TechSpot: AMD Radeon HD 6970 Review

AMD has been offering a lone Radeon HD 6000 series GPU since October, pitching the Radeon HD 6870 head on at the GeForce GTX 460 with a suggested retail price of $240. However, as impressive as the Radeon HD 6870 is at that price point, not to mention the very confusing naming scheme, AMD stressed this wasn't a 5870 replacement.

After a short delay, AMD brings us their new flagship GPU in the form of the Radeon HD 6970. Code-named Cayman XT, this new graphics processor is poised to take on the latest GeForce GTX 570 featuring a staggering 2640 million transistors, 23% more than that of the Radeon HD 5870.

Like the new Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 and GTX 570 graphics cards which are more refined versions of the GTX 480 and GTX 470 graphics cards, the Radeon HD 6970 is essentially a more refined version of the 5870. To find out exactly what this means, read on...

Read: AMD Radeon HD 6970 Review

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D: But.. I just got my 5870v2!! Why would I need this?!!? Would I really see any difference in games that I already have? Althought it looks tempting... *licks lips*

I cant believe people are actually feeling dissapointed about either the 5xx from Nvidia or the 6xxx AMD cards.
As far as i know both these cards were just a small refresh of the old 4xx and 5xxx cards from each company. This is the usual case where performance is bumped up by 10-20%.

The 'new' AMD cards i think are going to be 32nm or 28nm and i think they are due towards middle to end of next year and likewise for nvidia.

And also im always surprised by the idiotic fanboys that get their panties in a bunch over Nvidia vs AMD.

considering i dont have shares or a stake in either company my next card will be based purely on performance and price. unlike some sense of brand loyalty which has no personal benefit.

Canned benchmarks and apple/apple comparisons do not the real story tell. Try the review over at [H]ard|OCP to gleen more useful real-world testing. Canned benchies are so 2005, dontchaknow?

ir0nw0lf said,
Canned benchmarks and apple/apple comparisons do not the real story tell. Try the review over at [H]ard|OCP to gleen more useful real-world testing. Canned benchies are so 2005, dontchaknow?

lol hard ocp where people look at the fps without looking at the settings used and declare that x card is the better performer.

ir0nw0lf said,
Canned benchmarks and apple/apple comparisons do not the real story tell. Try the review over at [H]ard|OCP to gleen more useful real-world testing. Canned benchies are so 2005, dontchaknow?

sure Hard ocp tested the 6970 against the 580 while the 6970 is priced against the 570. That's definatly better

most of the way through the techspot review and despite their positive spin and poor methodology(60s runs? wtf?) in some ways the 6970 gets hammered even worse than the HWC review.
that being said i just got to the metro2033 graphs and saw this line

The game was tested with DirectX 11, but Tessellation was left disabled as it hammered performance too severely.

nobody gives a flying **** about metro2033 without tesselation in dx11. this to me makes techspot reviews almost worthless in dx11 benches since they are willing to cater settings to get more playable settings. they make no note of DOF in metro which is a setting that typically halves fps in games and demos.
the conclusion as usual was more in amd's favour than nvidia's compared to previous reviews of nvidia products by techspot.

HWC tested with tesselation and the 6970 was still over the 570 in both average and the more revelant minimum framerate. The 6970 even managed to beat the 580 at 1920 in AVP with tesselation enabled.

The card is a little disappointing (if you bought into the hype) and defintely does not perform well at 1680x1050 (who cares about this resolution at this price range ?) but it scores well with tesselation enabled so far.

The real disappointment is the load temp as at 1920 both and 6970 and 570 perform the same for about the same price but the 6970 is almost as hot as the 480 when loaded which imo is not good. I don't like my card to run at over 90 celsius.

Imo both the 5xx, 68xx and 69xx series are not enough to worth an upgrade if you already own a 4xx or 58xx series card. I'll wait next year my 5850 is still good and tesselation is not enough widespread right now.

LaP said,
HWC tested with tesselation and the 6970 was still over the 570 in both average and the more revelant minimum framerate. The 6970 even managed to beat the 580 at 1920 in AVP with tesselation enabled.

The card is a little disappointing (if you bought into the hype) and defintely does not perform well at 1680x1050 (who cares about this resolution at this price range ?) but it scores well with tesselation enabled so far.

The real disappointment is the load temp as at 1920 both and 6970 and 570 perform the same for about the same price but the 6970 is almost as hot as the 480 when loaded which imo is not good. I don't like my card to run at over 90 celsius.

