Mid-range cards take on snow and fire in Skyrim

Subject: Graphics Cards | November 25, 2011 - 09:55 AM |
Tagged: sky, elder scrolls V, gtx 460, hd6850, GTX 560, hd6870, GTX 560 Ti, hd6950

The Tech Report, who hasn't been having a problem with Skyrim on their i5-750 system, tried out six mid-range cards to determine the best settings to provide decent performance.  Following their new practice they do not measure frame rate but rather frame time, to find a level of performance where the frames are drawn in a consistent manner instead of varying from 100ms for one frame to 5ms for the next.  Take a look and see how well these mid-range cards can manage the latest Elder Scrolls game.

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"We've followed up our look at Battlefield 3 performance with a similar comparison of mid-range graphics cards in The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim."

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Trim the memory and crank the voltages; MSI's R6950 Twin Frozr III PE

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 17, 2011 - 09:09 AM |
Tagged: R6950 1GB Twin Frozr III Power Edition, msi, hd6950, factory overclocked

The MSI R6950 1GB Twin Frozr III Power Edition is a bit of an odd duck.  While it comes with MSI's custom cooler, the Twin Frozr III, and a 50MHz overclock on both the RAM and GPU, it sports only 1GB of GDDR5 which is half of what a reference card possesses.  On the other hand MSI has given you direct control over the voltages being fed to the GPU, memory and VDDCI, overclockers might find themselves more interested than they might have thought at first.  [H]ard|OCP compared it to a reference 2GB HD6950 and only saw issues with the smaller memory size when enabling anti-aliasing on games which did not support FXAA or MLAA, apart from that there was little real impact from having 1GB of RAM.  On the other hand the overclocking showed a lot of potential, though [H] did feel that they could have pushed the card further with updated MSI Afterburner overclocking software.

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"Today we will be looking at a 1GB Radeon HD 6950 from MSI sporting its latest cooling innovation, the Twin Frozr III. Will 1GB of VRAM constrain the Twin Frozr III, or will Triple Over-Voltage support give it enough boost to soar past a 2GB HD 6950 and GeForce GTX 570?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

The new Sapphire Toxic HD6950 is [H]ard core

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 30, 2011 - 11:45 AM |
Tagged: toxic, sapphire, hd6950

To get the bad news out of the way first, as Josh observed last week the stocks of HD6950 and 6970s are sparse, so you if you see the Sapphire Toxic HD6950 for sale grab it right away!

Why should you grab the card without hesitation?  It has Sapphire's Vapor Chamber cooling and comes with an 80MHz GPU clock and 50MHz GDDR5 overclock right out of the box and [H]ard|OCP hit 978MHz GPU and 1450MHz GDDR5 using Sapphire's TriXX OC Utility to boost the frequency and voltage.  You don't even have to worry about flashing the BIOS to make the card an HD6970, Sapphire did it for you, plus there is also a BIOS available which will set the +20% to PowerTune automatically.  This is the most serious GPU for under $300 right now.

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"SAPPHIRE claims to have produced the fastest HD 6950 on the market in the SAPPHIRE HD6950 TOXIC Edition. It competes with a stock Radeon HD 6950 and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570. We also put it to the test against a Radeon HD 6970 and GeForce GTX 580 with results that might shock you. And did we mention you get two free games?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Sapphire's custom cooled HD 6950 2GB GDDR5 DiRT 3 Special Edition

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 28, 2011 - 12:22 PM |
Tagged: sapphire, HD6950 2GB DiRT 3 Special Edition, hd6950

The HD6950 is a fairly mature card, which means that the top tier partners have had time to perfect their designs and implement functional improvements.  Sapphire chose to customize the cooler on their DiRT 3 Special Editon HD6950, which [H]ard|OCP took advantage of to focus on overclocking.  Sapphire's TRIXX Tweak Utility played a big part in their testing, especially when overvolting the card.  Check out the full review here.

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"Overclocking a video card provides a better gameplay experience, or so every enthusiast hopes. Today we have the Sapphire HD 6950 2GB DiRT 3 Special Edition on our gaming rig to see how well it performs and overclocks using Sapphire's TRIXX Tweaking utility. Will this overclock yield a better gameplay experience?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

The PowerColor HD6950 features a unique cooler

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 22, 2011 - 10:00 AM |
Tagged: amd, hd6950, powercolor, 6950 PCS+ Vortex 2

We have seen non-standard HD6950's with dual fans before, but not quite in the way that PowerColor implemented them.  The fans can slide in and out of their shrouds, not only for cleaning but also to fine tune the way that they cool the card.  Hardware Heaven managed a rather decent overclock on the card, hitting 908MHz on the GPU and 1496MHz GDDR5.  The full list of features reads like a dream, copper block with thick heatpipes, dual BIOS, aluminium fins, solid capacitors, ferrite core chokes and DrMos, probably why this card costs a wee bit more than your average card.

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"Today we will be putting the 6950 PCS+ Vortex 2 and its unique cooler through a selection of real world gaming, multimedia and GPU computing tasks to see how it stacks up against some of the best competitor cards on the market."

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