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HIS Radeon HD 6970 Turbo Graphics Card Review

by Stuart Davidson - 28th January 2011
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HIS Radeon HD 6970 Turbo Graphics Card Review

The HIS Radeon HD 6970 Turbo Graphics Card

HIS package their 6970 Turbo in a stylish, compact box with various logos on the outside that cover the key features of the card. Inside we find a nice folder with the software disc and documentation then the bundle is rounded off by a set of Molex to PCIe power cables, DVI to VGA dongle and CrossFire bridge.

In terms of the PCB and cooler used by HIS, this model is identical to the 11" reference design with the only difference being the stickers used on the heatsink shroud. Underneath this shroud is a copper GPU block with aluminium fins and the red fan which sits at the right of the card blows air over the heatsink, exhausting it out of the back of the case. The HIS model also supports PowerTune technology that has its roots in the theory that games use less power than application such as Furmark which are designed to stress components in a way that doesn't reflect real world use. Through analysing the power use of a product when gaming AMD can create a power profile, limit a card to a particular TDP and dynamically adjust clocks so that we always get maximum performance from the card when gaming but when less demanding sections occur the card tailors its power use accordingly. The end result is a product which is much more flexible in terms of clock speeds available but AMD also realise that end users like to have full control of their products and so they have included user options within OverDrive.

For outputs HIS have gone with the standard layout of 2xDVI, two mini-DisplayPort and a full sized HDMI. When gaming, or at the desktop, we can connect three screens at a time to this card and when appropriate DisplayPort hardware is used, this can be expanded further. For power inputs the Turbo has one six pin beside one 8-pin connector and the maximum power use when gaming is approximately 190w, falling as low as 20w at idle.

AMD clock the reference design card at 880MHz core and 1375MHz memory. HIS set this model to 900MHz core with 1400MHz on the 2GB of Hynix GDDR5 memory. As with the standard card this model uses a 256-bit memory bus and there are 96 Texture units along with 32 ROPS/128 Z-Stencil. For the Stream processors AMD have gone for a 24SIMD/1536ALU design and the card fully supports PCIe 2.1, DirectX 11 and DirectCompute along with acceleration of high definition content. Finally, the HIS Turbo can output 7.1 audio over HDMI including DTS Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD.

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