ASUS HD 6970 Reviewtacohunter52 - March 31, 2011
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Just as with the reference HD6970, the ASUS HD 6970 uses the black and red color scheme. A shiny ASUS logo is located at the bottom left hand corner of the card's cooler. The rest of the card's front looks identical to the reference design and why wouldn't it? In my opinion, this design is extremely cool looking. Flipping the card over reveals a black backplate which should help to dissipate some extra heat. The card's bottom follows the black color scheme and the top has three aesthetically pleasing red bars. While it may not be a completely original design, the ASUS HD 6970 looks very cool.
ASUS continued to stick with the HD 6970's reference design when it came to display ports. If you purchase this card, you'll be able to utilize two dual link DVI ports and an HDMI 1.4a port. Not only that, but you'll also be equipped with two mini DisplayPort 1.2 ports that are capable of running a total of six monitors. Due to the amount of connectivity options, the ASUS HD 6970's exhaust vent is smaller then we usually see on video cards. Hopefully this won't cause the card to sustain to much extra heat, but I suppose if it does you could always increase the fan speed.
As with the reference card, you'll be able to use the ASUS HD 6970 in a Quadfire setup. While it may be expensive to do so, you'll be able to achieve this feat using the card's two crossfire connectors. You'll notice that next to the crossfire connectors is the BIOS switch. With this you'll be able to switch between the ASUS HD 6970's factory BIOS and the alternative configurable BIOS. This way, you won't have to worry about bricking your card when flashing the BIOS. In order to run four HD 6970's, or flash any BIOS you'll need to be sure to provide your card with ample power. Powering the ASUS HD 6970 can be done using the card's 8-pin and 6-pin power connectors and a recommended power supply of at least 550 watts.
Removing the cooler on the ASUS HD 6970 wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Just as with every other video card, it is very easy to remove the cooler from the card's PCB, however actually dismantling the cooler proved to be a challenge. The ASUS HD 6970's cooler is held together with a series of plastic clips that you need to pull apart in order to separate the cooler's sections. After fear of breaking the cooler while trying to separate these clips I gave up, so we are just going to jump directly to the Cayman XT core. Like its younger sibling, the Cayman Pro, the Cayman XT core is built on a 40nm process and packed with 2.64 billion transistors. It utilizes 32 ROPS, 96 texture units, and 1536 streaming processors. Not only that but the core has been factory overclocked to 890MHz. Surrounding the core are the ASUS HD 6970's Hynix memory modules. These make up a total of 2GB of GDDR5 memory, and they are clocked at 1375MHz.
Now let's see what kind of performance we can get from this card.