Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB DiRT 3 Edition Graphics Card Review

1. Introduction3. Test System and Methodology


Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB DiRT 3 Edition Graphics Card Review

Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB DiRT 3 Edition

It comes as no surprise given the name of this 6950 that the box features DiRT 3 branding rather than Sapphires usual female mascot. As well as the game branding we get a note of some key features and the bundled items. These bundled items include the standard software disc, DVI to VGA adapter and power cables along with a crossfire bridge. Sapphire don’t stop there though as they also include a voucher to sign up for their Select Club for free software and giveaways, a HDMI 1.4a cable and finally a voucher for a copy of DiRT 3.

Sapphire use a custom blue PCB for their 6950 DiRT 3 Edition and attached to the front is dual slot, dual fan cooler which has a new design which we have not seen before from Sapphire. Underneath the shroud are aluminium fins which help the five, thick copper heatpipes and copper CPU block to cool the Cayman GPU.

There are no components of note on the back of the PCB however on the top edge we find a Crossfire connector and beside it a dual BIOS switch which Sapphire have provided so that enthusiasts can attempt to flash the card with alternate configurations such as 6970 specifications.

Sapphire provide us with four outputs on this 6950 and those who like Eyefinity setups will be pleased to know that 3×1 configurations (5760×1080) are supported. The first output is DisplayPort, then we have HDMI 1.4a followed by two dual link DVIs one of which can be converted to VGA using the bundled dongle. This is a configuration which should meet the needs of most consumers. To assist the PCIe 2.0 connector in powering the card we have two 6-pin connectors which point out the top of the card.

Sapphire set their DiRT 3 version of the 6950 to 800MHz core with the 2GB of DDR5 memory on a 256-bit bus set to 1250MHz. There are 1408 unified shaders by default and 32 ROPS within the 40nm core. DirectX 11 and DirectCompute are all supported on this card as is acceleration of high definition content. The 6950 DiRT 3 Edition can also output 7.1 audio over HDMI including DTS Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD.

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