The results for AMD Radeon HD 6870 1 GB are marked purple, AMD Radeon HD 6950 2 GB in nominal and overclocked mode, as well as Radeon HD 6970 2 GB are marked red, while GeForce GTX 570 – green (we adjusted the working frequencies of our Inno3D graphics cards so that they would match the reference frequencies of Nvidia GeForce GTX 570). The graphics cards in the following diagrams are listed according to their MSRP (in descending order).
The new Radeon HD 6970 and HD 6950 look OK in this test, but only if compared against Radeon HD 6870, which falls about 40% behind them. They fail to beat GeForce GTX 570, so the “green” graphics card ends up ahead in both quality modes. Radeon HD 6970 is 11-15% faster than Radeon HD 6950 in this synthetic benchmark, but on overclocked mode the latter reduces the gap to only 3-5 %.
The newcomers look a little better in the new 3DMark 2011 test, where Radeon HD 6970 successfully competes against GeForce GTX 570, and HD 6950 follows closely behind. However, I am sure many of you have expected the single-GPU flagship product from AMD to win a much more convincing victory, because it is positioned as a direct competitor to GeForce GTX 580 but at a more attractive price. As for the advantage of the new Radeons 69xx over HD 6870, it makes 28%. The performance difference between the two new graphics cards is only 12% and gets even smaller when Radeon HD 6950 is overclocked.
Unigine Heaven Demo
Unigine Heaven is a benchmark that uses tessellation very actively, but it didn’t show anyone as a definite leader here. GeForce GTX 570 is ahead in 1280x1024 without antialiasing, while Radeon HD 6970 takes the lead in heavier graphics mode. The difference between Radeon HD 6970 and HD 6950 is 11% in favor of the senior model, but it reduces to 2-3% when the junior model is overclocked. Radeon HD 6970 shows the most impressive advantage over the HD 6870 model in this test: 59% in light image quality mode and 66% in heavy image quality mode with antialiasing enabled. Not bad at all!
Crysis remains one of the most resource-hungry games, where even top AMD and Nvidia graphics cards can only deliver comfortable gaming experience without antialiasing and in 1920x1080 maximum resolution. Nevertheless, GeForce GTX 570 runs neck and neck with Radeon HD 6970 when antialiasing is disabled, and as fast as Radeon HD 6950 – when antialiasing is enabled. The latter runs just as fast as its older sister when overclocked. The performance advantage of the new Radeon HD 6970 over HD 6870 makes between 24 and 56% depending on the resolution and image quality mode.