Conclusion: With its Radeon HD 6970 video card, AMD introduces some exciting competition in the sub-$400 video card space. But if you want the fastest card out there in this price range, the 6970 is not consistently it.
Pros: Excellent performance for the price. Support for full range of new technologies, including DirectX 11 and Enhanced Quality Anti-Aliasing.
Cons: Not consistently more powerful than its less-expensive competition.
Summary: The AMD Radeon HD6970 is a disappointment when you look at the initial performance numbers. The card runs as hot as the GTX580, consumes as much power as the GTX570 and performs on the same level, which really shouldn’t be what the flagship card aspires to be. There are words written between the lines though, words that are meant to be read.
Conclusion: Whereas the GeForce GTX 480 was the fastest single-GPU graphics cards during its era, the GTX 580 retains the crown as it is simply too much for the Radeon HD 6970 to handle. The HD 6970 will be priced to tackle Nvidia’s second in command, the GeForce GTX 570 , while the HD 6950 fills a price bracket of its own. It won't be until early next year when AMD gets the chance to reclaim the performance crown, with the dual-GPU Radeon HD 6990 , code-named Antilles.
Conclusion: IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete.
Pros: Excellent top-end DX11 graphics performance, Cayman GPU includes stereoscopic 3D functionality, Nearly silent cooling fan at idle, very quiet under load, Fan exhausts most heated air outside of case, Multi-view CODEC enables 3D Blu-ray playback, Improves DisplayPort to 1.2 with display chaining, Supports CrossFireX functionality
Cons: Expensive enthusiast product, Limited AMD HD3D product support
Excerpt: We have been hearing rumblings about the products we’ll be showing you today, which are based on AMD’s next-gen “Cayman” GPU, for months now. In fact, back in October we were able to leak a tiny bit of official information in our coverage of the AMD Radeon HD 6800 series, but there’s been rampant discussion, spy images, and other leaks from all around the web for ages. And why not?
Pros: Strong Performance, Eyefinity Support, 2GB Frame Buffers, Relatively Quiet In Single Card Configurations, New AA Modes, Priced Competitively
Cons: 6970 Doesn't Clearly Beat The GTX 570, Can Be Somewhat Loud In Two-Card Config
Conclusion: With performance numbers so close, which card is right for you depends more on features such as multiple-monitor support and 3D-technology options than raw performance. If you don’t plan on connecting more than two screens and don’t intend to don glasses for immersive 3D gaming, either card is a good choice, though we’d give the Radeon HD 6970 a slight edge for its better performance in our latest tests.
Pros: A bit faster than Nvidia's closest card on bench tests, newer games, Better multi-screen support than competing Nvidia cards
Cons: Lags behind GeForce GTX 570 in older games and tests, Loud fan under full load, Too long for some PC cases
AMD Radeon HD 6970 and 6950 Review - The Cayman Architecture Revealed
14 December 2010
Excerpt: After a couple of small delays, Cayman is finally here as the Radeon HD 6900-series of graphics cards and represents a modestly dramatic shift in GPU computing architecture compared to previous cards. The results are likely not exactly what AMD had expect, thanks to some issues beyond its control, but the Radeon HD 6970 and HD 6950 update AMD's lineup of graphics cards for the holidays and continue the recently-renewed march-step of competition between two bitter...
Excerpt: The AMD Radeon HD 6970 marks the debut of AMD's "Cayman" GPU, offering significant architectural changes stemming from the Radeon HD 5800 series, and their recently launched Radeon HD 6800 series.