Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 Dirt 3 Edition Video Card Review



Company: Sapphire
Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: August 15th, 2011

Introduction

Sapphire's latest game-themed card is based on the AMD Radeon HD 6950, otherwise known as Cayman Pro from the Northern Islands series. The card is a custom PCB design, shorter than the reference AMD one. The main difference is in the cooling, the standard vapor chamber and blower-style fan is replaced by a large diameter copper heatpipe heatsink with dual axial fans. Bundled with DiRT 3, this card is for enthusiasts of the franchise and the graphics technology.

Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 DiRT3

Specifications:

  • $265 SEP
  • 40nm Cayman Pro
  • 800MHz Engine Clock
  • 1408 Radeon Cores / 22 SIMD [VLIW-4]
  • 88 Texture Units
  • 32 ROP's
  • 2GB GDDR5 @ 1250MHz Memory Clock [5Gbps QDR]
  • 256-bit memory bus
  • PCI-Express 2.1 x16 Interface with dual 6-pin PCI-E power inputs
  • DisplayPort 1.2 / HDMI 1.4a / DL-DVI + SL-DVI supports 3-display AMD Eyefinity and AMD HD3D
  • 20W idle / 200W load [Powertune limited] / 140W estimated gaming load power
  • DiRT3 Digital Download [redeem key by 12/31/11]

If you already own DiRT 3 and don't need another key, there is an identical card without the DiRT 3 branding and bundle which is around $20USD cheaper. Both cards currently feature $15MIR from Newegg [US], bringing the price of entry for a custom design 6950 2GB to around $230-$245. This puts it head to head with GeForce GTX 560 Ti, which unfortunately we don't have a sample of to test against but on paper should be a close run for the money. Instead, we'll look at some of the other features and multi-GPU capabilities you get by combining 6950's in CrossfireX.