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

Benchmark Results: Metro 2033 (DX11)

AMD got a rough start in Metro 2033 when the game launched earlier this year. Slowly but surely, though, performance has improved in a very quantitative way. Though the top spot goes to Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 580 across the board, AMD’s Radeon HD 6850s in CrossFire work their way up the ladder at 2560x1600, scoring a second-place finish.

The Radeon HD 6970 shows its mettle here, underperforming the GeForce GTX 570 at 1680x1050 and 1920x1200, but making up the difference at 2560x1600, besting two GeForce GTX 460 1GB cards in SLI (worth about $400). You can’t get around the fact that, for somewhere around $380, you could get a pair of 6850s in CrossFire, though. The single-card solution is more elegant, sure. But performance doesn’t always have to be pretty.

AMD’s $299 Radeon HD 6950 looks a little more impressive as it bests the Radeon HD 5870 in all three resolutions, coming close to the $350 GeForce GTX 570 at 2560x1600.

You’ll notice that the results in this game vary a bit on the AMD boards from 1680x1050 to 2560x1600, too. The Radeon HD 5970, for example, seems particularly platform-constrained at the lower resolutions, coming into its own as the graphics workload intensifies. The same thing applies to the 6850s in CrossFire.

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • terror112
    WOW not impressed.
  • Annisman
    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.
  • rohitbaran
    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.
  • tacoslave
    imagine when this hits 32nm?
  • notty22
    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
  • microterf
    Why drop the 580 when it comes to the multi-gpu scaling??
  • IzzyCraft
    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.
  • andrewcutter
    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
  • sgt bombulous
    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...
  • manitoublack
    I'd have to say wait until the christmas new years dust settles