Visiontek Radeon 6950 2GB
Visiontek has taken a great card and made some smart tweaks here, reducing the size of the PCB and improving the fan design that runs wonderfully quiet. The unfortunate downside here is the load temperature is a disappointment, as the low fan RPMs don’t really kick into high gear until around 90°C. We would really prefer to see more of a gradual ramp-up to keep the temperatures in check. Of course, the solution to this is to manually set the fan to around 50%, or if you’re really adventurous then edit the BIOS with a new fan profile and flash the card.
In terms of performance, our results showed a bit of a mixed bag, with a couple game titles where AMD cards tend to struggle overall, and the lack of PhysX and CUDA which are found on Nvidia cards are obviously not available on any AMD cards. Of course, this 6950 can’t be flashed to a 6970 like we’ve seen on a couple other custom 6950 cards. That said, there were a couple instances where this card ran alongside the GTX 570 which costs about $50 more, so that’s great news for anyone looking for a great value.
The only other item we could note is this particular model doesn’t come with a free copy of DiRT 3, as we’ve seen on several other manufacturer cards. Mind you, those cards cost considerably more as well, so we can’t really complain. At a price of $270, this Visiontek 6950 is one of the least expensive on the market, so if you want a no-frills Radeon 6950 that’s smaller and quieter than the reference design and won’t cost a fortune, the Visiontek 6950 is an attractive option. Just be sure to tweak the fan speed to keep the card running cooler.