The Radeon HD 6950 Sweet Spot: Five 1 GB Cards Rounded-Up

Gigabyte GV-R695OC-1GD

Short names might not win showdowns, but at least the buyer can remember them when picking amongst competing products. Such is the case with Gigabyte’s overclocked R695OC-1GD.

This is the only card in today’s roundup based on AMD's Radeon HD 6970 circuit board, giving the card itself a 10.8” length. Though there’s no overhang for the triple-fan cooler, simply adding the faceplate brings this card to a bay-busting 11” mounting depth.

Performance PC builders usually buy cases with the extra mounting space, and Gigabyte even has a few models under its own brand. On the other hand, anyone hoping to see the first-generation BIOS selector switch from some of this card's 2 GB predecessors will be disappointed to find that this is a second-generation design without that capability.

Big cooling allows Gigabyte to lead competitors in its default GPU clock which, at 870 MHz, is nearly 9% higher than AMD's reference specification. Memory remains at AMD’s default GDDR5-5000.

Gigabyte’s added value comes from cooling and overclocking, though the firm does include the now-expected AMD CrossFire bridge. Two four-pin-to-PCIe power adapters are also included, though we fear many builders will use these as an excuse to draw too much power from an older PSU that lacks strong +12 V rails.

Gigabyte graphics cards come with an industry-standard three-year warranty.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.