AMD Radeon HD 6970 Review

By Julio Franco
Dec 15, 2010
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  1. SilverCider

    SilverCider Newcomer, in training Posts: 72

    I understand what you mean, last generation was a great example, however nvidia have regained ground in that sense. The 6970 and GTX 570/580 are about the same in performance/watt.
  2. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,199   +228

    I'll admit that I was disappointed by the pricing a bit. At this price I'd get a pair of 570s well before getting a pair of 6970s. One thing I've really missed for a while now is PhysX - I actually appreciated the different atmosphere it gave to some games.

    I heard ATI was jumping into the 3D world with these 69xx cards - any chance of a review on that aspect? I was really curious about this after seeing the very positive review Anand and his folks gave on it recently.
  3. TECHwizard

    TECHwizard Newcomer, in training

    6970!! geez man and i thought mine was good xD
  4. I have a GTX 260 SLI Setup im updatin with CF 5850 as i got one for like 190 on ebay to go with the xfx i had on another rig so i do believe in bang for your buck and i agree that at the price these are supposed to go for they are not bad cards at all!!!Either way i truly dont think you could go wrong with either ATI or nvidia..Though for the mainstream crowd the 6870 and 6850 are tough acts to follow and will probably be the ones i go to if i ever update further along the way!!
  5. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,230   +314

    Given the fact that nVidia does a lot better job with their drivers (especially timely releases) along with the $20 price difference (I mean that's four beers, man!), seems pretty clear that the 570 is the way to go and ATI is again playing catch-up.
  6. Zecias

    Zecias TechSpot Booster Posts: 202

    exactly my thoughts
  7. g4mer

    g4mer TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 340

    I thought their goal was to beat GTX580 but they barely beat the GTX480.
  8. Techspot used old drivers for the review, the new 10.12 drivers should give a 10% increase in performance.
    Have you read the reviews? the hd6970 lags behind the gtx 480,470, 570 and 580 in most reviews. that tells me some thing is wrong. i've done research and read all of the reviews and a great majority of the reviews where using the supplied 10.11 drivers. I think tech spot and other sites need to update there reviews with better optimized drivers.

    someone used the 10.12 drivers, increased performance by 15fps stock.

    check this to see what i mean http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=18217817
  9. I agree. Rage 3d has it pegged 15% faster than the Geforce 570 with lower temperatures and lower power draw.

    "Given the fact that nVidia does a lot better job with their drivers (especially timely releases) along with the $20 price difference (I mean that's four beers, man!), seems pretty clear that the 570 is the way to go and ATI is again playing catch-up.:

    This is a myth...a nasty rumor. Read this - http://www.rage3d.com/articles/catalyst_2011_image_quality_investigation/index.php?p=3
  10. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,230   +314

    LOL...yeah, like I'm going to read something from rage3d - an over-the-top ATI fanboi site - and take that as gospel truth. That's like me going to the nVidia web site and using their propaganda to prove a point.

    Find me something from a reputable, non-associated tech site like Tom's Hardware, MaximumPC, hardopc, or here at TechSpot and I'll listen to what you have to say.
  11. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,700   +586

    Cayman as a design was probably conceptualised 2-3 years ago, the final products' recipe was ready for baking (TSMC wafer production) around the time that Fermi (GTX 480/470) launched. It's probably fair to assume that AMD had these cards in mind as their "beat by 10+%" benchmark. I also now firmly believe that AMD did not think a fully functional (512 shader) Fermi card was possible (possibly lapping up Charlie D's Kool-Aid in large quantities!)...so
    1. Cayman as designed on the 40nm process is at the limits of the architectures performance. Overclocking percentages for review cards might back this up.
    2. AMD were incredibly shortsighted in thinking that nvidia couldn't refine the Fermi GPU once they saw the obvious voltage leakage/heat production of the original design.
    2A. Nvidia exceeded all expectation in being able to refine the GF110 out of the GF100 in the nine month timeframe between releases.
    3. AMD better have some tricks left to play in the performance sector, or the GF114 (GTX 560) next month is going to take the HD 6870, 6950 and whats left of the HD 5870 market out to the woodshed.
    4. The HD 6990 can't come soon enough for the AMD fanboys at this stage.
  12. Rage 3d is more reputable that this site imo. This site has become biased toward Nvidia as of late.

    If you took time to read the article you'd see that it isn't the least bit ati biased.
  13. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,700   +586

    Hardware Canucks used 10.12 drivers

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words...which is 998 more than I usually reserve for trolls (hint: the second word is "off")
    [​IMG]

    Sorry for the messy layout...It's 8am here and Excel doesn't get dusted off too much.
    As you can see...if you remove the ruby tinted glasses...using 10.12 doesn't appreciably change the order or magnitude of the testing. The HD 6970 and 6950 figures fall into line with just about every review out in the wild. Basically the AMD cards need max resolution/max AA/max IQ (to the point of unplayability in a lot of cases) for the figures to look better - and that is just proving that 2Gb vRAM is better to have than 1.5/1.3Gb...Wow, who woudda thought that. The other side of the coin is that any nvidia biased review could also bench Metro 2033 at 2560x1600, Tessellation on, 4xMSAA and DoF ON and watch the 6970 get low single digit framerates.
     
  14. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,230   +314

    "This site has become biased toward Nvidia as of late."

