting the foot, since everyone as "mind printed" that the 9XX series are the top of the top. (dual cards for the older series)

anyway it doesnt only feature "10-30%" improvement over the 5870 and the CF increase. remember you get UV3 (Ie, blu-ray 3d aceleration.. and other goodies)
 

IzzyCraft

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[citation][nom]TheCapulet[/nom]I'm gonna have to agree with this. I'm not sure what you're doing different Chris, but I honestly find [H]s benchmarks for this card a little more reliable. Specially considering that it matches a few other reliable bench news sources as well.[/citation]
one can say that [H] benches aren't diverse enough as they only run 1 resolution a very large resolution in which few people have although the argument can be made that in this price range it may be those very people. Among the argument that if that they show the max playable then as long as some reason fps gets lower as you lower the resolution anything below that should also be playable. It's just that i know more people with 2,3 1920x1080/1200 monitors rather then a 2560x1600 who happen to have flagship graphics cards. They also aren't as lenient to what is defined as playable. Usually sacking a small visual boost to get the constant 60+ fps
 

Zark Strife

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Does anyone know what version of the GTX460 they are using? I know its a zotac 1gb. Are the clocks at ref? A 460 @ ref clocks is almost pointless. I know the 6850's CF slightly edges out the gtx460's in SLI but the 460 is a superb OC card. So what im really asking is that once OC is applied will the 2x 460's eat the 2x 6850's alive?
 
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