Pros / The AMD Radeon HD 6970 has a core clock speed of 880MHz.
Cons / The bus width, bandwidth and speed of the memory could use an upgrade.
Verdict / Although this is not the fastest single GPU graphics card, the AMD Radeon HD 6970 is our "best bang for your buck" choice.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from viewing as part of this site because it has been replaced by a new generation of graphics card. You can still read our original review below, but TopTenREVIEWS is no longer updating this product’s information.
The latest series of graphics cards by AMD is the 6000 series. Since the initial release, AMD has added many cards to the series. The AMD Radeon HD 6970 is the company's fastest single-core graphics card. Although in most cases the fastest single-core card by Nvidia is faster, this graphics card still has a lot to offer. If you want one of the elite, top-five graphics cards on today's market but do not want to have to take a loan out just to buy one, the AMD Radeon HD 6970 is about half the price and only minimally slower. The speed difference will not even be noticeable unless you have all the settings maxed.
The core on this graphics card is clocked at 880MHz, and it has 1,536 stream processors. The card has 2.6 billion transistors and a TDP (thermal design power) of 250 watts. When it comes to computing performance, the AMD Radeon HD 6970 can process about 2,600GFLOPS (floating point operations per second). In addition, the pixel fillrate is 28.2, and it has an 84.5 texture fillrate.
The AMD Radeon HD 6970 has 2GB of GDDR5 memory, which is great, but sadly, the memory is only clocked at 1.4GHz. For those of you who overclock, this is one aspect you will most likely want to adjust. The bus width is an adequate 256 bit, but it could be improved to match the Nvidia graphics card competition. The same goes for the 176GB bandwidth on the memory. Bumping up the amount on both of those aspects of the memory, with a more aggressive clock speed, would have made this graphics card far more competitive.
Noise and Power
Stream is AMD's graphics card architecture, and it does an excellent job in most aspects, primarily parallel computing. Avivo HD is used for processing video through your AMD Radeon HD 6970 card, and Eyefinity allows you to connect multiple monitors for a much larger viewing experience. AMD added HD3D to its list of software with the release of the 6000-series cards, which is for viewing 3D content.
The AMD Radeon HD 6970 graphics card supports all the major APIs and their latest versions. That specifically includes DirectX, OpenGL and OpenCL. These are the three major application programming interfaces, all of which are used in games, operating systems and other applications.
The AMD Radeon HD 6970 has all the latest software technology from AMD. The hardware would be where it needs to be with the improvements to the memory that we talked about. Overall, it is a great graphics card, and for the price, you cannot beat it.