6970 radeon review: AMD Radeon HD 6970 Review

AMD Radeon HD 6970 review

Skip to main content

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works.

Can AMD go back to the top of the single-GPU performance stakes

TechRadar Verdict

Given that we’ve already seen this sort of performance in a sub-£300 card the HD 6970 loses much of its shine.


  • +

    A great improvement over the HD 5870

  • +

    Decent under-the-hood enhancements

  • Struggles against Nvidia competition

  • Quite pricey at launch

Why you can trust TechRadar
Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Finally they’ve arrived; the much-anticipated Cayman GPU-powered HD 6900 series cards from AMD. And right here we’ve got the very top-end of AMD’s latest single-GPU cards, the AMD Radeon HD 6970.

Now we’ve been waiting a fair few months for the release of these new cards, with their brand spanking new GPU, and still it’s hard to see exactly why we’ve been waiting so long.

Originally penned in for launch just after the HD 6800 cards, suddenly we saw the launch slip back and Nvidia then spoiling a party that simply didn’t exist. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 was brought out incredibly early, specifically to counter these Cayman-powered cards only to find they were still some months away from release.

AMD has remained fairly tight-lipped about the slippage. Some of our sources claimed it was simply down to money. AMD wanted the higher margins of the mid-range HD 6800 cards around Thanksgiving aiding its bottom line, whereas a few top-end HD 6900 cards wouldn’t have given them the same cash boost.

Still, I’m sure there were a fair few people who held off buying a new card until AMD had its top-end GPUs out the door, so I’m not entirely convinced about that rumour.

At a recent briefing, though, AMD blamed the PowerTune technology in its new cards as the delaying factor. But to us that sounds suspiciously similar to Nvidia blaming the delay of the GTX 480 on the design of its Tessellation engine.

It may well be a while before we know the full story.

AMD Radeon HD 6970: Price Comparison

No price information

Check Amazon

powered by

  • 1

Current page:
AMD Radon HD 6970 review: Overview

Next Page AMD Radon HD 6970 review: Architecture

TechRadar is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Visit our corporate site .

Future US, Inc. Full 7th Floor, 130 West 42nd Street,
New York,
NY 10036.

AMD Radeon HD 6970 — Review 2011

When it comes to high-end gaming components, the question is always whether price or performance should ultimately win out. With the AMD Radeon HD 6970 graphics card, there’s no easy answer. Priced at $369 list, it’s by any measure something of an investment for someone looking to put together a gaming machine, and it even costs $20 more than Nvidia’s own recently released GeForce GTX 570. As is usually the case with AMD, you get a lot of value with this new top-tier single-GPU card—you just don’t get either the fastest single-GPU card on the market (that would be the GTX 580), or even one that’s faster than the GTX 570 in all gaming situations. That makes the AMD Radeon HD 6970 an imperfect choice in either case, though there’s still much to recommend it.

As the ranking member in AMD’s new upper-echelon «Cayman» family, the 6970 is outfitted in a manner typical of other high-performance video cards. It’s 11 inches long, which makes its length almost identical to AMD’s previous single-GPU leader, the ATI Radeon HD 5870, and the GTX 580 (though still considerably shorter than the dual-GPU ATI Radeon HD 5970). It requires two connections from your power supply, one six-pin and one eight-pin, as well as two expansion slots (one in a PCI Express x16 slot, and one adjoining one to accommodate the fan and heat sink assembly). According to AMD, you can expect the card to use 140 watts of power in a typical gaming scenario and 20 watts at idle. Its array of display outputs is the baseline for the 6000-series of cards: two DVI ports, two mini DisplayPort jacks, and one full-size HDMI output.

The 6970 is hardly hurting in the specs department, either, offering up to 2.7 teraflops of compute power and a core clock speed of 880 MHz. It uses the VLIW4 shader architecture and has 24 SIMD stream processors, 96 texture units, and 32 ROPs. Like the ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity6 Edition card from earlier this year, the 6970 has 2GB of frame buffer, which operating over a 256-bit memory path and with a speed of 5.5 Gbps should give it plenty of room for driving multiple monitors in an AMD Eyefinity configuration. (Also like the Eyefinity6, the 6970 can support up to six.)

As with AMD’s other recent cards, the 6970 allows the full range of DirectX 11 (DX11) rendering capabilities, such as tessellation. It also has expanded anti-aliasing support, with the 6000 series’ new Morphological Anti-Aliasing now joined by an Enhanced Quality Anti-Aliasing (EQAA) mode that can have up to 16 coverage samples per pixel and plays happily with adaptive, super-sample, and the more recent morphological anti-aliasing. The 6970 also introduces AMD’s PowerTune technology, which aids in overclocking by letting the user specify a maximum TDP (up to 200 watts) at which to constrain power usage and maintain peak performance as long as possible.

