Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 Dirt 3 Edition review

A quality HD 6950 graphics card with good overclocking capabilities

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

If you just want a quality HD 6950 with some overclocking chops then this Sapphire graphics card is well worth a look

For

  • Impressive cooler
  • Trixx unlocks the core clock
  • Good overclocker

Against

  • No Bios-flashing no more

The pick of AMD's latest generation of graphics cards is undoubtedly the AMD Radeon HD 6950, and Sapphire has paired up with the launch of Codies' new racer game, Dirt 3, to unleash the 2GB Radeon HD 6950 Dirt 3 Edition.

Despite the fact that the GPU is running at the standard stock speeds, it's not just another reference board with a fancy sticker and bundled game – we're talking about a brand new cooler design and access to further clock tweaks through Sapphire's Trixx overclocking software.

Recently redesigned Radeon HD 6950s, however, have come with a few definite deficiencies – the main one being a lack of the impressive dual-Bios switch. That made the reference HD 6950 one of the most easily tweaked graphics cards around.

Add in the fact that you could unlock the dormant shaders nestling in the Cayman Pro GPU to turn it into an HD 6970 with a simple Bios flash and there was a lot to like.

Later cards, such as the MSI HD 6950 Twin Frozr III, came without the switch, making a Bios flash far more hazardous. It's back with the Sapphire HD 6950 Dirt 3 Edition, though.

So does the combo of Bios-flash and flash cooler make it the best Radeon HD 6950 around?

Tech Specs

Product TypeGraphic Card
Chipset ManufacturerATI
Chipset ModelHD 6950
HDMIYes
Chipset LineRadeon
Chipset SeriesHD 6000
DisplayPortYes
Maximum Resolution2560 x 1600
Brand NameSapphire
Standard Memory2 GB
Host InterfacePCI Express 2.0 x16
Bus Width256 bit
Multi-GPU TechnologyCrossFireX
Analog SignalYes
Digital SignalYes
Dual Link DVI SupportedYes
DVIYes
Number of DisplayPort Outputs1
Number of DVI Outputs2
Number of HDMI Outputs1
Cooler TypeFan Cooler
Memory TechnologyGDDR5 SDRAM
Form FactorPlug-in Card
ManufacturerSapphire, Inc
Memory Speed5000 MHz
Product Model11188-05-50G
Product NameRadeon HD 6950 Dirt3 Edition Graphics Card
Package TypeRetail
Manufacturer Part Number11188-05-50G
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sapphiretech.com/en/
Marketing Information

The SAPPHIRE HD 6950 Dirt3 Special Edition is a new SAPPHIRE original model with a special cooler using a new dual fan configuration. Based on the latest high end AMD GPU architecture, it boasts true DX 11 capability and the powerful configuration of 1408 stream processors and 88 texture processing units. With its clock speed of 800MHz for the core and 2GB of the latest GDDR5 memory running at 1250Mhz (5 Gb/sec effective), this model speeds through even the most demanding applications for a smooth and detail packed experience. A Dual BIOS feature allows enthusiasts to experiment with alternative BIOS settings and performance can be further enhanced with the SAPPHIRE overclocking tool, TriXX, available as a free download from http://www.sapphiretech.com/ssc/TriXX/.

Package Contents
  • Radeon HD 6950 Dirt3 Edition Graphics Card
  • 1 x Dirt3 Coupon
  • CrossFire Bridge Interconnect Cable
  • DVI to VGA Adapter
  • 2 x 6-Pin to 4-Pin Power Cable
  • 1.8 m HDMI Cable
Limited Warranty2 Year
API SupportedDirectX 11.0, OpenGL 4.1, DirectCompute