If there’s one constant in the world of graphics cards it’s that there is always new around the corner. NVIDIA and AMD have been trading blows for many years in the video card industry with one side or the other having the better chip or price/performance ratio. With DirectX 9.0 the 6xxx series and 7xxx series ruled the roost in terms of performance. With the advent of DirectX 10.0, the 8xxx series ruled the roost.
AMD has had an uphill battle in the last few years that they won with the HD 5xxx series, the first graphics card to support DirectX 11 on the market. That ruled the roost until the GeForce GTX480 came into the market in March. AMD released a top to bottom family of video cards before NVIDIA released their first DirectX 11 card and now NVIDIA has had the top spot in single chip gaming with their 480 and now 580 cards. Today AMD is releasing their next architecture, the Cayman series of video cards. They are launching a Cayman XT and a Cayman Pro chip in the form of the RADEON HD 6970 and RADEON HD 6950. Today’s review is on the Sapphire HD 6970 card that is clocked higher than the reference card, but we’ll go into more detail in the review itself.