AMD released yesterday their latest high-end video card series, the Radeon HD 6900. Let’s take a look at the two models that were released, the Radeon HD 6950 and the Radeon HD 6970.

The video cards we are reviewing are the reference models from AMD. When a video card is first launched, all “manufacturers” buy their video cards already assembled from AMD and only add their sticker to it. One or other manufacturer may add an overclocking, but physically all cards are absolutely identical. Only after a while manufacturers start launching customized solutions, changing the cooler and, sometimes, redesigning the printed circuit board. Therefore, you should expect the same performance level on video cards based on the same graphics chip from different vendors, as long as they run at the same clock rates and have the same amount of video memory, of course.

The Radeon HD 6950 comes with a suggested price of USD 300, the same price as the Radeon HD 5870, which will be retired. The main competitor for the Radeon HD 6950 is the GeForce GTX 470, a product that is being phased out (unfortunately we didn’t have one available). So, in our review we will compare it mainly with the Radeon HD 5870, since they cost the same, and with the Radeon HD 6870, which is about USD 60 cheaper, so we will be able to tell what performance level extra USD 60 can buy.

The Radeon HD 6970 comes with a suggested price of USD 370, competing directly with the new GeForce GTX 570.

These two new video cards come with 2 GB memory, and AMD partners will probably offer models with less memory at lower price points in the future.

In the table below we compare the main specs of the video cards included in our review. They are all DirectX 11 parts.

Video Card Core Clock Shader Clock Memory Clock (Real) Memory Clock (Effective) Memory Interface Memory Transfer Rate Memory Shaders Price
GeForce GTX 570 732 MHz 1,464 MHz 1.9 GHz 3.8 GHz 320-bit 152 GB/s 1.28 GB GDDR5 480 USD 350
Radeon HD 5870 850 MHz 850 MHz 2.4 GHz 4.8 GHz 256-bit 153.6 GB/s 1 GB GDDR5 1,600 USD 290
Radeon HD 6870 900 MHz 900 MHz 2.1 GHz 4.2 GHz 256-bit 134.4 GB/s 1 GB GDDR5 1,120 USD 240
Radeon HD 6950 800 MHz 800 MHz 2.5 GHz 5 GHz 256-bit 160 GB/s 2 GB GDDR5 1,408 USD 300
Radeon HD 6970 880 MHz 880 MHz 2.75 GHz 5.5 GHz 256-bit 176 GB/s 2 GB GDDR5 1,536 USD 370

Prices were researched at on the day we published this review.

You can compare the specs of these video cards with other video cards by taking a look at our AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table and NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table tutorials. 

Now let’s take an in-depth look at the two new models released by AMD. Let’s start with the Radeon HD 6950.

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.