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Summary Diagrams

The first summary diagram compares the Radeon HD 6930 1GB with the Radeon HD 6870 1GB, both working at their default clock rates. They have the same price, too.

Save for Crysis 2 and one test mode of Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. 2 and Total War: Shogun 2, the new Radeon HD 6930 is faster than the HD 6870. It enjoys an average advantage of 3.7% in the AA-less mode and 5.4% with enabled antialiasing. The difference is small, yet the cards cost the same money, so the faster version is obviously preferable.

Now let’s see how slower the Radeon HD 6930 is in comparison with the Radeon HD 6970:

Compared to the top-end card of the previous generation, the new Radeon HD 6930 is an average 17.7% and 19% slower without and with MSAA, respectively. This is a larger gap than the one between the HD 6930 and HD 6870 but the HD 6930 is only half as expensive as the HD 6970! Besides, it can be accelerated by overclocking to 920/5720 MHz:

The Radeon HD 6970 is an average 3-4% ahead of the new card now, which makes the latter a very attractive buy. The only downside is that overclocking cannot make up for the lack of graphics memory in games that demand a lot of it. The Radeon HD 6930 1GB is going to be slow in such games even when overclocked.

Here is a table with the full test results:

Conclusion

The AMD Radeon HD 6930 is undoubtedly one of the most attractive graphics cards in terms of the price/performance ratio. At only half the cost of a Radeon HD 6970, you can get the same performance (if you don’t mind overclocking, of course). An HD 6970 can be overclocked itself and an HD 6950 can be unlocked, but they cost much more than the HD 6930.

The new card is also good in comparison with the Radeon HD 6870 as it costs the same money but delivers somewhat higher performance. So, the only real downside is that the lifecycle of the Radeon HD 6930 is not going to be long. The Pitcairn processor and appropriate cards are coming up while the current stock of defective Cayman chips can’t last forever.

As for the HIS Radeon HD 6930 IceQ X, we don’t like its roaring and rumbling fan with misbalanced impeller. Hopefully, this is just a defect of our sample of the card rather than of the entire series. Otherwise, we can’t recommend this card to users who prefer quiet computers. Apart from the fan, it is a pretty and rather compact device with good cooling, excellent overclocking potential and a price of only $180. It should appeal to thrifty gamers who couldn’t previously afford a Radeon HD 6950 or HD 6970.

 
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