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PowerColor HD6950 PCS+ Review

gotdamojo06    -   May 24, 2011


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Conclusion:

Going back now to the first question that I had asked, are you looking for a new video card solution for your current system or a new system that you may be building? Well if the answer is yes, then you may just want to keep looking at the PowerColor HD6950 PCS+ for several reasons. The first and foremost reason that I would suggest taking a second look at the PowerColor HD6950 PCS+ would have to be the performance of the card in the benchmarks. The HD6950 PCS+ was able to sit right around the same performance level that the GTX 580 was producing in a majority of the benchmarks in our suite and it did tie the HD6990 in one of the tests. When you are looking through the power consumption levels that all of the cards were giving out, the HD6950 PCS+ was sitting in the middle towards the bottom during the overclocked load test, pair that with the FPS that it was able to produce in the benchmarks and you have yourself a pretty happy medium. PowerColor did include an upgraded cooling solution on the graphics card that does not only look good, but does perform quite well at stock speeds. Once the card was overclocked, however, it did lose its advantage but that was over-volted and the GPU core clock was increased quite a bit.

Speaking of overclocking, that is another aspect that the PowerColor HD6950 PCS+ was able to shine in, the GPU clock speed. While it was unable to break the 1GHz clock speed, it did come damn close, ending up at 970MHz. While the GPU clock speed was able to get quite high, I was unable to push the memory speeds any further than 1330MHz, but when you look at a reference design HD6950, you are going to find 800MHz and 1250MHz as the stock speeds. Which means that over a reference design card, I actually ended up with a 21% overclock on the GPU and a 6% overclock on the memory, not too shabby. The price point of the HD6950 PCS+ is right around $315, which is about $60 more than a majority of the HD6950s available on Newegg.com at the time of this review. While you are going to be paying a little bit more for this card, you are going to be getting a more advanced cooling solution that at stock speeds proved itself for sure as well as higher clock speeds than stock. The cooling solution was not only able to perform quite well, but once the fan speeds were turned up to 100%, it was not quite as loud as I would have expected, now don't get me wrong, you could hear the card running, but it was not as loud as other cards that I have tested in the past. The card was a little bit larger than I was expecting it to be and it was almost too long to fit in my NZXT Beta Evo chassis, however it was able to fit once I shifted around some of the cables running in its way. I'm not too sure that I would hold this against the card too much as all of the HD6950s should be right around the same size, but just keep that in mind if you decide to pick one up.

Overall, if you are looking for a new graphics card solution for your system, I would highly suggest that you check out the PowerColor HD6950 PCS+ and try and make room in your budget for it. Not only are you going to get a great looking card, but it is going to be able to give you the performance that you are most likely looking for. I most certainly will be using this graphics card in my main rig for gaming as it will be a nice upgrade for myself.

Pros:

  • 2 x DisplayPorts, 2x DVI, 1x HDMI Connectivity
  • GPU overclocking
  • Performance
  • Cooling Solution
  • Price
  • Comparatively Quiet
  • 2GB GDDR5

 

Cons:

  • Memory overclocking
  • Size
OCC Gold



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look Continued
  3. Specifications & Features
  4. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  5. Testing: Aliens vs Predator
  6. Testing: Metro 2033
  7. Testing: Crysis Warhead
  8. Testing: Tom Clancy's HAWX 2
  9. Testing: Lost Planet 2
  10. Testing: Unigine 2.5
  11. Testing: Just Cause 2
  12. Testing: Mafia II
  13. Testing: Battlefield Bad Company 2
  14. Testing: 3DMark 11
  15. Testing: Temperatures
  16. Testing: Power Consumption
  17. Conclusion
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