AMD last week released a 1GB variant of its popular Radeon HD 6950 graphics card, and to see how the performance would be throttled with the GDDR cut, we benchmarked both versions with the latest Catalyst 11.1 driver. Does the 1GB card and its $20 savings prove too hard to ignore, or should the 2GB still be the one to scoop up?
Although we generally shun automated gaming benchmarks, we do like to run at least one to see how our GPUs scale when used in a ‘timedemo’-type scenario. Futuremark’s 3DMark 11 is without question the best such test on the market, and it’s a joy to use, and watch. The folks at Futuremark are experts in what they do, and they really know how to push that hardware of yours to its limit.
Similar to a real game, 3DMark 11 offers many configuration options, although many (including us) prefer to stick to the profiles which include Performance, and Extreme. Depending on which one you choose, the graphic options are tweaked accordingly, as well as the resolution. As you’d expect, the better the profile, the more intensive the test. The benchmark doesn’t natively support 2560×1600, so to benchmark with that, we choose the Extreme profile and simply change the resolution.
Being that its so cutting-edge, I had figured that if there was just one hope for the 2GB card to come out ahead of the 1GB model, it’d be with Futuremark, but no cigar. Not at 1650, and not at 2560… the 1GB is the champion.