PowerColor HD6950 PCS+ Reviewgotdamojo06 - May 24, 2011
Once you get the PowerColor HD6950 PCS+ out of the packaging and remove it from the anti static bag. The first two things that you are going to notice is the dual fan cooler and the second would be the nice and bright red PCB that the graphics card is built on. The plastic covering on the active cooling solution that PowerColor has decided to install on the graphics card is a nice black color that ascents the overall red scheme of the card quite well. There is the Vortex II logo printed on the back of the cooler as well as the Radeon HD6950 logo in the bottom section. PowerColor has decided to include this upgraded cooling solution on the HD6950 PCS+ to help battle the everlasting battle against heat that is generated by the GPU and memory. When they come clocked in at 850MHz and 1300MHz respectively, every degree is going to help, especially once you begin overclocking the card. You will find DirectX 11.0 and Shader Model 5.0 support on the HD6950 PCS+ which will allow you to play your favorite games with all of the advance features being availible to you, giving you the best gaming experience you can get.
Looking at the connectivity that the PowerColor HD6950 PCS+ gives you, you are going to be hard pressed to want more. You are given 2x DVI ports, an HDMI port, and 2x mini-DisplayPorts. Just about any kind of monitor that you have laying around at home that you want to connect to the HD6950 PCS+, you will be able to find either a connector on the card or use one of the two included dongles to make the connection happen. When you look at the back edge of the card, you are going to see that PowerColor has attempted to reduce the ambient air temperature inside of your chassis by lifting the fan shroud and heatsink a little bit which will allows the fan to pull up some of the cooler air from the bottom of your case. Resulting in (hopefully) a more balanced ambient air temperature in your chassis around your video card.
There are two CrossFireX connectors at the top front end of the graphics card which will allow you to add another HD6950 or two to your system to increase the graphics performance that your system will be able to produce. The PowerColor HD6950 PCS+ graphics card does require two 75W PCI Express power connectors from your power supply to be connected to it for the graphics card to get enough power to function properly. This should not be a surprise, as just about all mid-range and high-end graphics cards now-a-days do require additional power from the power supply.
Once you pull the cooling solution off of the PowerColor HD6950 PCS+, you will be able to see all of the components that are installed on the PCB as well as see where exactly they are compared to where the base of the heat sink is installed on the graphics card. The "Professional Cooling Solution", or what PCS+ stands for, does have a few unique features that other graphics card coolers do not have which hopefully will help set this card above the competition when it comes to not only overclocking but also when it comes down to the load temperatures that you see. Both of the fans that are installed on the cooler are able to be adjusted. When I say adjusted, I don't only mean the fan speed, but the orientation of each of the fans can be altered slightly. You can angle both of the fans to produce a setting that will reduce the turbulence and help heat spread effectively across hot areas inside of the cooler. The heatsink used on the HD6950 PCS+ has four 8mm high performance heat pipes that travel from the large pure copper base that fully covers the GPU though all of the 61 thin aluminum cooling fins.
Installed on the PowerColor HD6950 PCS+ graphics card is the AMD codename Caymen HD6950 GPU. This GPU comes clocked in at a whopping 850MHz, has a die size of 389mm2 and was built on the 40nm process with 2640 Million transistors. The memory installed adds up to 2048 MB on a 256 bit bus, giving you a maximum bandwidth of 166.4 GB/s. The memory modules that PowerColor decided to use on the HD6950 PCS+ are the Hynix H5GQ2H24MFR. From this model number, you will be able to find out that the modules are built on their 1st Generation die and they are lead and halogen free (ROHS3 Compliant). You are also going to find out that the VDD and VDDQ are both 1.5V. The final chip on the card that I want to take a look at is the PWM Controller. It is a CHiL CHL8228G, Dual loop 6+2 multiphase PWM controller. This chip features 8-phase dual output PWM Controller, dynamic voltage control and features input voltage management allowing up to three input voltages to be monitored to ensure adequate power is delivered to the load.
Alright, so we have taken a look at the PowerColor HD6950 PCS+ and know exactly what it looks like, even when we strip off the cooling solution. So let's get into the technical information about the card and see exactly what it is made of.