Radeon HD 6950 1 GB: But It Has Less Memory!
Although we haven't seen too many examples of it recently, adding tons of memory to a lower-end GPU was once a common practice, if only as a relatively affordable way to beef up a card's spec sheet. It turned out that gamers who didn't understand what really made one board faster than another would buy an overpriced GeForce 2 MX, for example, because it had more memory than a standard GeForce 2 GTS, and then end up with a slower product that was cheaper to manufacture.
Of course, we all know that the Radeon HD 6950 is far from a low-end part. Instead, the most likely reason that AMD's Radeon HD 6950 originally came with a massive 2 GB of GDDR5 RAM was based in its origin as a Radeon HD 6970. The company specified a top-end memory configuration for its best card, and the easiest way to make its number-two part was to simply flash a separate firmware to disable shader cores and drop the clocks. Using the next-lower speed grade for RAM, the Radeon HD 6950 was born.
A lot has happened since that launch, however. To begin, the Radeon HD 6970 targeted triple-GPU configurations, where super-high resolutions and details could occasionally make use of that extra RAM. AMD's less expensive 6950 was marketed toward gamers looking to save a little money. Lower thermal ceilings allowed manufacturers to adopt more compact circuit boards for even greater cost savings and installation flexibility.
Three-way configurations and 2 GB Radeon HD 6950s are still available, but if you're running a single card, it's safe to say that, in most cases, you're going to run out of GPU muscle before you hit the limits of a 1 GB board. As a result, the Radeon HD 6950 1 GB appears to be this market’s sweet spot.
Five companies agreed with our assessment enough that they were willing to send their cards for evaluation.
|Single-Slot Graphics Comparison Specifications|
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Gigabyte 1GB GV-R695OC-1GD||HIS ICEQ X 1GB H695QN1G2M||MSI R6950 PE OC 912-V246-047||Sapphire HD 6950 1GB GDDR5 PCIE||XFX 800M 1GB HD-695X-ZDFC|
|GPU Clock||870 MHz||800 MHz||850 MHz||800 MHz||800 MHz|
|DVI||1 x Dual-Link 1 x Single-Link||1 x Dual-Link 1 x Single-Link||1 x Dual-Link 1 x Single-Link||1 x Dual-Link 1 x Single-Link||1 x Dual-Link 1 x Single-Link|
|DisplayPort||Full||Two Mini||Two Mini||Full||Two Mini|
|VGA||By Adapter||By Adapter||By Adapter||By Adapter||By Adapter|
|Output Adapters||None||DVI-I to VGA||DVI-I to VGA Full DisplayPort||DVI-I to VGA||None|
|Weight||25 Ounces||23 Ounces||28 Ounces||24 Ounces||21 Ounces|
|PCB Version||Custom 1.0||Custom||V246 2.0||Custom||Custom|
|VRM||Eight Phases||Four Phases||Six Phases||Four Phases||Four Phases|
|Warranty||Three Years||Two Years||Three Years||Two Years||Lifetime w/reg|
|Added Value||Row 16 - Cell 1||DiRT3 Certificate||Dual BIOS||DiRT3 Certificate||Row 16 - Cell 5|
my gtx 580 @ 1080p with these exact settings gets around 35 average fps.
the low fps are probably around 15.
Edit: oh ok. i play at ultra settings with advanced physx on. the test uses medium settings with no physx.
If only things were so simple. That's why I think (hope, really) that a large number of next-gen low and mid range cards will be mostly silent, and very efficient.
Yeah it cost twice as much to. I could CF both of these cards and it would kill your card in performance/price
and why ARE they on medium settings? wouldn't it show the benefit of 2gb on higher settings, hell even on my 6850 I play it on higher settings than that...
The test was set up to produce playable framerates in the sample map. The tests showed a minimum framerate of around 19.8 FPS using MEDIUM details and no AA at 2560x1600. Obviously, the sample map pushes these graphics cards harder than the maps you're currently playing.
I have found that Metro 2033 requires a strong CPU as well as GPU. Your CPU might be the bottleneck. I've also found that Metro 2033 is one of the few games I've played that hyperthreading matters.
Unless prices have changed a lot, I don't see the 1GB 6950 as the sweet spot.There are probably a dozen of other professional reviews that show that the 2GB version DOES greatly improve performance at the highest settings. At the highest settings, the 6950 2GB card virtually ties the more expensive 570.
It would have been interesting to see which of the cards overclocks the best. I moved my settings up in ATI's Catalsyst Control but the card did not overclock when I moved the settings up for some reason. I tried researching it but XFX's info kind of sucks. Anyway, my card is so fast that I decided it wasn't important anyway and I don't game.