Cooling System, Temperatures, Noise and Overclocking
The cooling system of the Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 Toxic Edition is a copy of the reference cooler, so we will just show you its photo here:
The card supports Sapphire’s TriXX utility that can report you exhaustive information about the graphics card and its drivers. It can also be used to adjust the voltage and frequency of the GPU and create multiple profiles with settings. You can set the speed range of the fan depending on temperature and do some other fine-tuning with it.
We ran the Aliens vs. Predator (2010) test in five cycles with maximum graphics quality settings at 1920x1080 with 16x anisotropic filtering. We also fried the card up with the FurMark 1.9.1 stability test at 1920x1080. This test was carried out with a closed system case at an ambient temperature of 24°C.
Here are the results:
Aliens vs. Predator
As you can see, the Sapphire card has the same temperature and fan speed as any regular Radeon HD 6950. However, the radial fan of the Radeon HD 6950 Toxic Edition seemed to be quieter than the cooler of the reference Radeon HD 6950/6970. We checked this out following our standard methods:
Indeed, the Sapphire card’s cooler is somewhat quieter and more comfortable than the reference cooler of Radeon HD 6950/6970 cards. On the other hand, neither of these cooling systems is really quiet even at the minimum speed of the fan, let alone in 3D applications.
Despite its pre-overclocked frequencies, the Sapphire card could be overclocked further to a GPU clock rate of 940 MHz and memory clock rate of 6000 MHz at the default voltages.
This result is rather typical of a Radeon HD 6970, so we can congratulate Sapphire on developing a very good product. By the way, the card didn’t get much hotter after we had overclocked it:
There was only one test on our list that the card failed to pass at the mentioned clock rates so we lowered them to 935/5960 MHz to ensure full stability.
As for unlocking the card and transforming it into an HD 6970, the manufacturer has already done all the modifications for the user. You only have to set the BIOS switch into the “1” position (with the card turned off, of course) and the graphics card becomes a full-featured Radeon HD 6970 with 1536 shader processors:
The card was perfectly stable in this mode whereas its temperature and overclocking potential were almost the same as before: