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Powercolor HD6970 Graphics Card Review

The Powercolor HD6970 will make a great final touch to a high end enthusiast system, being able to power through all the latest gaming engines without pausing for breath. It delivers eye popping levels of performance for a very modest asking price of £280 inc vat in the UK.  Bear in mind that, this time last year, the Radeon HD5870 was being sold around the £325 mark. That’s £45 more than the new (and significantly faster) Radeon HD 6970 from Powercolor.

While the Powercolor HD6970 doesn’t bring anything unique to the table as it is based on the AMD reference design, we favoured the bundle over all the others today, thanks entirely to the miniDP to DP converter cable. This will make a very useful addition for gamers wanting to play across three screens at 5760×1080 resolution.

It is true that the single GPU champion is still the nVidia GTX580, but the price really does need to play a part in the final verdict and scoring decisions. The GTX580 is around £400 in the UK, the HD6970 expects to launch at £280 inc vat. For new PCs this £120 saving is significant as it could help fund a big boost to your CPU, increase in memory performance or allow you to boot from an ultra-fast SSD drive. The GTX580 in single configuration also can’t support 3 screen gaming, not unless you spend £800 on two of them, so this could very well be a deciding factor for some people.

Is the Powercolor HD6970 worth buying? We certainly think it is. The only drawback right now is the fact that all the cards on launch day are based on reference designs and when the modified third party coolers hit the market you can be sure of higher clocks, lower noise levels and improved temperatures. That said, this is clearly AMD’s fastest ever single chip solution and the Powercolor package comes highly recommended if you want to game at high resolution or across three screens.

Kitguru says: In 3DMark 2011, Powercolor’s Radeon HD 6970 is a huge 20% faster then its predecessor and it costs a lot less than the 5870 did at this time last year. This package offers tri monitor support, in single card configuration, with stunning levels of performance. By any calculation, this is a hell of a lot of bang for your buck.

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Rating: 9.0.

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