    Might as well say that about every other tech site that's done ATI card reviews, then. Simple fact of the matter is if you take ATI's current generation of cards as a whole, they're in second place right now (not by much, but they are). And that's what ALL the reviews are showing.
  15. princeton

    princeton TechSpot Addict Posts: 1,716

    HOORAY FOR NOT READING THE ARTICLE!

    Nvidia's 500 cards are just as good as ati's in terms of performance per watt. So because nvidia has the faster single gpu that is still VERY efficient, ATi has very little chance of winning the multi gpu market. Did you just skip to the summary at the end of the article?
  16. princeton

    princeton TechSpot Addict Posts: 1,716

    +1. BTW you shouldn't even bother with guest posts. This article alone shows that they are usually *****ic fanboys.
  17. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    Not a horrible price, but only ~20% faster than my overclocked 5870. Meh.
  18. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,135   +276 Staff Member

    It does really depend on the game. For example the Radeon HD 6970 was much faster than the HD 5870 in quite a few games...

    World in Conflict = 29% faster.
    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 = 30% faster.
    Aliens vs. Predator = 33% faster.
    Metro 2033 = 73% faster.
    STALKER = 77% faster.

    That said even a 20% performance boost is still quite significant.
  19. Xero07

    Xero07 Newcomer, in training Posts: 92

    Read article. I was talking about ATI's plan as a whole. they probably plan on going after the 580 with their dual gpu card. The 570 matching the 6970 is plus points for nvidia but not the worst news in the world for ati since they can remain competetive with a simple price drop.

    Hooray for looking stupid and not thinking about what i was saying before you post.
  20. keep in mind the gtx 570 and 580 are pretty much maxed for overclocking, they dont like being nudged up even slightly. nvidia is capitalizing on every bit of performance that chipset can handle.

    amds 6970 overclocks to 950 and shows no sign of not being able to go higher. at this clock level it approaches gtx580 performance, for quite a bit cheaper.

    i wouldnt call this round from amd a total loss.
  21. enya64

    enya64 Newcomer, in training

    Isn't it funny how....
    1) the one's defending the underwhelming comparison to Nvidia's best keep mentioning that new drivers will help improve the 6970's performance like Nvidia doesn't make drivers to improve their new cards ( that also have drivers less than a month old)

    2) the defenders keep mentioning " the dual gpu 6990 will save us" like the dual gpu Nvidia 595 hasn't already been announced for Early 2011 release (with pics online a week after the 580 was released).

    I replaced my awesome Asus 5870 which I overclocked to a fully stable 960MHz core. Earlier I replaced it with an MSI Geforce 580, which I overclocked to a fully stable 900MHz core. Both of those cards are incredible, but if this card can only be stably overclocked a mere 20-30MHz, that is very poor in comparison and doesn't sound like it will offer a noticable increase in gameplay performance.

    That's it. I would like to see how does a overclocked 5870 compare with the 6970.
  22. Quote:TomSEA said:
    "This site has become biased toward Nvidia as of late."

    Might as well say that about every other tech site that's done ATI card reviews, then. Simple fact of the matter is if you take ATI's current generation of cards as a whole, they're in second place right now (not by much, but they are). And that's what ALL the reviews are showing.

    +1. BTW you shouldn't even bother with guest posts. This article alone shows that they are usually *****ic fanboys.


    -1 Tommy forgets that the Radeon 5970 is still the fastest card available.(like Techspot which consistantly rubs the Geforce 580 in everyones face with no mention of it's superior). Also take into though the 6850 and 6870...both of those cards are well beyond their Nvidia counterparts...which are sub Geforce 460 cards.. you know that they both beatout the 460 too. How do you figure the 6970 is in 2nd place? It's just as fast and arguable faster than than it's intended counterpart the Geforce 470. The dual GPU 6990 is going to be king in Feburary or whenever it gets out and it's clearly set against the Geforce 580. So in reality, AMD is actually in 1st place as they have been for a while now.
  23. enya64

    enya64 Newcomer, in training

    See above regarding Nvidia's Geforce 595 dual gpu card being released early next year. In fact, type it in google and you'll see the pics that have been online for about a month already. Seems like comparing the single gpus to dual gpu cards won't be a valid argument a month from now...
  24. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,700   +586

    Every HD 6970/6950 is hand finished !!!

    If this is even remotely true, it constitutes one of the biggest tech Quality Control fails in recent history.
    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=263668

    While I'm here I may as well do some troll bashing...
    Like this GTX 570 at 850/4200 (16%/10.5% OC) ?, or this GTX 570 at 822/4740 (12%/24.7%), or this GTX 570 at 825/4352 (12.7%/14,5%) or maybe this GTX 570 at 860/4500 (17.5%/18.4%)
    ...and that seems to be the hard limit in Overdrive ( Guru3D, TS, and HC etc)...which is a fabulous 8%!
    Can the card go higher? who knows?
    Can the max OC be lower...you bet!
    Hexus (948MHz -7.7%), TPU (915MHz- 4%) and HT4U (910MHz-3.4%...note their GTX 570 sample oc'ed by more than twice that percentage) sure are proof of that.

    Thanks for stopping by.
  25. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,135   +276 Staff Member

    Our AMD sample had the back of the 8-pin connector shaved back. Will be interesting to see how many production cards have been modified.

    If I had a dollar for every time someone said we are biased toward Nvidia, AMD, ATI or Intel I'd be a rich man!


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