PowerColor 6970 Devil 13
PowerColor has taken a great card and made it better here, adding a custom heatsink and a dual BIOS out of the box that essentially gives the card a turbo boost with the push of a button. The accessory package is outstanding, and arguably overkill, but Powercolor is to be commended on the attention to detail.
The performance results are on par with what we’d expect from an overclocked 6970, the temperatures are very good, and the fans are barely audible at idle and still wonderfully quiet under full load. There is, of course, the dual 8-pin power connector configuration that can provide plenty of juice in case you choose to use the second BIOS, or even decide you want to squeeze more clock speed out of the Devil 13 as well.
The Devil 13 contains just about everything you would want in an enthusiast-oriented card, including the improved power design, LED indicators, and voltage reading points. Sleek styling is the icing on the cake, and this card has it all. So what’s the catch? Well, it’s something beyond the Devil 13 itself, actually: Tahiti.
Tahiti is the new AMD Radeon 7970, and it’s a performance monster. With AMD’s 7000 series cards starting to hit the shelves, this makes for a difficult choice for consumers looking to upgrade. The 6970 has always been a great card, but the Devil 13 is late to the game, on the tail end of the generation in fact.. Of course, you do pay more for the new tech, so the question is really a budget consideration. Comparing the Devil 13 on its own, it’s a fantastic card; in the context of a 7970 though, it’s undoubtedly overshadowed.
That said, PowerColor has continued their innovative ways here, and we really hope to see a custom card like the Devil 13 somewhere in new AMD product lineup. At a price of about $500 and availability rather scarce for the most part, the 6970 Devil 13 does come at a significant premium over "regular" 6970 with custom coolers that can also overclock rather high. You get a top notch kit and free game included, but that doesn’t give you better framerates. We think the PowerColor 6970 Devil 13 is a terrific card, but the price is pretty stiff against other such cards on the market. However, the real competition isn’t from another 6970, but rather its successor, the 7970.
The Pure Point: The PowerColor 6970 Devil 13 is an excellent graphics card that is unfortunately a victim of AMD’s new lineup.