In testing the 6970 under more average-use gaming scenarios, we discovered that though it’s generally comparable to the GTX 570, that’s not the case in every situation. In fact, in ten of our tests, the GTX 570 scored higher, despite costing $20 less, and a number of the remaining results were fairly close calls. The 6970 came out ahead well ahead in all our tests with Heaven Benchmark 2.1 and Metro 2033, at both 1,920 by 1,200 and 2,560 by 1,600 using both DX10 and DX11 shaders: It earned a nicely smooth 34.9 frames per second (fps) in the highest-resolution DX10 Heaven, a first for an AMD card (the GTX 570 could manage only 14.9 fps on that test), though both cards were low enough (below 21 fps) at 2,560 by 1,600 in Metro 2033 that we wouldn’t recommend using that resolution for the game in DX10 or DX11.

But the GTX 570 came out ahead in two of our key non-synthetic gaming benchmark tests: H.A.W.X. 2, where with 153 fps and 78 fps it trounced the 6970 (which earned 93 fps and 59 fps respectively) at both 1,920 by 1,200 and 2,560 by 1,600, and Lost Planet 2 in all four tests at both resolutions. Considering the Fermi card’s parallel-processing focus, it’s not surprising the GTX 570 did better on SiSoftware Sandra’s video rendering and GPGPU processing tests, and eked out just ahead of the 6970’s price advantage at media transcoding and in the 3DMark 11 benchmark test using the performance (1,280-by-720 preset).

Because the AMD Radeon HD 6970 and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 570 compete so closely, choosing a champ is no easy chore. A lot of your choice will come down to specific features: Are you more likely to want a simple way to connect lots of monitors from AMD or on-board physics processing from Nvidia, and so on. In terms of gaming performance, however, we’re going to give the tiniest of edges to Nvidia here, if only because the titles in which the GTX 570 comes out comfortably ahead (H.A.W.X. 2 and Lost Planet 2) are very new ones that use the widest range of DX11 features in real-world ways. This suggests that, in terms of overall capabilities and future-proofing, the GTX 570 might be the slightly better investment in the long run. But if you have an extra $350 or so to spend on upgrading your PC’s graphics, chances are you won’t be disappointed with the results you get from either card.

More Video Card reviews:

AMD Radeon HD 6970 Overview. Benchmarks and specs

The AMD Radeon HD 6970 graphics card (GPU) is ranked 311 in our performance ranking. Manufacturer: AMD. AMD Radeon HD 6970 running at minimum clock speed. The graphics chip is equipped with an acceleration system and can operate in turbo mode or when overclocked at a frequency of 880 MHz. The size of the RAM is 2 GB GB with a clock speed of 1375 MHz and a bandwidth of .

AMD Radeon HD 69 Power Consumption70 is 550 Watt and the process technology is only 40 nm. Below you will find key compatibility, sizing, technology, and gaming performance test results. You can also leave comments if you have any questions.

Let’s take a closer look at the most important characteristics of the AMD Radeon HD 6970. To get an idea of ​​which video card is better, we recommend using the comparison service.

From 8
Hitesti Grade

Popular video cards

Most viewed

AMD Radeon RX Vega 7

Intel UHD Graphics 630

Intel UHD Graphics 600

AMD Radeon RX Vega 10

NVIDIA Quadro T1000

Intel HD Graphics 530

Intel UHD Graphics 620

NVIDIA GeForce MX330

Intel HD Graphics 4600

Intel HD Graphics 520

Buy here:

Yandex Market



General information

A basic set of information will help you find out the release date of the AMD Radeon HD 69 graphics card70 and its purpose (laptops or PCs), as well as the price at the time of release and the average current cost. This data also includes the architecture used by the manufacturer and the video processor code name.

Performance Rating Position: 386
Value for money: 56.19
Architecture: Terascale 2
Code name: Cayman
Type: Desktop
Release date: December 14, 2010 (10 years ago)
Starting price: $369
Current price: $217 (0.6x MSRP)
Design: reference
Value for money: 3.34
GPU code name: Cayman
Market segment: Desktop


This is important information that determines all the power characteristics of the AMD Radeon HD 6970 video card. The smaller the chip manufacturing process, the better (in modern realities). The clock frequency of the core is responsible for its speed (direct correlation), while signal processing is carried out by transistors (the more transistors, the faster the calculations are performed, for example, in cryptocurrency mining).

