AMD Radeon HD 6970 & 6950 Debut: Enter Cayman

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Futuremark 3DMark11

Futuremark 3DMark11
Synthetic DirectX Gaming

Futuremark 3DMark11

The latest version of Futuremark's synthetic 3D gaming benchmark, 3DMark11, is specifically bound to Windows Vista and 7-based systems because it uses the advanced visual technologies that are only available with DirectX 11, which isn't available on previous versions of Windows.  3DMark11 isn't simply a port of 3DMark Vantage to DirectX 11, though.  With this latest version of the benchmark, Futuremark has incorporated four new graphics tests, a physics tests, and a new combined test.  We tested the graphics cards here with 3DMark11's Extreme preset option, which uses a resolution of 1920x1080 with 4x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering.

3DMark11, which absolutely crushes all of the cards when tested using its Extreme settings option, tells an interesting story. Here, the Radeon HD 6970 pulls ahead of the GeForce GTX 570, but the 6950 trail's the 570 by a hair. When compared to the Radeon HD 5870 / 6870, the new Cayman based 6900 series offerings have a clear edge. That edge is gone when compared to the GeForce GTX 580, though. NVIDIA's current flagship is clearly the fastest single-GPU based card here. Nothing can touch the dual-GPU powered Radeon HD 5970, however.

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