The Asus EAH6970 is a different kind of beast. While the Radeon HD 5970 was a graphics card with two cores, the HD 6970 comes with just the one (albeit a very powerful one).
Asus EAH6970: Design and specifications
Like AMD's 5000 series, the Asus EAH6970 comes DirectX 11-ready and is powered by an 880MHz core and 2GB of DDR5 memory. The card itself looks no different from other high-end 5000 series cards, which means it's long and completely covered by a plastic casing that hides a heat sink and has a fan embedded on it.
Asus has ensured that the Asus EAH6970 is well stocked in terms of connectivity. The card is teeming with ports including two DVI ports, two mini Display Ports and one HDMI port, so you can actually use four displays at once with this card thanks to AMD's Eyefinity technology. The card needs a six-pin connector and an eight-pin connector to power it up so you will need at least a 550W PSU.
Asus EAH6970: Performance
Our colleagues at PC World India tested the Asus EAH6970 on a system comprising of an Intel X58 motherboard, a quad-core Intel Core i7 965 processor, 12GB of RAM in triple channel and a 40GB Intel SSD all powered by a 1300W Tagan BZ Series PSU. The operating system was Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit.
We ran the Asus through a gamut of tests including 3D Mark Vantage, 3D Mark 11, Unigine 2.0, Crysis, Metro 2033 and Far Cry 2. The performance results were as follows (compared with the AMD Radeon HD 5970 and the Zotac Geforce GTX 580):
As is visible from the performance figures, the Asus EAH6970 falls short of the GTX 580's performance by around 15 performance and was about 10 percent behind the HD 5970's performance.
We also stressed the Asus EAH6970 using Fur Mark to gauge how hot the card would get at full load. Here are the figures we got:
The figures above prove that while the Asus EAH6970 had a decent idle temperature of 45ºC, it shot up to 90ºC in use, which is scarily high. Keep in mind that this was in an open cabinet in an air-conditioned room. This essentially means that if you are planning to buy this card, you better have a very good cooling system in your cabinet. Fortunately even at full load, the fan noise was bearable.
Next page: Our expert verdict >>