Conveyors: 1536
Acceleration: 880MHz
Number of transistors: 2,640 million
Process: 40nm
Power consumption (TDP): 550 Watt
Number of texels processed in 1 second: 84.48
Floating point: 2,703.4 gflops
Pipelines / CUDA cores: 1536
Acceleration speed: 880MHz
Number of transistors: 2,640 million
Estimated heat output: 550 Watt

Dimensions, Connectors and Compatibility

There are so many PC case and laptop form factors available today that it’s important to know the length of your graphics card and how it’s connected (except for laptop versions). This will help make the upgrade process easier, as Not all cases can accommodate modern video cards.

Interface: PCIe 2.0 x16
Length: 267mm
Additional power: 1x 6-pin + 1x 8-pin
Tire support: PCIe 2.0 x16

Memory (frequency and overclocking)

The internal memory is used to store data when performing calculations. Modern games and professional graphics applications place high demands on the amount and speed of memory. The higher this parameter, the more powerful and faster the video card. Memory type, size and bandwidth for AMD Radeon HD 6970 + overclocking capability in turbo mode.

Memory type: DDR5
Maximum RAM amount: 2GB
Memory bus width: 256 Bit
Memory frequency: 1375 MHz

Support for ports and displays

As a rule, all modern video cards have several types of connections and additional ports, for example HDMI and DVI . Knowing these features is very important in order to avoid problems connecting a video card to a monitor or other peripherals.

Display connections: 2x DVI, 1x HDMI, 2x mini-DisplayPort
Eyefinity: 1
DisplayPort support:


Each graphics card manufacturer complements their products with proprietary technologies that are used both in games and in the workflow. Below is a list of features that will be useful to you.

CrossFire: 1

API support

All APIs supported by the AMD Radeon HD 6970 graphics card are listed below. This is a minor factor that does not greatly affect the overall performance.

DirectX: DirectX® 11
OpenGL: 4.4
Shader Model: 5.0
OpenCL: 1.2

General gaming performance

All tests are based on FPS. Let’s take a look at how the AMD Radeon HD 6970 ranks in the gaming performance test (calculated according to the game developer’s recommendations for system requirements; it may differ from actual situations).

Select games
Horizon Zero DawnDeath StrandingF1 2020Gears TacticsDoom EternalHunt ShowdownEscape from TarkovHearthstoneRed Dead Redemption 2Star Wars Jedi Fallen OrderNeed for Speed ​​HeatCall of Duty Modern Warfare 2019GRID 2019Ghost Recon BreakpointFIFA 20Borderlands 3ControlF1 2019League of LegendsTotal War: Three KingdomsRage 2Anno 1800The Division 2Dirt Rally 2. 0AnthemMetro ExodusFar Cry New DawnApex LegendsJust Cause 4Darksiders IIIFarming Simulator 19Battlefield VFallout 76Hitman 2Call of Duty Black Ops 4Assassin´s Creed OdysseyForza Horizon 4FIFA 19Shadow of the Tomb RaiderStrange BrigadeF1 2018Monster Hunter WorldThe Crew 2Far Cry 5World of Tanks enCoreX-Plane 11.11Kingdom Come: DeliveranceFinal Fantasy XV BenchmarkFortniteStar Wars Battlefront 2Need for Speed ​​PaybackCall of Duty WWIIAssassin´s Creed OriginsWolfenstein II: The New ColossusDestiny 2MEDLE-Evil Within : Shadow of WarFIFA 18Ark Survival EvolvedF1 2017Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (2017)Team Fortress 2Dirt 4Rocket LeaguePreyMass Effect AndromedaGhost Recon WildlandsFor HonorResident Evil 7Dishonored 2Call of Duty Infinite WarfareTitanfall 2Farming Simulator 17Civilization VIBattlefield 1Mafia 3Deus Ex Mankind DividedMirror’s Edge CatalystOverwatchDoomAshes of the SingularityHitman 2016The DivisionFar Cry PrimalXCOM 2Rise of the Tomb RaiderRainbow Six SiegeAssassin’s Creed SyndicateStar Wars BattlefrontFallout 4Call of Duty: Black Ops 3Anno 2205World of WarshipsDota 2 RebornThe Witcher 3Dirt RallyGTA VDragon Age: InquisitionFar Cry 4Assassin’s Creed Un ityCall of Duty: Advanced WarfareAlien: IsolationMiddle-earth: Shadow of MordorSims 4Wolfenstein: The New OrderThe Elder Scrolls OnlineThiefX-Plane 10. 25Battlefield 4Total War: Rome IICompany of Heroes 2Metro: Last LightBioShock InfiniteStarCraft II: Heart of the SwarmSimCityTomb RaiderCrysis 3Hitman: AbsolutionCall of Duty : Black Ops 2World of Tanks v8Borderlands 2Counter-Strike: GODirt ShowdownDiablo IIIMass Effect 3The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimBattlefield 3Deus Ex Human RevolutionStarCraft 2Metro 2033Stalker: Call of PripyatGTA IV — Grand Theft AutoLeft 4 DeadTrackmania Nations ForeverCall of Duty 4 — Modern WarfareSupreme Commander — FA BenchCrysis — GPU BenchmarkWorld in Conflict — BenchmarkHalf Life 2 — Lost Coast BenchmarkWorld of WarcraftDoom 3Quake 3 Arena — TimedemoHalo InfiniteFarming Simulator 22Battlefield 2042Forza Horizon 5Riders RepublicGuardians of the GalaxyBack 4 BloodDeathloopF1 2021Days GoneResident Evil VillageHitman 3Cyberpunk 2077Assassin´s Creed ch Dogs LegionMafia Definitive EditionCyberpunk 2077 1.5GRID LegendsDying Light 2Rainbow Six ExtractionGod of War













