The HD 6-series graphic card have been performing excellently in the power consumption tests, and while the
HD 6970 tops the graph, the result is practically identical with the HD 5870 and the GTX 560 Ti. And
considering the huge difference in performance between these three, the results are still good. The difference
to the HD 6950 is 26 W under load, or 8,5%, and considering the HD 6950 was between 10-20% faster in the
tests, it actually offers even higher energy efficiency than the HD 6950.
Again looking at the Crossfire-setups they also draw the most power. Anyway the difference in the loaded power
consumption is just 16,7%, so in most games the HD 6870 crossfire setup is actually even more energy efficient
than the HD 6970. Crossfire and SLI-setups have gone a long way already and offer really nice scaling, but
there are still plenty of reasons to stick to just a single card and GPU, and with the current single cards
offering playable frame rates in all games this is a viable choice even for the enthusiasts.
During the testing the fan speed of the IceQ cooler varied between 1000 and 1800 RPM, making it one of the
most quiet performance graphic cards we've tested. The looks of that cooler may not please everyone, but it
definitely gets the job done.
Takes 3 card slots
The HD 6970 is the current the second fastest card in AMD's range of desktop graphics, just behind the
massive HD 6990 and also easily the fastest single card we've reviewed so far. Looking past the performance
it's pretty much like any other AMD card, it offers plenty of connectivity and good energy efficiency. The HIS
IceQ version also packs an absolutely massive cooler that was enough to keep the card quiet even under load.
The cooler actually brings us to the only downside of the card, possible compatibility problems. The cooler
actually means the card requires three expansion slots, and in narrow cases the large fan may also cause some
problems. Other than that, it's an excellent card.