Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 Dirt 3 Edition Video Card Review

Company: Sapphire
Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: August 15th, 2011


Sapphire's latest game-themed card is based on the AMD Radeon HD 6950, otherwise known as Cayman Pro from the Northern Islands series. The card is a custom PCB design, shorter than the reference AMD one. The main difference is in the cooling, the standard vapor chamber and blower-style fan is replaced by a large diameter copper heatpipe heatsink with dual axial fans. Bundled with DiRT 3, this card is for enthusiasts of the franchise and the graphics technology.

Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 DiRT3


  • $265 SEP
  • 40nm Cayman Pro
  • 800MHz Engine Clock
  • 1408 Radeon Cores / 22 SIMD [VLIW-4]
  • 88 Texture Units
  • 32 ROP's
  • 2GB GDDR5 @ 1250MHz Memory Clock [5Gbps QDR]
  • 256-bit memory bus
  • PCI-Express 2.1 x16 Interface with dual 6-pin PCI-E power inputs
  • DisplayPort 1.2 / HDMI 1.4a / DL-DVI + SL-DVI supports 3-display AMD Eyefinity and AMD HD3D
  • 20W idle / 200W load [Powertune limited] / 140W estimated gaming load power
  • DiRT3 Digital Download [redeem key by 12/31/11]

If you already own DiRT 3 and don't need another key, there is an identical card without the DiRT 3 branding and bundle which is around $20USD cheaper. Both cards currently feature $15MIR from Newegg [US], bringing the price of entry for a custom design 6950 2GB to around $230-$245. This puts it head to head with GeForce GTX 560 Ti, which unfortunately we don't have a sample of to test against but on paper should be a close run for the money. Instead, we'll look at some of the other features and multi-GPU capabilities you get by combining 6950's in CrossfireX.