Horizon Zero Dawn (2020)













Death Stranding (2020)













F1 2020 (2020)













Gears Tactics (2020)













Doom Eternal (2020)













5 Stutter — The performance of this video card with this game has not yet been studied enough. Based on interpolated information from graphics cards of a similar performance level, the game is likely to stutter and display low frame rates.
May Stutter — The performance of this video card with this game has not yet been studied enough. Based on interpolated information from graphics cards of a similar performance level, the game is likely to stutter and display low frame rates.
30 Fluent — According to all known benchmarks with the specified graphic settings, this game is expected to run at 25 fps or more
40 Fluent — According to all known benchmarks with the specified graphics settings, this game is expected to run at 35fps or more
60 Fluent — According to all known benchmarks with the specified graphics settings, this game is expected to run at 58fps or more
May Run Fluently — The performance of this video card with this game has not yet been sufficiently studied. Based on interpolated information from graphics cards of a similar performance level, the game is likely to show smooth frame rates.
? Uncertain — testing this video card in this game showed unexpected results. A slower card could deliver higher and more consistent frame rates while running the same reference scene.
Uncertain — The performance of this video card in this game has not yet been studied enough. It is not possible to reliably interpolate data based on the performance of similar cards in the same category.
The value in the fields reflects the average frame rate across the entire database. To get individual results, hover over a value.

AMD Radeon HD 6970 in benchmark results

Benchmarks help you determine performance in standard AMD Radeon HD 6970 benchmarks. We’ve compiled a list of the world’s best-known benchmarks so you can get accurate results for each one (see description). Pre-testing the graphics card is especially important when there are high loads, so that the user can see how the graphics processor copes with calculations and data processing.

Overall performance in benchmarks

NVIDIA Quadro M1000M


AMD Radeon RX Vega 6 (Ryzen 4000/5000)


AMD Radeon HD 6970


Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs




3DMark Fire Strike Graphics Benchmark: Graphic card performance test results. Check 3DMark Fire Strike Graphics GPU Test Results at hitesti.com

AMD Radeon RX Vega 11

NVIDIA GeForce MX150

AMD Radeon HD 6970

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti

AMD Radeon R9 M385X

Passmark benchmark: Graphic card performance test results. Check Passmark GPU test results at hitesti.com

AMD Radeon PRO WX 3100

NVIDIA Quadro M1000M

AMD Radeon HD 6970


AMD Radeon HD 6990

3. 4
From 8
Hitesti Grade

Share on social networks:

You need to log in to leave a review

Review AMD Radeon HD 6970

Compare AMD Radeon HD 6970


NVIDIA P106-090

AMD Hainan


AMD Oland

AMD Radeon R5 M230


AMD Cedar

AMD Fiji

AMD Bonaire

AMD Caicos

AMD Radeon HD 6970 — 33 secret facts, overview, features, reviews.

Top specifications and features

  • Passmark score
  • 3DMark Fire Strike Graphics test score
  • GPU base clock
  • RAM
  • Memory Bandwidth


AMD Radeon HD 6970 test score:
Best score:


AMD Radeon HD 6970:
Best score:


AMD Radeon HD 6970:
Best score:

General Information

AMD Radeon HD 6970:
Best score:

AMD Radeon HD 6970 features:
Best score:


AMD Radeon HD 6970 video card based on TeraScale 3 architecture has 2640 million transistors, tech. 40 nm process. The frequency of the graphics core is 880 MHz. In terms of memory, 2 GB is installed here. DDR5, clocked at 1375MHz and with a maximum throughput of 176Gb/s. The texture size is 84.5 GTexels/s. FLOPS is 2.6.

