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Test Setup And Benchmarks

Radeon HD 6970 And 6950 Review: Is Cayman A Gator Or A Crock?
Test Hardware
Intel Core i7-980X (Gulftown) 3.33 GHz at 3.73 GHz (28 * 133 MHz), LGA 1366, 6.4 GT/s QPI, 12 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-savings enabled
Gigabyte X58A-UD5 (LGA 1366) Intel X58/ICH10R, BIOS FB
Kingston 6 GB (3 x 2 GB) DDR3-2000, KHX2000C8D3T1K3/6GX @ 8-8-8-24 and 1.65 V
Hard Drive
Intel SSDSA2M160G2GC 160 GB SATA 3Gb/s
AMD Radeon HD 6970 2 GB

AMD Radeon HD 6950 2 GB

Nvidia GeForce GTX 5701.25 GB

Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 1.5 GB

Nvidia GeForce GTX 480 1.5 GB

Nvidia GeForce GTX 470 1.25 GB

2 x Zotac GeForce GTX 460 1 GB SLI

2 x AMD Radeon HD 6850 1 GB CrossFire

AMD Radeon HD 5970 2 GB

AMD Radeon HD 5870 1 GB

AMD Radeon HD 6870 1 GB
Power Supply
Cooler Master UCP-1000 W
System Software And Drivers
Operating System
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
DirectX 11
Graphics DriverAMD (For Radeon HD 6970 and 6950)

AMD Catalyst 10.10d

AMD Catalyst 10.10e (For Radeon HD 6850 1 GB in CrossFire)

Nvidia GeForce Release 263.09 (For GTX 570)

Nvidia GeForce Release 260.99 (For GTX 480 and 470)

Nvidia GeForce Release 262.99 (For GTX 580)

Today's comparison includes one of the largest collections of graphics cards we've ever put into a single piece. Between the general benchmarks and the added CrossFire/SLI numbers, we've included two Radeon HD 6970s, two Radeon HD 6950s, two Radeon HD 6870s, two Radeon HD 6850s, a Radeon HD 5970, a Radeon HD 5870, two GeForce GTX 580s, a GeForce GTX 480, two GeForce GTX 570s, a GeForce GTX 470, and two GeForce GTX 460s. By my count, that's more than 47 billion transistors worth of graphics hardware on the test bench.

Much of this is the result of reader feedback, both in the comments sections of my stories, which I monitor as often as time permits, and on Twitter, which I'm able to check more regularly. Keep that feedback coming. Two notable take-aways from the last time around: I've added the GeForce GTX 460s for reference, and I've included more extensive CrossFire/SLI testing with scaling analysis.

That's more than 47 billion transistors worth of GPU.That's more than 47 billion transistors worth of GPU.

Lost Planet 2
Highest Quality Settings, No AA, 8x MSAA / 16x AF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 1900x1200 / 2560x1600, DirectX 11, Steam version
Just Cause 2
Highest Quality Settings, No AA / 16xAF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, Bokeh filter and GPU water disabled (for Nvidia cards), Concrete Jungle Benchmark
Metro 2033
Medium Settings, AAA, 4x MSAA / 16x AF, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, Built-in Benchmark, Steam version
DiRT 2
Ultra High Settings, 4x AA / No AF, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, Steam version, Custom benchmark script, DX11 Rendering
Aliens Vs. Predator Benchmark
Highest Quality Settings, SSAO, No AA / 16xAF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Custom (Highest) Quality Settings, 8x MSAA / 16xAF, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, opening cinematic, 145 second sequence, FRAPS
3DMark Vantage
Performance Default, PPU Disabled
Highest Quality Settings, 8x AA, 1920x1200, Retail Version, Built-in Benchmark, Tessellation on/off
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