AMD hardware partner Club3D has announced a new, cheaper Radeon HD 6950 board, dropping the memory down to 1GB in order to better compete with rival Nvidia's well-received GeForce 500-series.
The Club3D Radeon HD 6950 1GB board, as the name suggests, includes 1GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit bus. While that's plenty for most gamers to enjoy, it's a significant drop from the 2GB that the original Radeon HD 6950 boards shipped with, although the original clock speed of 1.25GHz - 5GHz effective - is maintained.
The Cayman Pro GPU found in the latest Club3D card is the same as you'll find in the 2GB models: running at 800MHz, it offers 1,408 stream processors, 22 SIMD engines, two rasterisation units, two tesselation units, 88 texture units, and 40 ROPs.
As with its bigger brother, the Radeon HD 6950 1GB includes all the latest AMD technologies, including HD3D, EyeSpeed visual acceleration, EyeFinity support for up to six linked displays, and support for the latest DirectX 11 games. The board also packs support for CrossFireX, allowing gamers with a big enough budget to chain up to four boards together in a single system.
Unlike the reference board, Cool3D's version packs a clever heat-pipe cooling system. With two, rather than the more usual single, fans attached, Cool3D claims that its 'CoolStream' design allows for increased airflow with reduced noise compared to the stock cooling solution.
As with the 2GB model, this cheaper Radeon HD 6950 includes dual-link DVI, HDMI with HDCP and in-built 7.1 channel HD audio, and two mini DisplayPort outputs, with a maximum single-display resolution of 2,560x1,600 supported on the 400MHz RAMDAC.
Sadly, there's one key piece of information that Club3D has neglected to share: the price. With no new features or revised technology, the Club3D Radeon HD 6950 1GB offers no improvements over its 2GB predecessor - so it's cost that will be the deciding factor on its success.