In tests, the AMD Radeon HD 6970 video card performed as follows — according to the Passmark benchmark, the model scored 2817 points. At the same time, the maximum number of points for today is 260261 points. According to the 3DMark benchmark, the video card scored 3401 points out of 49575 possible.
The version of Directx is 11.2. The OpenGL version is 4.4.

In terms of compatibility, the video card is connected via the PCIe 2.0 x16 interface. Regarding cooling, the heat dissipation requirements here are 250 watts.
In our tests, the video card scores 281583 points.

Why AMD Radeon HD 6970 is better than others

No merits

  • Passmark score 2817 . This parameter is lower than 24% of products
  • 3DMark Fire Strike Graphics 3401 test score. This parameter is lower than 22% of products
  • GPU base clock speed 880 MHz. This parameter is lower than 67% of products
  • RAM 2 GB. This parameter is lower than 32% of products
  • Memory bandwidth 176 GB/s. This parameter is lower than that of 53% of goods
  • Effective memory speed 5500 MHz. This parameter is lower than 22% of products
  • GPU memory frequency 1375 MHz. This parameter is lower than 55% of the products
  • FLOPS 2.6 TFLOPS. This parameter is lower than that of 65% of goods

Review AMD Radeon HD 6970



general information



Tests in benchmarks

AMD Radeon HD 6970 Review Highlights

GPU base clock speed

The graphics processing unit (GPU) has a high clock speed.


max 2459

Average: 1124. 9 MHz


GPU memory frequency

This is an important aspect calculating memory bandwidth


max 16000

Average: 1468 MHz



A measure of the processing power of a processor is called FLOPS.


max 1142.32

Average: 53 TFLOPS




max 128

Average: 4.6 GB


Texture size

A certain number of textured pixels are displayed on the screen every second.
Show all

84. 5 GTexels/s

max 756.8

Average: 145.4 GTexels/s

756.8 GTexels/s

Architecture name

TeraScale 3

GPU Name


Memory bandwidth

This is the speed at which the device stores or reads information.


max 2656

Average: 257.8 GB/s


Effective memory speed

The effective memory clock speed is calculated from the size and information transfer rate of the memory. The performance of the device in applications depends on the clock frequency. The higher it is, the better.
Show all

5500 MHz

max 19500

Average: 6984. 5 MHz




max 128

Average: 4.6 GB


GDDR Memory Versions

Latest GDDR memory versions provide high data transfer rates to improve overall performance
Show all


Mean: 4.9


Memory bus width

A wide memory bus indicates that it can transfer more information in one cycle. This property affects the performance of the memory as well as the overall performance of the device’s graphics card.
Show all


max 8192

Average: 283.9bit


Heat Dissipation (TDP)

The Heat Dissipation Requirements (TDP) is the maximum amount of energy that can be dissipated by the cooling system. The lower the TDP, the less power will be consumed.
Show all


Average value: 160 W


Technological process

The small size of the semiconductor means it is a new generation chip.

40 nm

Average: 34.7 nm

4 nm

Number of transistors

2640 million

max 80000

Average: 7150 million

80000 million

PCIe version

Considerable speed is provided for the expansion card used to connect the computer to peripherals. The updated versions have impressive throughput and provide high performance.
Show all


Average: 3




max 421. 7

Average: 192.1mm

421.7 mm



max 619

Average: 89.6mm

619 mm



Sales start date

2010-12-14 00:00:00

Mean value:

Release price


max 419999

Average: $5679.5

419999 $


Used in demanding games, providing enhanced graphics


max 12.2

Mean: 11.4


OpenCL version

Used by some applications to enable GPU power for non-graphical calculations. The newer the version, the more functional it will be
Show all


max 4.6

Average: 2.2


opengl version

Later versions provide quality game graphics


max 4.6

Average: 4.2


Shader model version


max 6.6

Average: 5.9


Has HDMI output

HDMI output allows you to connect devices with HDMI or mini-HDMI ports. They can transmit video and audio to the display.
Show all


DVI outputs

Allows connection to a display using DVI


Mean: 1. 4


Number of HDMI connectors

Show all


Average: 1.1



Allows you to connect to a display using a mini-DisplayPort


Mean: 2.1



PCIe 2.0 x16



Passmark test score


max 29325

Average: 7628.6


3DMark Fire Strike Graphics test score


max 49575

Average: 11859.1



How much RAM does AMD Radeon HD 6970

AMD Radeon HD 6970 have 2 GB.