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Sapphire HD6950 2GB DiRT3 Edition Review

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Testing of the Sapphire HD6950 2GB DiRT3 Edition will consist of running it and comparison cards through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of equal and greater capabilities to show where they fall on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles to give you an idea of how the cards perform relative to each other.

The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustment will be made to the respective control panels during the testing, with the exception of the 3DMark Vantage testing, where PhysX will be disabled in the NVIDIA control panel. I will test the cards at stock speeds, then overclocked in order to see the effects of any increases in clock speed. The cards are placed in order from highest to lowest performing in the graphs to show where the cards fall by comparison. The drivers used are the 11.5 Catalyst drivers for the AMD-based cards and the 275.27 for NVIDIA-based cards


Comparison Video Cards:



  • Sapphire HD6950 2GB DiRT3 Edition | GPU - 900 MHz | Memory - 1400 MHz

Overclocking the Sapphire HD6950 2GB DiRT3 Edition graphics card was really quite simple when it comes down to the methodology as well as the follow-through. When I start overclocking any graphics card, I always start with the GPU core. I will start by increasing the GPU core clock by 20MHz at a time, then run through a pass of the Extreme 3DMark11 preset benchmark followed by looping Crysis Warhead for 15 minutes. If the clock passes, I will then increase by another 20MHz until I hit instability issues, at which time I will then back down by 10MHz until it becomes stable again. The maximum I was able to get for the HD6950 2GB DiRT Edition's GPU core was 900MHz, which is an overclock of 12.5%. The memory methodology is exactly the same as the GPU core, and I was able to get attain 1400MHz, which ended up being a 12% overclock.



Maximum Clock Speeds:

Testing for the maximum clock speed consists of looping Crysis Warhead and Unigine 2.5 for 30 minutes each to see where the clock speeds will fail when pushed. If the clock speed adjustment fails, then the clock speeds and tests are rerun until they pass the full hour of testing.


  • Gaming Tests:
  1. Aliens vs. Predator
  2. Metro 2033
  3. Civilization V
  4. HAWX 2
  5. Just Cause 2
  6. Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.5
  7. Mafia II
  8. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  9. Lost Planet 2
  10. 3DMark 11
  • Usage:
  1. Temperature
  2. Power Consumption

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