AMD Radeon HD 6970 and HD 6950 Review

Author: Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig
Date: December 14, 2010
Product Name: AMD Radeon HD 6970 / HD 6950
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The mad, headlong rush towards Christmas is normally punctuated with plenty of new products and this year has been no different. Most of the news has come from NVIDIA’s camp as they have successfully introduced a pair of refreshed Fermi cards called the GTX 580 and GTX 570. Naturally, AMD wants in on the fun and is now finally releasing two retaliatory products: the HD 6970 and HD 6950.

To say this code named “Cayman” GPU has been the topic of some heated debates in past week would be a massive understatement. Ever since the first rumors began circulating, people began thinking of Cayman as AMD’s broadside in the DX11 war and considering the broad scope of architectural changes, it seems more than equal to that task. As a replacement for the highly popular Cypress core, this new series of products has some understandably high expectations riding on its shoulders.

For the time being, AMD’s enthusiast lineup will consist of two SKUs: Cayman XT and Cayman Pro, otherwise known as the HD 6970 and HD 6950. The higher end HD 6970 doesn’t target the GTX 580 like many hoped it would but rather aims directly for NVIDIA’s GTX 570. As evidenced by a starting price of $369 USD, it is definitely priced to move.

Presently, there is a void at the $299 price point that was once occupied by the GTX 470, before cuts lowered its suggested retail price to under $270. Since AMD is anxious to tap this lucrative market this is precisely where the HD 6950 will be sitting. Considering the budgets of many gamers, we’re sure AMD will win many over with their pricing structure on both of these cards.

The hype surrounding this launch has reached considerable proportions, and the delays have pushed Cayman’s release precariously close to Christmas, but today we’re about to find out what the HD 6970 and HD 6950 are all about.


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