Imo both the 5xx, 68xx and 69xx series are not enough to worth an upgrade if you already own a 4xx or 58xx series card. I'll wait next year my 5850 is still good and tesselation is not enough widespread right now.


+1

http://images.hardwarecanucks....tl/GPU/HD6900/HD6900-87.jpg

i was actually surprised these cards didn't perform better. i was expecting amd to take the single gpu performance crown with the 6970 based on the hardware on the GPU, from leaks.
i also wonder if the the "nvidia cards can cook food" jokes will end as the 6970 is actually hotter than the 580. probably not but one can dream right?
anyways i'll read this review now that i've read HWC's and see where they differ and have more comments on these cards.
overall it looks like the 6970 is not a card i will be recomending to anyone, until it becomes cheaper than the 570, and drivers improve in number of bugs, stability and performance, something amd seems to struggle with, no matter what anyone likes to say about never having problems with them(known bugs list on release notes are long and sometimes more optimistic than the reality)
http://images.hardwarecanucks....tl/GPU/HD6900/HD6900-88.jpg
still these cards vs the 500 series will be interesting to watch in coming months as drivers improve for both series.

Why the hell is this turning into a Windows vs Linux debate? haha the articles about a freakin' graphic card!

Ently said,
Why the hell is this turning into a Windows vs Linux debate? haha the articles about a freakin' graphic card!

Internet kinda sucks.

Digitalx said,
best bang for buck that's it

I would say the best bang for the buck is the 570. It runs cooler and curently cost a little less. But i would personally wait for more reviews as the 6970 did better with games supporting tessellation. That could be a selling point.

This said i'm not upgrading this gen my 5850 is still good I'l probably wait 2012 to upgrade.

Digitalx said,
best bang for buck that's it

it has slightly lower price to performance value than the 570. so no it's not the best bang for the buck.

nice improvement over the 5870, yet for some reason I have to applaud Nvidia for the stellar performance of that gtx 570 . Gave the 6970 a run for its money, with most tests performed better roughly

was planning on getting either the 6850 or 6870 this weekend...currently on a 5750. but i agree with some of the comments above, AMD has horrible drivers that glitch all the time. starting with ver 10.11 i keep getting "warnings" and the Catalyst won't even open at all. Everything seems to work fine and GPU Z detects the correct driver version, but Catalyst won't work. it's also nigh on impossible to remove completely. disgusting, really disgusting. i love their hardware but their software is garbage.

neoadorable said,
was planning on getting either the 6850 or 6870 this weekend...currently on a 5750. but i agree with some of the comments above, AMD has horrible drivers that glitch all the time. starting with ver 10.11 i keep getting "warnings" and the Catalyst won't even open at all. Everything seems to work fine and GPU Z detects the correct driver version, but Catalyst won't work. it's also nigh on impossible to remove completely. disgusting, really disgusting. i love their hardware but their software is garbage.

Their drivers are fine. Most windows crashes are actually nvidia drivers. it is well documented. If you have an issue with catalyst it is most likely your .net framework as it uses that.
I have no issues with catalyst or with removing the drivers. They uninstall quite easily. And I recently had issues with an HTPC of mine where I had to go through this. With both Nvidia and ATI cards.

The comments about the "horrible" ati drivers always surprise me. I will admit i mostly owned nvidia cards in my life. I owned only 2 ati cards. A 9800 pro 128mb and my current card a 5850 1gb. I was fully satisfied with both cards. I never had any major problem with ati drivers. CCC is crap no doubt about it (ati tray tools is a good replacement). But i never had problems with the drivers themselves.

archer75 said,

Their drivers are fine. Most windows crashes are actually nvidia drivers. it is well documented. If you have an issue with catalyst it is most likely your .net framework as it uses that.
I have no issues with catalyst or with removing the drivers. They uninstall quite easily. And I recently had issues with an HTPC of mine where I had to go through this. With both Nvidia and ATI cards.


keep drinking the ati koolaid.
plenty of TDR crashes come from amd driver, they just have lower market share so they get less windows crashes.
CCC is still garbage and it has little to do with .net.

este said,
Would have liked to see it'd be more powerful then the GTX 580..
It might be once the drivers mature a bit, but it is under performing where I personally hoped it would be.

Nagisan said,
It might be once the drivers mature a bit, but it is under performing where I personally hoped it would be.

keep in mind the 580 still probably has plenty of headroom from more mature drivers as well.

