Monday, January 10th 2011

Cheaper 1 GB Radeon HD 6950 and HD 6970 Coming Soon

While it may not have toppled NVIDIA's fastest single-GPU graphics card, AMD's Radeon HD 6900 series sure stepped up competition in the high-end segment, with Radeon HD 6970 competing with GeForce GTX 570, and the HD 6950, which can be unlocked to the HD 6970, having a class of its own. To further increase competitiveness, and probably to ward off the GeForce GTX 560 threat, AMD is reportedly directing partners to add 1 GB variants of the HD 6950 and HD 6970.

Currently 2 GB of GDDR5 memory is standard for both SKUs. With half the memory and cost-effective choice of PCB and components, AMD partners can significantly reduce prices at the expense of some performance, but end up with equal or better price-performance ratios to GTX 570 and the upcoming GTX 560. The two new SKUs will be available soon. Pictured below is a Sapphire Radeon HD 6970 2 GB. Sapphire is said to be one of the first with HD 6900 1 GB series.

Source: HT4U.net
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46 Comments on Cheaper 1 GB Radeon HD 6950 and HD 6970 Coming Soon

#1
Over_Lord
News Editor
IMO the 2GB RAM doesn't make any sense, not now, not for a year or two atleast.

And yeah, from what I am hearing about the GTX 560, AMD needs to bring in cheaper cards.
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#2
blu3flannel
I guess this could be helpful for people on a budget, but the 6950 is already such a good deal since it unlocks to a 6970 that it's a bit overkill. They will have the mainstream market locked up pretty tight though.
Posted on Reply
#3
Loosenut
This is probably where we will see 6950 as no longer "unlockable"

so sad...
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#4
Mussels
Moderprator
the 2GB of ram is why they perform so well in crossfire.


remember that ram isnt additive in crossfire (or SLI), so having 2GB available is why they work so well in dual/tri GPU situations.
Posted on Reply
#5
blu3flannel
by: Mussels
the 2GB of ram is why they perform so well in crossfire.


remember that ram isnt additive in crossfire (or SLI), so having 2GB available is why they work so well in dual/tri GPU situations.
So basically, if you get one of these with the plan to add another in the future, you're shooting yourself in the foot?
Posted on Reply
#6
Mussels
Moderprator
by: blu3flannel
So basically, if you get one of these with the plan to add another in the future, you're shooting yourself in the foot?
performance wouldnt be as good in crossfire, thats for sure.
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#7
blu3flannel
by: Mussels
performance wouldnt be as good in crossfire, thats for sure.
They better price accordingly then, because the reviews aren't gonna make performance look any better than it is (except maybe Tom's).
Posted on Reply
#8
snuif09
If the price difference is more then 50 euros then i might consider getting one.
dont think 2gb is really needed for 1920x1080 wich is what i will be getting this week.
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#9
Tatty_One
Senior Moderator
by: thunderising
IMO the 2GB RAM doesn't make any sense, not now, not for a year or two atleast.

And yeah, from what I am hearing about the GTX 560, AMD needs to bring in cheaper cards.
For the first time ever, I am getting "out of texture memory" errors when playing World of Tanks @ 1920 x 1200 on highest settings.... so next year is actually here :D
Posted on Reply
#10
pantherx12
by: Mussels
the 2GB of ram is why they perform so well in crossfire.


remember that ram isnt additive in crossfire (or SLI), so having 2GB available is why they work so well in dual/tri GPU situations.
You shouldn't state that like a fact when you don't know it to be so dude.

I'd bet a few pennies that this will still scale just as well in crossfire, just it will start taking a performance hit at a lower resolution than the 2gb model.

More ram doesn't mean better scaling, after all if a game or app isn't using all 1gb of ram it's no problem for both cards to have a copy of that data.

The 2gb card is just epic for eyefinity/ games you've modded to rape v-ram.
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#11
Mussels
Moderprator
more ram certainly helps. you add in two GPU's sharing 1GB of ram, and the ram will be the bottleneck.
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#12
Tatty_One
Senior Moderator
by: pantherx12
You shouldn't state that like a fact when you don't know it to be so dude.

I'd bet a few pennies that this will still scale just as well in crossfire, just it will start taking a performance hit at a lower resolution than the 2gb model.

More ram doesn't mean better scaling, after all if a game or app isn't using all 1gb of ram it's no problem for both cards to have a copy of that data.

The 2gb card is just epic for eyefinity/ games you've modded to rape v-ram.
I think you are misunderstanding him, as I read it he is saying that 2GB of memory is useful and therefore having that "extra" 1GB over the "standard" 1GB (say XFire of two 6870's) is beneficial, I don't think he is talking scalability which should be the same. How long has GTA IV been out? It has always had the capability of drawing more than 1GB of texture memory if you get my meaning.
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#13
pantherx12
by: Mussels
more ram certainly helps. you add in two GPU's sharing 1GB of ram, and the ram will be the bottleneck.
They don't share it though, they both use their 1gb they just both just have a set of data, adding extra ram doesn't change the way they work in that respect.

So in every game where you are not using more than 1gb there is no bottle neck at all and crossfire scaling should be the same.

Only high resolution gaming or OTT games will make a difference.

I promise :p


@ Tatty "the 2GB of ram is why they perform so well in crossfire."

I'm simply replying to that, it's due to their GPU architechture why they scale well in crossfire not due to the ram.

