5 expert reviews - 0 user reviews
We have collected 5 reviews of the Sapphire Radeon HD 6950. Experts rate Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 8.9/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 and Sapphire Graphics cards.
The pick of AMD's latest generation of graphics cards is undoubtedly the AMD Radeon HD 6950, and Sapphire has paired up with the launch of Codies' new racer game, Dirt 3, to unleash the 2GB Radeon HD 6950 Dirt 3 Edition.Despite the fact that the GPU is running at the standard stock speeds, it's not just another reference board with a fancy sticker and bundled game – we're talking about a brand new cooler design and access to further clock tweaks through Sapphire's Trixx overclocking software.Recently redesigned Radeon HD 6950s, however, have come with a few definite deficiencies – the main one being a lack of the impressive dual-Bios switch. That made the reference HD 6950 one of the most easily tweaked graphics cards around. Add in the fact that you could unlock the dormant shaders nestling in the Cayman Pro GPU to turn it into an HD 6970 with a simple Bios flash and there was a lot to like.Later cards, such as the MSI HD 6950 Twin Frozr III, came without the switch, making a Bios flash far more hazardous. It's back with the Sapphire HD 6950 Dirt 3 Edition, though. So does the combo of Bios-flash and flash cooler make it the best Radeon HD 6950 around?
With the Sapphire Radeon HD 6950, we're getting into serious graphics card territory here, and inevitably that means serious money too. At over £200 that's a lot to spend on a single component if you're talking about an upgrade purchase. But it's AMD's latest, and arguably greatest, GPU technology inside that Cayman processor and it's got some heavy-weight DirectX 11 graphical architecture backing it up. Taking the seriously GPU taxing DirectX 11 tessellation-heavy benchmark of Metro 2033 there is no Nvidia card that can come close to managing double-figure frame rates at the highest 2,560 x 1,600 resolution until you get up to the £400-odd GTX 580. And even that card can only manage an extra 2fps over this impressive GPU. It was an odd one from AMD's perspective as it launched both the HD 6950 and the other Cayman-powered card, the HD 6970, at the same time. Despite the fact there was a gulf of around £80 in cost, there was very little between them in terms of raw performance. In the overclocking stakes the HD 6970 had the edge, but that was only down to the fact AMD had artificially limited the clockspeeds on the HD 6950 so as not to allow people to push the cheaper card as far as it's slightly more powerful brethren.
With the graphics war in full blitzkrieg mode, it seems like every other month Nvidia and AMD are trading blows back in forth trying to gain supremacy in the enthusiast, mainstream and budget graphics card markets. The Sapphire HD 6950 being reviewed today is a more cost effective and slightly slower little brother to the HD 6970. The HD 6970, which I reviewed previously , was definitely a step forward in terms of performance, but didn't instill any shock and awe into the computing industry. But realistically, it was a faster card and compared to the HD 5870 at launch was a much cheaper. With the difference between the HD 6970 and the HD 6950 being around US$80-$100, will the performance difference make the price difference worth the money or will the HD 6950 be the sweet spot where most buyers will settle till the next generation of cards comes to the market in this upcoming year? Pioneers in a new era of how data is displayed and games are played, Sapphire shepherds the performance oriented with ground-breaking solutions to an environment that remains in a constant state of flux and ultimate evolution.
Just last week we got our first look at NVIDIA’s GTX 580 based on the GF110 GPU. NVIDIA went back and made some changes to not only make the new cards faster, but for them to consume less power and run cooler. While everyone has been excited about the GF110 GPU and the 2 new cards from NVIDIA we all expected AMD to come back with something before the end of the year and they have with Cayman. Cayman is the codename for AMD’s new GPU design. With this new GPU design they have released 2 cards the HD 6970, which is of course the high-end card and the HD 6950 is the mid-range card designed to fit in the $300 segment. Today we will be taking a look at the Radeon HD 6950 from Sapphire that features a dual graphics engine, 2GB of GDDR5 and 88 texture units. Special thanks to Radeon HD 6950 2GB Video Card to review. The HD 6950 comes in a nice retail package from Sapphire. On the front there is quite a lot of information about the card and its features. On the back there is some more information about the card. Opening the box up there is another one inside that hold the card.
Nvidia recently launched the GTX 580 and GTX 570, based on the refined Fermi core. The GF110 used in the GTX 580 and GTX 570 rectified some issues with the original Fermi, namely the high power consumption and heat output. Nvidia was able to further increase the performance on their graphic cards with the GTX 580 and GTX 570, while maintaining the same power envelope as the GTX 480 and GTX 470. Essentially, the GF110 is the true Fermi. While Nvidia was busy refining the Fermi core, AMD launched a brand new GPU design codenamed Cayman. Cayman will be AMD's flagship product for 2011. The two cards released today, the HD 6970 and the HD 6950, are the first cards based off the Cayman architecture. The HD 6970 will be AMD's flagship product, aimed to compete against NVIDIA's GTX 580 for the title of fastest GPU; the HD 6950 is AMD's secret weapon, designed to fill the void of the GPU market at $300 price range. We will not re-iterate the technical aspect of the HD 6900 series because our founder Bjorn has written an extensive article detailing the architectural design of the Cayman and the new features found with the HD 6900 series.