I'm asking a question, I'm not making a statement. I recently just flashed my 6950 2gb to the 6970. The performance gain was tremendous when I oc'd to 6970 levels and gave it a 20%+ power boost.
So I'm thinking, why did AMD even do this to begin with? Why did they down clock the card, and disable the shaders? Was it to create a tiered market to improve sales and product diversity? I think so.
In my opinion just because we have a free market does not make what AMD or Nvidia is doing okay. The recommended GPU's for BF3 were $300 at launch, and I found that very suspicious because if you look at the benchmarks between say the 5800 series and 6900 series, they're almost the same. Dollar for dollar the 5800 series was way better, which makes me think the 6950 was just marketing collusion. They could have recommended a cheaper card for BF3, but they didn't. They recommended a more expensive one with a bigger price tag and similar performance.
It's standard now, there is all these "tiers" in graphics cards for no real practical reason except for power consumption. "budget" gaming cards are just good GPU's that are purposefully gimped. Even in the CPU world, why do we have to pay more for the i5 just to have an unlocked multiplier? Why does the i3 even exist?!
It's not all a sham, but in some instances you can see they're using these types of tricks. Ultimately it just makes the market needlessly complicated for consumers and benchmarkers.
So in my opinion, the 6950 should not exist, it's a nerfed 6970. Same with the i3 and the i5, why? The i7 has an additional feature so I can understand, but does everyone notice there is generally 3 levels of performance every generation? I may be missing some information, but this is how everything looks to me.
The GPU is made as fitting for HD6970! During quality control they will find flaws with some of them and then make those HD6950! Not the first time has been done through generations (the unusual thing is the flashing and unlock)!
I just don't buy this. I know this is the common belief, I know how everything is made in giant sheets on a press, and not all of them perform the same, but I'll tell you my 6950 is actually a 6970 with the only difference being power connectors. I don't have any issues playing games.
I think marketing plays a larger role behind their decisions than quality control. If the 6950's are truly found to be under performing, then why do the 6970's cost more? Because they work properly? I don't think supply and demand is the driving factor in pricing, because in the case of the 6950 it looks deliberately nerfed.
The quality control "theory" does explain everything, but only if it is totally true. Hypothetically if everything tested perfectly, I'd still be willing to bet the tiered market would exist. You see a tiered market in everything now days, even Mc Donalds. The difference being that the GPU tiered market is being fabricated.