ASUS Radeon 6950 and 6970
As we saw in testing, both the ASUS 6950 and 6970 are very capable gaming cards and will provide sufficient horsepower in modern game titles. The voltage tweaking ability is an important selling point to many enthusiasts when deciding which manufacturer card to choose; we’ve seen many people flash their cards to an ASUS BIOS, and for good reason.
Tere are a few issues to note though. The first is the temperature and power consumption side of the equation. The Radeon 6950’s temperatures are fine, but the 6970’s are not; we were expecting better cooling performance from the vapor chamber heatsink. It runs hotter than the GTX 570, especially when Nvidia’s limiter is engaged. Whether that’s a fair comparison is debatable but without the limiter the 6970 still runs hotter, so that’s not in question. Power consumption also follows a similar trend, as the 6970 is close to the 570 when things are equalized, but the 570 is much more power frugal with its limiter engaged.
In terms of performance, the Radeon 6950 runs a bit behind the GTX 480 but far cooler and more power frugal. In that sense, the 6950 is the clear winner. The 6970, however, is a bit less fortunate. As we’ve seen during testing, it competes with the Nvidia GTX 570, not the GTX 580. That means AMD has essentially surrendered the top performance crown to Nvidia for single-GPU cards. That’s not necessarily surprising, as AMD (or ATI at the time) has done this before, with the intent of providing the best gaming value rather than the best gaming framerates. So we certainly can’t complain about that move, as value is always a top criteria when choosing a new graphics card in our opinion.
Lastly, that brings us to value. The ASUS Radeon 6950 is priced at $300 USD, while the 6970 is set at $380. And therein lies the real issue: a GTX 570 can be found for $350, priced right between these 6900 cards but offers better performance overall.
These graphics cards look great, run fairly quiet, and offer some strong gaming performance out of the box, improving considerably upon the Radeon 6800 series cards. And with the voltage tweaking ability, the overclocking potential is impressive. Of the two cards, the 6950 offers better temperatures, power consumption, and gaming value. The 6970 is a strong card as well but succumbs to the GTX 570 in just about every category. With those results in mind, we’d expect the 6970 to be priced a bit lower in order to better compete against Nvidia.
ASUS Radeon 6950
ASUS Radeon 6970