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Old 01-31-2011, 12:34 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default AMD Radeon HD 6950 1GB

AMD last week released a 1GB variant of its popular Radeon HD 6950 graphics card, and to see how the performance would be throttled with the GDDR cut, we benchmarked both versions with the latest Catalyst 11.1 driver. Does the 1GB card and its $20 savings prove too hard to ignore, or should the 2GB still be the one to scoop up?

Read through our full look at AMD's HD 6950 1GB card, and discuss it here!
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:11 AM   #2
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what the heck is up with that?? the 1GB version beats the 2GB?? Maybe you should try re-benching the 2GB 6950 with the new 11.1 catalyst to see if the results change? That makes no sense to me...
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:16 AM   #3
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Both cards were benchmarked with 11.1a. Before publishing, I even swapped cards again to do follow-up tests... results were the same.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:22 AM   #4
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hmm...wow. That's really odd. That reminds me I need to get 11.1a. Don't have the hotfix yet. I read it gives a ~40% fps boost in Metro 2033
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:10 AM   #5
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weird this be! I still cant get how the GTX570 consumes soooo much less power though!!?
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:53 PM   #6
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I'm looking into things once again to see if there was a flaw in our testing.

I've been overclocking the 1GB card for a future article, and I noticed that at boot, the memory clock was 1300MHz, not 1250MHz. But if I open up GPU-Z, it shows 1250MHz as the default.

Once done overclocking I'm going to uninstall the overclocking tool and driver and re-install the driver and see what GPU-Z states.
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:04 PM   #7
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^^ spammer epidemic!!
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:12 PM   #8
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Posted that and went away... came back and realized I double-posted. Nice.
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:46 PM   #9
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*bans Rob*

Phew! I think we finally go the ring leader.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:27 PM   #10
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Could it be that the 1gb version VRAM has tighter latency then the 2GB version? Just a thought that crossed my mind. Of course a slight accidental overclock can make a little difference between the two cards as well.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GFreeman View Post
Could it be that the 1gb version VRAM has tighter latency then the 2GB version? Just a thought that crossed my mind. Of course a slight accidental overclock can make a little difference between the two cards as well.
or it could be that the 2GB has more memory sectors to render, and it makes it slightly slower.
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:35 AM   #12
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Well, someone in the clan I'm involved with had a comment about this. He looked at the specs in your test system, and it's ultra high-end. He thinks that most games can't utilize 2GB of VRAM, and combine that with how much RAM you have (I think 8GB), he thinks the GPU might be the bottleneck in this test because you have so much extra RAM. Is that possible?
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:57 AM   #13
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If all it took was additional RAM to be added to the PC to alleviate GPU issues, we might not see 2GB cards at all ;-)

Our rig is "ultra high-end" because we want to make sure it's not a bottleneck. It's all left up to the GPU at that point to strut its stuff. I don't think the mass of RAM we have installed has anything to do with it at all, nor do I believe a lower-end machine would see benefits on the 2GB card.
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:46 PM   #14
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I did an OS restore and installed the driver fresh on the card, and it ended up not being overclocked on the RAM... it was stock 800/1250. I guess the reason I saw 1300MHz on the memory at one point was just because I -was- overclocking at the time, and somehow the memory but not the core remained overclocked through a reboot. In the end, 1300MHz memory wasn't even what I got for a max overclock, but rather 1290MHz, so AMD certainly didn't try to pull a fast one here.
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:09 AM   #15
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but will the 1gb version unlock to a 6970 still?
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