Although the holiday season is well underway, but AMD is hoping to catch a little of the end-of-year buying enthusiasm with its new Radeon HD 6970 and Radeon HD 6950 graphics cards, which take aim at serious gamers by offering top-tier performance at appealing price points—and finally picking up where the well-regarded Radeon HD 5870 left off. The Radeon HD 6900 series are AMD’s second generation of DirectX 11-capable graphics cards, offering up to 2 GB of dedicated graphics memory, flexible power management, AMD’s Eyefinity multi-display support, and HD3D technology for 3D entertainment and games. And, for the serious experimenters, a dual-BIOS toggle switch enables users to flip between the pre-installed BIOS and a custom BIOS, letting overclockers experiment all they like (free of warranty protection!) without wiping out the original BIOS.
“AMD Radeon HD 6900 series graphics feature AMD’s second-generation, DirectX 11-capable architecture, new image quality improvements and up to 2GB of graphics frame buffer, making it a great choice for gamers and enthusiasts,” said AMD GPU Division corporate VP Matt Skynner, in a statement. “Delivering DirectX 11 performance with intelligent tessellation, image quality improvements with new anti-aliasing modes, and AMD PowerTune technology, we believe AMD Radeon HD 6900 series graphics cards will make excellent gifts this holiday season.”
At the top of the heap, the HD 6970 offers 1,526 stream processors governed by an 880 MHz close and up to 2. GB of GDDR5 RAM running at 5.5 GHz, while it’s slightly littler brother steps down a bit to 1,408 stream processing units and an 800 MHz clock speed. Both cards feature AMD’s PowerTune technology that dynamically controls clock speeds, enabling gamers to set performance levels within a particular power range. AMD says the 6900-series offers up to 2.9× the tessellation performance of its previous workhorse HD 870 graphics card, along with dramatically improved image quality and accelerated parallel processing technology to help hardware-accelerated applications along. Both cards support both HDMI 1.4a and DisplayPort 1.2 output for a wide range of display options.
Both cards are available now from authorized resellers, with the Radeon HD 6970 starting at a suggested price of $369, and the Radeon HD 6950 starting at $299—which is leading many graphics enthusiasts to call it the new price-to-performance leader in the gaming market.