It’s no secret that the Radeon HD 6950 graphics card is far more popular among computer enthusiasts than its elder cousin Radeon HD 6970. The explanation is simple. By reflashing the BIOS of a reference HD 6950 you can get a full-featured HD 6970 for less money. Although a reflashed HD 6950 is often unable to work at the reference HD 6970's clock rates of 880/5500 MHz, it still delivers almost the same performance as its faster cousin. What's important, the dual BIOS eliminates almost all the risk associated with BIOS reflashing.
If you’ve got a non-modifiable Radeon HD 6950, overclocking is yet another way to try to increase its performance. There is quite a lot of fine-tuning and monitoring utilities for such graphics cards, and the cards also have overheat protection, so the overclocking procedure is accessible even for inexperienced users. There is even a simpler way. You can buy a pre-overclocked graphics card from nearly any brand as they all offer such products now. Here are some examples:
- ASUS Radeon HD 6950 (DCII/2DI4S/2GD5) – 810/5000 MHz;
- Gigabyte Radeon HD 6950 (GV-R695OC-1GD) – 870/5000 MHz;
- MSI Radeon R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition/OC – 850/5200 MHz;
- PowerColor Radeon PCS+ HD6950 (Vortex II Edition) – 850/5200 MHz;
- HIS Radeon HD 6950 IceQ X Turbo X - 880/5200 MHz;
- SapphireRadeon HD 6950 Toxic Edition – 880/5200 MHz.
As you can see, the cards from HIS and Sapphire have the highest clock rates among the six products. We’ve got a sample of the Sapphire card for our today's tests.
Closer Look at Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB Toxic Edition
Package and Accessories
The graphics card is packed into a large box with a picture of a hooded and menacing person with blue eyes on the face side.
Information about the product can be found on the face and back sides of the box. Inside the colorful wrapper there is a cardboard box with an individual graphics card compartment. The card is sealed into a soft pack.
It’s nice that the manufacturer takes care that the product arrives to the user without a damaged cooler or broken PCB. The Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 Toxic Edition gets our praise for its robust packaging.
The accessories are praiseworthy, too. Besides the necessities, we found a few nice extras inside:
Here is a full list of the card’s accessories:
- An adapter from PATA power connector to a six-pin one;
- An adapter from PATA power connector to an eight-pin one;
- DVI-I→D-Sub adapter;
- 1.8 m long HDMI cable;
- Mini-HDMI→HDMI adapter;
- CrossFireX bridge;
- CD disk with drivers and Sapphire TriXX utility;
- Admission for one into a private Sapphire Select club;
- DiRT 3 free download coupon;
- Holographic Sapphire logo sticker.
The Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB Toxic Edition is priced at $299, which is about $30 more than the price of reference AMD Radeon HD 6950s.