XFX Radeon 6970 and Radeon 6950 Graphics Card Review

20. GPU Computing22. Conclusion


XFX Radeon HD 6970 and Radeon HD 6950 Graphics Card Review

Power / Temps / Noise

As the 6900 series (and GTX 500 series) perform power management in a different way to older cards we have changed the way we test power and temperature levels for this review. For idle power we list the full system use at the wall after sitting at the desktop with no activity for 5 minutes. Load power is the highest reading we saw for the full system when testing during this review. Temperatures are taken in the same way.

Noise levels are taken after a period of prolonged gaming in a scenario which applied maximum load to the GPU.

  Radeon 6970 Radeon 6950 GTX 580 GTX 570
Idle Power 159w 149w 160w 150w
Load Power 320w 270w 360w 347w
Idle Temp 45°C 35°C 39°C 39°C
Load Temp 91°C 66°C 79°C 75°C

Essentially what you can tell from the above explanation of our testing is that changes to the cards have resulted in us moving from synthetic tests such as Furmark to real world testing for power, temperatures and noise. The results above are therefore what consumers can expect to see when using these cards themselves. Overall these are some good results across the board. The 6970 does stand out a little as having a high “load" temperature but otherwise the cards compare well for temperatures and power use.

As we have seen in the past the sales of a product can be hampered by a cooler which produces high noise levels. For the 6900 Series this isn’t an issue in single card mode as the videos below show. The same cannot be said of the CrossFire testing though. As well as seeing temperatures up to 100c when we placed three cards side by side on our Gigabyte motherboard the noise levels being produced in dual and triple card mode were, to be honest, unbearable. They were similar to the GTX 480 at its worst in terms of volume but where the original Fermi card had quite a stable volume once maximum temperature had been reached the 6900 series is all over the place. Listen to the 6970 CrossFire video below and you will hear what we mean.

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