Reviews  

Asus EAH6970

Nikhil Pradhan 2011-02-07
84 Very Good
Price: Rs 24,305

Full Review

The Asus EAH6970 (based, of course, on the AMD Radeon HD6970) is a different kind of beast. While the Radeon HD5970 was a graphics card with two cores, the HD6970 comes with just the one (albeit a very powerful one). Don't worry if AMD's numbering confuses you, it confused the hell out of me too. Looking at performance, the HD6970 fits right in between the HD5870 and the HD5970.

The card is teeming with ports including two DVI ports, two mini Display Ports and one HDMI port...


Design & Specifications

Like the AMD's 5000 series, the EAH6970 comes DirectX 11 ready and is powered by an 880MHz core and 2GB of DDR5 memory. The card itself looks nothing different from other high-end 5000 series cards which means that 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 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.



Performance

We 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 64-bit.

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 (as compared with the AMD Radeon HD5970 and the ZOTAC Geforce GTX 580):




As is visible from the performance figures, the EAH6970 falls short of the GTX 580's performance by around 15% and about 10% of the HD5970's performance.

We also stressed the 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 EAH6970 had a decent idle temperature of 45ºC, it shot up to 90ºC 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.

Bottom Line

The Asus EAH6970 is priced at Rs. 24,305. If you look at a price performance comparison, then the ZOTAC GTX 580 gives about 15% more performance for a price that's 15% higher. So, really it's basically a question of whether you want to put down the extra Rs. 5K for the GTX 580.

The EAH6970 has some overheating issues but still for its price, its performance is very good.

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