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AMD Radeon HD 6950 1GB Review

Author: SKYMTL
Date: January 24, 2011
Product Name: AMD HD 6950 1GB
 
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Filling in AMD’s Lineup with a New 1GB Card



To many, the exact reasoning behind the launch of yet another Cayman-based card may seem unclear but NVIDIA’s current and upcoming product lineup has prompted several reactionary steps on AMD’s part. The HD 6870 1GB has fallen from its previous price of $249 to $230 in order to better line up with the $249 launch MRSP of the GTX 560 Ti. Additional rebates have brought the HD 6870 to the $210 mark in recent weeks but according to retailers we have spoken to, these discounts will end shortly after the GTX 560 Ti launch.

For the most part the upper end of AMD’s product stack has remained at a constant pricing structure with the HD 6970 retailing for around $369 while the HD 6950 2GB still hovers around the $289 mark. The upcoming dual GPU card dubbed Antilles is still playing hide and go seek but we expect it to be launched sometime this quarter with a retail price of $599; taking over the HD 5970’s spot as the flagship Radeon product.


From a specifications standpoint, nothing has changed between the 2GB and 1GB HD 6950 cards other than the amount of allotted memory. Instead of making a completely new product with lower clock speeds, AMD has decided to port over the Cayman Pro core en masse but this will likely cause some issues as well. With high clock speeds of 5Ghz operating on a 256-bit bus, even a 1GB HD 6950 should have plenty of bandwidth to burn though so we will only see a significant differentiation in overall performance. AMD’s “board power” indicator has remained the same simply because the components on these cards are still capable of delivering up to 200W. However, actual power consumption should be a bit less due to the 1GB version using less power-hungry GDDR5 modules.

$259 is certainly an aggressive price but we have to wonder whether AMD is castrating their lineup just to offer a competitive solution against the GTX 560 Ti. Will this move to compete with NVIDIA’s GF114 kill sales of the HD 6950 2GB? Only time will tell but it’s important to remember that this is still a great move for consumers.
 
 
 

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