Legit Video Card Reviews
AMD Radeon HD 6950 & 6970 CrossFire Video Card Reviews
|Product:||Legit Reviews 2010 Stocking Stuffer Guide|
|Date:||Tue, Dec 14, 2010 - 11:00 PM|
|Written By:||Nathan Kirsch -|
Radeon 6970 & 6950 GPU Overclocking
To overclock the AMD Radeon HD 6900 graphics cards series, we used the ATI
Overdrive utility that is part of the CATALYST Control Center. When you
'unlock' the ATI Overdrive, you can manually set the clock and memory
settings or let the 'auto-tune' utility set the frequencies for you. Well, that is what you used to be able to do. It appears that when AMD added the 'power control settings' for PowerTune they did away with the 'auto-tune' that we have used for years to automatically overclock our video cards!
"Our design team decided to replace the Auto Tune test and put the PowerTune Power Control slider in its position in the interface." - AMD PR
We then asked AMD if increasing the power control settings would help overclocking and they responded with this statement.
"Overclocking will presumably cause most apps to draw more power, which means some of the more stressful ones may spend more time being constrained by the PowerTune limit and having their clock frequency throttled. Increasing the PowerTune limit should provide more opportunity for performance increases in those cases, but it shouldn’t otherwise affect the maximum achievable clock speed." - AMD PR
The short answer is that if you are overclocking you are likely not going to care about energy efficiency, so go ahead and max out the power control settings so AMD PowerTune doesn't rob any performance from your game play.
The AMD Radeon HD 6950 starts off life at 800MHz on the core and 1250MHz on the memory. We were able to max out AMD Overdrive at 850MHz core and 1325MHz on the memory and didn't see any issues in the games with PowerTune left alone. This is a 50MHz overclock
on the core and a 75MHz boost on the 2GB worth of GDDR5 memory ICs. Not a huge overclock by any means, but we expect to see a difference in the benchmarks.
To test out the overclock we fired up 3DMark Vantage to see what this overclock was like.
The AMD Radeon HD 6950 Video Card Stock 800MHz/1250MHz:
The AMD Radeon HD 6950 Video Card Overclocked 850MHz/1325MHz:
Running 3DMark Vantage with the Extreme preset we got a
score of X9393 with the card at reference clock settings. The score went up X9873 3DMarks when overclocked, which
was an improvement of 480 points or 5% with this mild overclock. Let's see how the AMD Radeon HD 6970 overclocked using the same methods.
The AMD Radeon HD 6970 comes with an 880MHz core clock and 1375MHz memory clock. We were able to manually crack the clock frequencies up to the highest setting allowed in CCC and were able to reach 950MHz on the core clock and 1450MHz on the memory. This is a 70MHz overclock on the core and a 75MHz boost on the GDDR5 memory ICs.
The AMD Radeon HD 6970 Video Card Stock 880MHz/1375MHz:
The AMD Radeon HD 6970 Video Card Overclocked 950MHz/1450MHz:
Running 3DMark Vantage with the Extreme preset we got a score of X10837 with the card at stock settings. The score went up X11573 3DMarks when overclocked, which was an improvement of 736 points or 7% with this easy to do overclocking method. Seeing a nice 5-7% performance gain with pretty much zero effort was nice to see and if we had more time and a 3rd party overclocking tool we are sure these cards could be pushed even harder!
Next Page - Final Thoughts and Conclusions
Page 1 - AMD Radeon HD 6970 & 6950 - 40nm Cayman
Page 2 - The Cayman GPU Architecture
Page 3 - A Closer Look At The Radeon HD 6970 & 6950
Page 4 - AMD PowerTune Technology
Page 5 - Test Setup
Page 6 - Aliens vs. Predator
Page 7 - Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY
Page 8 - Just Cause 2
Page 9 - Metro 2033
Page 10 - StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
Page 11 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
Page 12 - H.A.W.X. 2 Benchmark
Page 13 - 3DMark Vantage
Page 14 - 3DMark 11
Page 15 - Unigine 'Heaven' DX11
Page 16 - FurMark 1.8.2
Page 17 - Temperature & Noise Testing
Page 18 - Power Consumption
Page 19 - Radeon 6970 & 6950 GPU Overclocking
Page 20 - Final Thoughts and Conclusions