Nagisan said,
It might be once the drivers mature a bit, but it is under performing where I personally hoped it would be.

keep in mind the 580 still probably has plenty of headroom from more mature drivers as well.

treemonster said,

keep in mind the 580 still probably has plenty of headroom from more mature drivers as well.
True, they do have over a month lead on the 5970 though, I would say wait to compare the two until Catalyst 11.1 or maybe even 11.2, one of those will be the first to really support the 6970 properly and will possibly bring some improvements that early over what they are at now.

Nagisan said,
True, they do have over a month lead on the 5970 though, I would say wait to compare the two until Catalyst 11.1 or maybe even 11.2, one of those will be the first to really support the 6970 properly and will possibly bring some improvements that early over what they are at now.

well the 470 was 6 months late and it wasn't long before it was owning the 5870.

So it's roughly on-par with the 570.....not as good as I was hoping, but I say let the drivers mature a little bit more and it will probably be close to the 580.

Nagisan said,
So it's roughly on-par with the 570.....not as good as I was hoping, but I say let the drivers mature a little bit more and it will probably be close to the 580.

I doubt. You might gain 3-5% increase with more mature drivers but not more. The 6970 is not meant to compete with the 580 as it's less expensive. It's a worthy competitor to the 570. Load temp are a little high imo as they are close to load temp of the 480.

Nagisan said,
So it's roughly on-par with the 570.....not as good as I was hoping, but I say let the drivers mature a little bit more and it will probably be close to the 580.

yeah i was a bit surprised as i read the HWC review myself. i was actually expectingthe 6970 to go toe to toe with the 580 and 5970, instead it seems the 580 is still the fastest single gpu card you can get, and the 570 is a better price to performance ratio. the 6950 though looks excelent for the price.

LaP said,

I doubt. You might gain 3-5% increase with more mature drivers but not more. The 6970 is not meant to compete with the 580 as it's less expensive. It's a worthy competitor to the 570. Load temp are a little high imo as they are close to load temp of the 480.

I disagree, we have seen 10% and higher improvements going from release drivers to more mature drivers in the past, what makes this one any different?

well i have to ati cards in my new rig yes cross fire set up and my pc always crashes on first boot am running win7 64bit with the latest drivers, i always get the dreaded blue screen, it says something about some atimpag.sys file is causing the memory dump and blue screen, this has been happening since i first got the cards, they are on a gigabyte motherboard p55a- ud3 with the latest bios.

Not sure what your dribbling on about ZekeComa.....

Maybe its been ages since you tried a decent AMD Cards.....but the Drivers seem flawless on my system anyways....maybe its the fact your using crappy Linux

Baked said,
Maybe its been ages since you tried a decent AMD Cards.....but the Drivers seem flawless on my system anyways....maybe its the fact your using crappy Linux

How are those viruses, malware and spyware working out for you?

Baked said,
Not sure what your dribbling on about ZekeComa.....

Maybe its been ages since you tried a decent AMD Cards.....but the Drivers seem flawless on my system anyways....maybe its the fact your using crappy Linux


if you're talking about he latest amd driver in windows check out the thread on them in BPN where even the "my amd drivers are always perfect" amd fans are rolling back due to issues with them.

Miuku said,

How are those viruses, malware and spyware working out for you?

What viruses, malware and spyware ??

I run 64bit Win7 and Vista 64 before that and have not seen any virus get past my AV in years and I can't remember the last piece malware/spyware I got....

Maybe you just don't know how to setup and configure a system correctly eh!

treemonster said,

if you're talking about he latest amd driver in windows check out the thread on them in BPN where even the "my amd drivers are always perfect" amd fans are rolling back due to issues with them.

Interesting....I'm pretty sure I'm running the latest version. One sec I'll check AMD out, Yup thought so 10.12

No issues here in fact the last drive I had a slight issue with was 10.9 and that was only a issue of the Catalyst Control Panel was disappearing from the taskbar even tho it was selected....nothing major.

Baked said,

What viruses, malware and spyware ??

I run 64bit Win7 and Vista 64 before that and have not seen any virus get past my AV in years and I can't remember the last piece malware/spyware I got....

Maybe you just don't know how to setup and configure a system correctly eh!

You just don't know about them :>

omganinja said,
Cause you need a high powered graphics card to play tux racer...

or run compiz or whatever it is called these days... lol