I remember a lot of people getting excited about 2gb models of 5870 thinking the same kinda thing only to find they scaled just like 5870s for some reason XD

( just could push further on the resolution front)
Posted on Reply
#14
Mussels
Moderprator
yeah but modern games ARE using more than 1GB - especially if you start throwing in the high levels of AA that crossfire users use, at 1080p or above.


sure, these 1GB cards will perform just as well < 1080p or in low memory use games... but its kinda short sighted to go for crossfire with 1GB GPU's these days.
Posted on Reply
#15
pantherx12
by: Mussels
yeah but modern games ARE using more than 1GB - especially if you start throwing in the high levels of AA that crossfire users use, at 1080p or above.


sure, these 1GB cards will perform just as well < 1080p or in low memory use games... but its kinda short sighted to go for crossfire with 1GB GPU's these days.
I know that man, I was only replying specifically to that one thing :toast:
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#16
buggalugs
Hmmm how much difference in price?
Posted on Reply
#17

From experience I can say that 2GB of RAM is good only for EyeFinity, therefore for dual or triple screen resolutions. Also if you gaming on 1920x1200 with 24xAA or more. 1GB of RAM is at limit when you play with max settings on 8xAA, but so far I didn't have any problem by running out of RAM...
#18
Over_Lord
News Editor
by: Tatty_One
For the first time ever, I am getting "out of texture memory" errors when playing World of Tanks @ 1920 x 1200 on highest settings.... so next year is actually here :D
hmm, whats ur card, and whats the AA settings and your frame rate that you get?
Posted on Reply
#19
Tatty_One
Senior Moderator
by: thunderising
hmm, whats ur card, and whats the AA settings and your frame rate that you get?
Card in specs.... 5850 @ 900mhz running with VSync enabled so hitting 60FPS with only a drop on occasions to 57FPS, its; not about the GPU but the memory amount, it will come up occasionally where there are extreme amounts of foliage on certain maps and tell me it is automatically resetting texture quality to "Medium" because it is out of texture memory.
Posted on Reply
#20
sliderider
That's going to be a mistake. 1GB and even 1.2gb cards are being pressed for memory by newer games at the highest resolutions in certain situations with all the bells and whistles turned on and you can expect that it will become more common as games continue to advance and video cards have to support new technologies. 1gb versions of the 6950 and 6970 are going to be seriously crippled. Anyone wanting the level of performance that HD6900 provides is going to pass over these cards. I really can't see how halving the memory is going to result in a significant price cut anyway. How much could it come down? $25-$30? I think they will be largely ignored by the market in favor of the 6870 at the bottom and the 2gb 6950/6970 at the top.
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#21
bear jesus
With only about £30 difference between the more expensive 6870's and cheapest 6950's i find it hard to see where a 1GB model fits in unless AMD has some nice sized price drops planned for the 68xx cards.
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#22
blibba
Given how well multiple GTX480s and 580s cope with 3d and multi-monitor, 2GB would seem to be overkill right now, but the sweetspot has definitley past 1GB for such extreme scenarios.

For 1920*1080 gameplay, yes 1GB is fine, but for that use 6970 Xfire is most likely OTT anyway.
Posted on Reply
#23
bear jesus
by: blibba
Given how well multiple GTX480s and 580s cope with 3d and multi-monitor, 2GB would seem to be overkill right now, but the sweetspot has definitley past 1GB for such extreme scenarios.

For 1920*1080 gameplay, yes 1GB is fine, but for that use 6970 Xfire is most likely OTT anyway.
Remember they have 1536MB so most things that push past 1GB would still be fine with them.

I defiantly think over 1GB is a must for 2560x1600 and above (multi monitor setups) although i must admit I was surprised by how well a pair of 1GB cards did at 5040x1050 but with the right settings it was easy to cause them to run short on memory in certain games.
Posted on Reply
#24
wolf
Performance Enthusiast
good to see cheaper cards coming towards us, but I too think that it may well hinder crossfire performance, espeically at extreme resolutions above 1080P where crossfire really shines the most.

wouldn't it be a kick in the pants in Nvidia released the GTX560 with 2gb of ram priced like a 1gb 6950... doubt it, but it would be nice to see a 2gb 560 anyway, given the scaling of 460's....

also when some people say (not even specifically targeted at this thread) that 2gb is uneccesary, they may have a narrow point of view on it.. sure ALL of the 2gb isnt needed, but you only need a game to want 1.1gb to be snaffu'd with a 1gb card. makes me glad i paid the extra 20$ AUD a year or so ago for a 1792mb GTX260 that still rocks away.
Posted on Reply
#25
blibba
by: bear jesus
I defiantly think over 1GB is a must for 2560x1600 and above (multi monitor setups) although i must admit I was surprised by how well a pair of 1GB cards did at 5040x1050 but with the right settings it was easy to cause them to run short on memory in certain games.
How defiant of you.

Remember that resolutions above 1080p are still a niche market, and that people who can afford that kind of screen space typically don't mind paying for a top notch graphics solution.

by: wolf

...also when some people say (not even specifically targeted at this thread) that 2gb is uneccesary, they may have a narrow point of view on it.. sure ALL of the 2gb isnt needed, but you only need a game to want 1.1gb to be snaffu'd with a 1gb card.
This is exactly my point. Thing is though, the density required to make 2GB cards is very expensive. Remember that your 260 is a DDR3 card, so this isn't such an obstacle. The sweetspot for very high end GPUs is definitley around 1.5GB atm, imo. That said, I've yet to encounter issues on my card with only 512MB of memory - but then I tend to play at 1440x900 with settings that my pentium dual core can cope with :P
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