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Sapphire HD6970 2048MB GDDR5 (Dual Fan Edition) Review

Today we are using an overclocked Core i7 970 system which is running at 4.33ghz. We compare against some lower specified AMD boards to judge how an ‘upgrade’ could improve your gaming experience.

Processor: Core i7 970 @ 4.33ghz
Cooling
: Coolit Vantage
Motherboard
: MSI X58A-GD65
Chassis
: Thermaltake Level 10 GT
Power Supply
: Corsair AX1200
Memory
: 6GB ADATA @ 2133mhz 9-10-9-32
Storage
: Kingston SSDNow V+ 512GB Gen 2 SSD (Storage) / Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB (OS boot)
Monitors
: Sharp Aquos 50 inch LCD 1080p.

Comparison Cards:
HD6950
HD6870
HD6790
HD6770
HD6670

Software:
Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit
Catalyst 10.10
Unigine Heaven Benchmark
3DMark Vantage
3DMark 11
Fraps Professional
Steam Client
FurMark

Technical Monitoring and Test Equipment:
Nikon D3X with R1C1 kit
Keithley Integra unit
Thermal Diodes
Raytek Laser Temp Gun 3i LSRC/MT4 Mini Temp
Extech digital sound level meter & SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter

Games:
HomeFront
Alien V Predator
Dead Island
Tom Clancy HAWX 2
Resident Evil 5
Lost Planet 2
Far Cry 2
F1 2011
Deus Ex: Human Revolution

All the latest BIOS updates and drivers are used during testing. We perform generally under real world conditions, meaning KitGuru tests games across five closely matched runs and then average out the results to get an accurate median figure. If we use scripted benchmarks, they are mentioned on the relevant page.

Some game descriptions are edited from Wikipedia.

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12 comments

  1. Sweet deal, hopefully see these for £270 at christmas in UK

  2. The cooler looks as good as their vapor X,. they might cause damage to their other, more expensive cards with this. not that im complaining, nice to see a company taking the cost of the cooler themselves. they are making enough profit anyway on these higher end boards.

  3. What voltage did you set to get 954MHz core? Thanks.

  4. @ Jon.

    1243, its in the picture on the overclocking page.

  5. Looks great, nice to see it being classed as a reference board too. normally that would be over £300

  6. @Davis

    Thanks. That voltage look a little high? My 6970 does 945/1495 on 1185 with a Accelero XTREME Plus II cooler. Might push it a bit higher if thats a fairly safe voltage bump.

  7. Hi, nice review and I have been reading reviews for 3 6970 cards but still cannot decide on which to buy. Which one would you pick between these 3:
    MSI Radeon 6970 lightning edition
    Sapphire Radeon 6970 dual fan edition
    Sapphire Radeon 6970 Flex Battlefield 3 edition?

  8. Depends on your specific needs. do you overclock? have you three non displayport screens? is noise a primary factor?

  9. will not be overclocking, will only have 1 lcd tv connected using hdmi and yes noise is a primary factor. Basically Im after a stable and quiet setup.

  10. They are all great cards, so your shortlist is very good. If you arent overclocking, using a single screen, then save some money and get the dual fan sapphire board as the pricing should be the lowest.

  11. Can this card run Battlefield 3 on ultra settings?

  12. What resolution?