Christmas time means pressie buying time means new graphics card time. Especially if your new graphics cards have been delayed as long as the AMD Radeon HD 6950 has.

We've already looked at its big brother, the AMD Radeon HD 6970.

Despite some impressive performance improvements over the previous AMD generation, the combination of a relatively high price and the fact it still loses out speed-wise compared with the similarly-priced Nvidia GeForce GTX 570 means it can't be recommended over the competition.

The Cayman GPU, which powers both the Radeon HD 6970 and the Radeon HD 6950, has been fairly heavily delayed since its proposed launch some months ago.

We were expecting big things from it and the longer it's been delayed the more concerned we've become about its final performance.

Like AMD, we were hoping for a new single-GPU graphics king in the HD 6970, but the advanced launch of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 580 scuppered that, and the GTX 570 has only hammered more nails into the top-end AMD card's coffin.

The other difficulty for the Radeon HD 6970, and the reason it failed to garner a particularly good review score, is the fact it was released alongside this very card we're looking at here.

And the Radeon HD 6950 is a much better value proposition, and as such a much better card.