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Powercolor HD6950 PCS+ 2GB Review (Vortex II Edition)

Rating: 9.0.

We love modified graphics cards at Kitguru, and today’s review product should really tickle the taste buds. Not only have Powercolor overclocked AMD’s award winning HD6950, but they have added an dual fan cooler, which is height adjustable. Today we will find out if it is worth your money.

The Powercolor HD6950 PCS+ is supplied with a 50mhz core increase (from 800mhz on reference design to 850mhz) and the GDDR5 memory is enhanced from 5.0Gbps to 5.2Gbps. Powercolor have included their proprietary Vortex II cooler with ‘whirlwind’ technology which offers flexibility and customisation to the enthusiast user. Not only that, but the cooler features a pure copper base with a high performance heat pipe design. Powercolor have also included 2GB of GDDR5 memory.

Could this be the ultimate HD6950?

Product Powercolor HD6950 PCS+
AMD HD6950
Core Clock speed
Primitive Rate
2 prim/clk
2 prim/clk
Shader Architecture
Stream Processors
22 SIMD/1408 ALU
22 SIMD/1408 ALU
Texture Units 88 88
ROPs/Z-Stencil 32/128 32/128
Frame Buffer 2GB GDDR5 1GB GDDR5
Memory Width/Speed 256bit, 5.2 Gbps 256bit, 5.0 Gbps
Power Connectors 6 pin & 6 pin 6 pin & 6 pin
Display Outputs 2xDVI + 2x mDP + HDMI 2xDVI + 2x mDP + HDMI

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  • Brooke

    thats a brilliant cooler idea ! shame the fan placement doesnt make much difference, looks like it might when you see the increase in height.

  • Raymond

    Like the look of this, awesome design from PC. I think 880core is fine for a 6950. I know the XFX did higher when I saw it here las month.

  • Henneje

    I like my PCS+, they are good cards. and people keep saying their customer support sucs but its not true, I got mine replaced by OCUK without a problem last year.

  • Eric

    The cooler is a bit of a gimmick, i read the techpowerup review and they didnt notice any difference in temps either. I think powercolor are saying that it reduces ambient temperatures, but ive no idea what that means. seems like something they can word to make a claim of no difference to the core temps, but general ‘all round improvements in a chassis’.

    Did you notice mobo temps going down or anythign else?

  • Hi Eric. No, no differences in the case at all. If the case had limited airflow it might, but I said that in the review.

  • Francis

    That really has impressed me. not interested in the movement of the fans, but overall, thats a hell of deal. nice out of the box clocks too.

  • k0rn

    Cant find it anywhere. I wish you guys would stop reviewing stuff that isnt for sale. pisses me off.

  • Trevor

    @ Henneje. im a confused man here. you said they make great cards, but yours died and you needed it replaced? eh?

  • Xavier

    I still have a problem buying powercolor after I read a massive thread on anandtech about 5 series failures from them.

  • Henneje

    I didnt say they were great cause my card died. but I keep reading that people say they have no support when they actually do have good suppotr if you run into problems.

    I probably got unlucky, but they looked after me. or OCUK did at the time, but id assume they got it replaced no problems.

  • Optix

    good board, like it.

  • colaxs


    Nice comprehensive review. Did you try to unlock the shaders? Not talking about flashing a 6970 Bios, but just plain old shader unlock?

  • Hello, both mods worked on our sample. Just tried this morning.

  • Brut

    Really attractive design, I like the ideas of the movable fans. Not sure it would mean anything as the fans are normally positioned close for a reason. Bit of a gimmick, but the rest of it is great.

  • Francis

    I dont think reviewers often get retail samples, so the mods might be locked out on the ones in stores.

  • Vic

    Sold out over here, been trying to get this card for 2 weeks now. another review really cheered me up 🙁

  • 082omdd

    THey make some radical designs, and dont get half the credit they deserve.

  • Mannie

    A small point and one not really that relevant, so dont flame me please.

    Why are they so fascinated with cars on the front of their boxes? why would anyone want a car which looks freezing and has two fans on top of it?

  • Davy

    HD6950 is the best value card atm, but if they lock them out (and many are now) its not quite as sweet. this would be ideal for the full 6970 balls out mod as the cooler is very good.

  • Judas

    I think you chaps reviewed another powercolor card with the same cooling system and it was just as pointless (being able to move it I mean).

    I have been on the powercolor site and ive read about it. they say it helps reduce ‘ambient temperatures’ and I noticed you scanned their diagram for the review Z. It doesnt actually seem to work though which baffles me. I just read a review of the same cooler on techpowerup. they came to the same conclusion. no difference.

    Powercolor seem to think its a talking/ selling point, but I dont think it really is. The rest of the card is so damn good, this is just takign away from the positive points.

  • Luay

    “we would immediately shortlist this Powercolor product and possibly the Sapphire HD6950 Flex Edition”
    I respect that you only recommend what you review, but two other cards that have been out for a while seem to be the best out there. The MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition OC, and HIS 6950 IceQ Turbo 2GB. However your reviews are one of the best and I look forward to reading your take on them. 🙂

  • Hi, you are right, those are great cards. I actually think i reviewed both of them before…

  • Luay

    You have reviewed the coolers, but on different chips; the Frozr III on the HD6970 and GTX 580, and the IceQ Turbo on the HD6870.

    I’m torn between these two coolers, and now the Vortex 2, and a reference 6970 which can be found for $30 more. I’m planning a 5760×1200 eyefinity CFX setup on an Asus P8P67 Revolution board. The way things are going I’ll end up waiting for the 28nm HD79xx 3GB series. Maybe then a CF setup will do on a smaller board.