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Sapphire Special Edition HD6970 and HD6950 CFx Multi Screen Review

Rating: 9.0.

Last week AMD launched their new HD6970 and HD6950 graphics cards. Kitguru has reviewed several partner boards and found them to be high performing, great value for money products. Due to adverse weather conditions in the United Kingdom our review of the Sapphire cards has been a little delayed but at least we have something special in store for you today.

Sapphire have released three versions of the HD 6970. All of the cards are clocked at standard speeds and are supplied with reference coolers.

The standard, ‘Entry level’ HD 6970 (above left) will cost £290 inc vat. The ‘Gaming Edition’ card (above centre) will ship with the full Battlefield game and a code to download Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam – this is worth £49.99. This bundle only costs £10 more and the card comes supplied with a custom sticker featuring Battlefield artwork.

The last bundle is a ‘Special Edition’ of the HD6970 (above right) with the same Gaming Edition extras but in an aluminum carry case, priced at £330 inc vat. This is the one we are looking at today.

We also have their HD6950 on test today, which is clocked at reference speeds.

Product Sapphire HD6970
Sapphire HD6950
Core Clock speed 880mhz
Primitive Rate
2 prim/clk
2 prim/clk
Shader Architecture
Stream Processors
24 SIMD/1536 ALU
22 SIMD/1408 ALU
Texture Units 96 88
ROPs/Z-Stencil 32/128 32/128
Frame Buffer 2GB GDDR5 2GB GDDR5
Memory Width/Speed 256 bit, 5.5 Gbps 256bit, 5.0 Gbps
Power Connectors 8 pin & 6 pin 6 pin & 6 pin
Display Outputs 2xDVI + 2x mDP + HDMI 2xDVI + 2x mDP + HDMI

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  • Tim

    I gotta say man, I dont know how you continually produce reviews of this quality on an almost daily basis. fantastic article.

  • Roger

    Sapphire are the boards to get, either them or XFX, but I like that aluminum case, might be handy for my camera odds and ends 🙂

  • Tech Head

    Absolutely brilliant. I like this new range from AMd anyway, not sure why the negative vibes are being seen by some people. its all about the price.

  • Seth

    I think its a nice idea when you can’t release a card with a custom cooler due to AMD launch restrictions. Ship it in a cool aluminum box. Nice job Sapphire, well worth the extra. id use that for my collection of playing cards :p


    mega review. and more mega products from the best company on the planet 🙂 I still want a 1100T though, what first !?

  • Fluffychicken

    my plan for 2011 is this.

    Get my credit card cleared. Get another 24 inch screen, then get a 6950 for 3 screen heaven. Might be May by the time it happens, but thats the plan.

  • KoRn

    Ok, I have a question for all you AMD fanboys. Have the catalyst drivers improved any? last time I used these cards (few years ago) they were terrible.

  • Jonathan

    tempting, but im willing to spend £320 on a sapphire special cooler version without the aluminum box 🙂 fingers crossed the 6970 appears after christmas. I can wait until then, ill be drunk for two weeks anyways.

  • Manick

    Its pretty good value, one of those cases is around £50 to buy in a photography store. not sure about cutting holes into the padding however, that might be tricky

  • Tri Color

    We need a poll to find out the percentage of readers here who use a 3 screen setup. id be surprised if its more than 5%. even a poll asking how many people might be thinking of it next year. seems a lot of money to me still.

  • Joe Soap

    The pricing on scan is very high http://www.scan.co.uk/Search.aspx?q=sapphire+HD6970

  • Larry

    The pricing went up earlier. http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-255-SP&groupid=701&catid=56&subcat=1752

  • Mark

    I am all for the HD6970 at 280-300, but once it hits 340, its only 50 less than the GTX580 which is much more powerful.

  • Ned

    Mark it may be 340, but its extra for the case with this edition. The GTX580 is still around 420 inc vat in UK.

  • Mark

    Actually ive seen it for £400. same one they reviewed on Kitguru http://www.yoyotech.co.uk/item-detail.php?products_id=4370825

  • Tosspot

    The 6950 impresses me more as I have a 5850 and ive never seen the performance improvements broken down like that so clearly. It is a hell of a price. 220 is affordable, but 340 is a significant payment for a GFX. Might look into one once I sort out the missus and kids at xmas.

  • Ned

    This is the best deal ive seen right now for a 6970 http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-148-OK&groupid=701&catid=56&subcat=1752

  • Tom

    I dig this concept from Sapphire, but for reference cooling? ill pass. surely their vapor or toxic cards are due in jan. before the 6990.

  • DaVy CrOcKeT

    When is the game out? (vietnam), due in a day or two isnt it ?

  • Francis

    3 in CFx looks awesome lol. bit expensive though. bit hot too !

  • Roth

    50 quids worth of game is very good. Means the metal box is free.

  • Brook

    I just orrdered this. Was going to buy the game at Christmas and the add-on. And I need a new card, I’ll pay it off in installments!

  • Dillinger

    Nice to see the improvements from the last gen. Quite big too

  • Master of puppets

    6970 is Better value than 570, I only need one more screen then I will upgrade

  • Face

    I’m already on 6970 cfx and it’s brilliant.

  • Jules

    Cant wait to get this game, my christmas is sorted

  • Rufus

    Only thing that puts me off is the noise. I’m waiting on the heatpioe versions, like powercolors modded ones

  • Narry

    Very good review, found it educational too. Never knew just how much they have been improved. One site i read said the 6970 was slower than 580 so it basically sucked

  • E71

    It’s almost April 2011, the 6990 series is out and still no 6970 TOXIC or VAPOR cards.

    Close to losing all faith in Sapphire.