AMD Radeon HD 6950 1GB Review
With the graphics card market suddenly becoming more hotly contested than ever, both AMD and NVIDIA are constantly trading blows at several different price points. For the time being, NVIDIA owns the single GPU performance crown but a large swath of the market – from $175 all the way up to $400 – performance leadership is very much up for grabs.
When AMD released their Cayman-based HD 6900-series cards, it seemed like they were caught a bit flat footed by the earlier introduction of the GTX 580 and GTX 570. This led to a situation where their newest flagship products ended up competing with Fermi cards which were effectively discontinued. Nonetheless, through an excellent pricing structure AMD has been able to retain a highly competitive upper end product stack.
AMD hasn’t had any issue competing up to this point but NVIDIA has now unveiled the GTX 560 Ti; a card that attacks a mass market price point of $249. Prior to today, there was a yawning chasm in AMD’s lineup between the $230 HD 6870 and $289 HD 6950 2GB. That’s about to change with the $259 HD 6950 1GB.
We expect this new 1GB card to have nearly identical performance to the $30 more expensive 2GB version so it should end up competing well with NVIDIA’s new GF114. In addition, the HD 6950 1GB cards may have been sent to reviewers but don’t expect it to be available at retailers for at least several weeks. Since the less expensive version will surely cannibalize sales of the 2GB SKU, many AMD board partners will be giving the higher end card a bit more time on the market before introducing its little brother. Nonetheless, we're excited about how this new product will shake up both AMD’s and NVIDIA’s lineups.
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