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

Benchmark Results: Lost Planet 2 (DX11)

Our current test suite contains a mix of titles backed by AMD and others emphasized by Nvidia. Lost Planet 2 falls into the latter category, evidenced by the strong finishes by Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 580 and 460s in SLI. Nevertheless, two Radeon HD 6850s climb the ranks, passing the GeForce GTX 570 to essentially tie a $500 GTX 580 at 2560x1600.

AMD’s Radeon HD 6970 is found down the chart a ways, behind the Radeon HD 5970 and GeForce GTX 480. Its performance isn’t bad, per se. However, when you consider the Radeon HD 6850s in CrossFire trending toward the top of the chart at a price under $400, it really seems like there’s little reason to favor the single-GPU board, which is significantly slower.

It’s also interesting that the Radeon HD 6950 offers frame rates close to what we see from the 6970. Give the expected ~$70 difference between the two, the 6950 appears to be a much better value, even besting the Radeon HD 5870.

Create a new thread in the US Reviews comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
217 comments
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • WOW not impressed.
    30
  • Dissappointed. well i guess anyone that bought a 5xxx series card that couldnt wait can now be content that they made an ok choice. The only thing i got from this review is that i want 2 x gtx460's or 2 x 6850's, not the new amd cards.
    15
  • I also urge people to put more emphasis on MINIMUM FPS as that is when you require high FPS the most.
    14
  • Other Comments
  • WOW not impressed.
    30
  • Thanks for the review Angelini, these new naming schemes are hurting my head, sometimes the only way to tell (at a quick glance) which AMD card matches up to what Nvidia card, is by comparing the prices, which I think is bad for the average consumer.
    11
  • These cards are to GTX 500 series what 4000 series was to GTX 200. Not the fastest at their time but offer killer performance and feature set for the price. I too expected 6900 to be close to GTX 580, but it didn't turn out that way. Still, it is the card I have waited for to upgrade. Right in my budget.
    13
  • imagine when this hits 32nm?
    3
  • AMD's top card is about a draw with the gtx 570.
    Pricing is in line.
    Gives AMD only hold outs buying options, Nvidia already offered
    Merry Christmas
    7
  • Why drop the 580 when it comes to the multi-gpu scaling??
    11
  • Sorry all i read was this
    "This helps catch AMD up to Nvidia. However, Intel has something waiting in the wings that’ll take both graphics companies by surprise. In a couple of weeks, we'll be able to tell you more." and now i'm fixated to weather or not intel's gpu's can actually commit to proper playback.
    4
  • but from what i read at hardocp, though it is priced alongside the 570, 6970 was benched against the 580 and they were trading blows... So toms has it at par with 570 but hard has it on par with 580.. now im confused because if it can give 580 perfomance or almost 580 performance at 570 price and power then this one is a winner. Sim a 6950 was trading blows with 570 there. So i am very confused
    -3
  • This is hilarious... How long ago was it that there were ATI fanboys blabbering "The 6970 is gonna be 80% faster than the GTX 580!!!". And then reality hit...
    -1
  • I'd have to say wait until the christmas new years dust settles
    2
  • sry i take back what i said earlier. most reviews agree with what toms says. So my apologies..:)
    8
  • Not bad, but not very impressive either. It's hard to be impressed at 40nm by now.

    But it is quite ironic that AMD has had a tesselator in their cards way before anybody supported the feature (let alone Nvidia), and now Nvidia does better tessellation than AMD.. they should really address that problem.. well, now the only way is to redesign the chip... at 28nm.

    28nm it is then, the next big excitment.

    What I would really like, now that the HD6xxx lineup is here (dual GPU still missing, but that is a niche product), is that AMD now focuses on fixing bugs in their drivers.
    6
  • It's always the same story! nVidia pulls out a new product and then the wait begins for AMD to release its products! Ultimately, the difference isn't worth the wait. We know that AMD's winning factor is its price, but nVidia's is the quality....imho!

    As rightly stated, 'reality hits'.
    4
  • AndrewCutterbut from what i read at hardocp, though it is priced alongside the 570, 6970 was benched against the 580 and they were trading blows... So toms has it at par with 570 but hard has it on par with 580.. now im confused because if it can give 580 perfomance or almost 580 performance at 570 price and power then this one is a winner. Sim a 6950 was trading blows with 570 there. So i am very confused

    Actually, in Hardocp review overall 580 has some edge over 6970 as well. Only in F1 6970 is ahead. 6970 is great value though.
    0
  • IzzyCraftSorry all i read was this"This helps catch AMD up to Nvidia. However, Intel has something waiting in the wings that’ll take both graphics companies by surprise. In a couple of weeks, we'll be able to tell you more." and now i'm fixated to weather or not intel's gpu's can actually commit to proper playback.


    If intel entered the graphics market and provided a half-decent dedicated GPU, that would definitely make ANY GPU company shake in their boots.

    But in all honesty i hope Intel does enter the market for graphics, making AMD and Nvidia push harder and faster for better products.
    8
  • So the answer to the question posed in the title is that it is neither really a gator nor a crock. It works on so many levels! Well, maybe just one since caimans are more closely related to alligators than crocodiles.
    1
  • I wonder if Nvidia will reduce the prices on the GTX 580 and 570.
    10
  • About the only good news I can see in this for AMD is how much they've increased their multi-GPU scaling, making the 6850's in Crossfire a great bargain. That's great, sure, but the new 6900 cards leave me completely underwhelmed. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to follow up the 6800's in this way. I'm an Nvidia user, but I was still looking forward with curiosity to seeing how much stronger the 6970 would be than the GTX 580. Looks like the hype-machine broke down this time... My guess is that a lot of the AMD/ATI fanatics will be scrambling to salvage some dignity after all their talking up of Cayman and how it would eat Nvidia's lunch.
    6
  • This reminds me a lot about the recent release of the updated AMD processors - a temporary holdout while the company plans to release new ones ahead. Except these graphics cards don't even have value going for them. Nvidia was behind just a couple months ago, but now they're ready to crush AMD/Radeon. AMD better have something new coming, and FAST. Holding procedures will only do so much when your competitor is already developing their next-gen GPUs.
    -3
  • Dissappointed. well i guess anyone that bought a 5xxx series card that couldnt wait can now be content that they made an ok choice. The only thing i got from this review is that i want 2 x gtx460's or 2 x 6850's, not the new amd cards.
    15