SAPPHIRE TOXIC HD6950 Video Card Review @ [H]

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
50,273
SAPPHIRE TOXIC HD6950 Video Card Review - SAPPHIRE claims to have produced the fastest HD 6950 on the market in the SAPPHIRE HD6950 TOXIC Edition. It competes with a stock Radeon HD 6950 and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570. We also put it to the test against a Radeon HD 6970 and GeForce GTX 580 with results that might shock you. And did we mention you get two free games?
 

Omegas

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
10,254
That is a sick card if it really does cool as well as everyone says and quiet at the same time! And of course it's OOS at Newegg right now...
 

munkle

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
11,505
Pretty nice card! Even comes with the unlock bios! If I were buying amd this is the card I would get.

Though I ended up getting a gtx 570 for $230 after mir and I am happy with it.
 

flip-mode

Weaksauce
Joined
Nov 1, 2007
Messages
64
That is an impressive product.

Too bad about the PowerTune problem. I suppose flashing the BIOS is easy enough though.
 

Brent_Justice

Moderator
Joined
Apr 17, 2000
Messages
17,755
That is an impressive product.

Too bad about the PowerTune problem. I suppose flashing the BIOS is easy enough though.
It was extremely easy, provided you have a DOS boot disk or DOS boot USB stick. The ghost image USB sticks we use allows us to exit to DOS. From there it was just a matter of running atiflash-3.91.exe and using the right command lines to program the .T44 (yeah, not a ROM, .T44 extension) onto the video card. Did not take long at all to flash both BIOS's. After rebooting, performance was immediately where it needed to be without having to use PowerTune.
 

Brent_Justice

Moderator
Joined
Apr 17, 2000
Messages
17,755
And don't forget, 2 free games right now, the performance potential, plus the free games, its really a good deal right now. When you can get 6970/GTX 580 performance, for a lot cheaper price, with free games, it can be nothing but win.
 

magoo

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 21, 2004
Messages
14,423
That's a nice card right there.:cool:

My 6950s were all reference, and easily were flashed to the 6970 shaders.
Performance is exceptional.

Since the reference models are done, this Sapphire is the card to buy.:D
 

Teenyman45

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 29, 2010
Messages
2,456
A 1536 bios... so it was a shader without actually calling it that on the review? Here I thought the gpus were being laser cut to prevent that from happening any more as people who bought the MSI 6950 Twin Frozr III found out.
 

Flyinfinni

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Messages
1,300
Thats one of the clearest Gold award cards I've seen in a while. Killer performance and a great price. Awesome. Too bad I really don't need it right now. With my current rig I have no reason to upgrade until the 7xxx series cards are released at the very earliest. If I was buying a card in the near future though, this would clearly be it.
 

Yakk

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 5, 2010
Messages
5,810
Awesome performance for the price & 2 free games to boot is nothing to sneeze at.

Reselling the games, can make this almost a $200 card! :eek: BIG WIN!
 

ebduncan

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
2,007
wow nice.

great card, low price, comes with 2 free new games.

if i needed a video card i'd buy this up in a heart beat!
 

loube

n00b
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Messages
20
I have the catalyst 11.8 (Driver Packaging Version 8.881-110728a-122939C-ATI) but my powertune only goes to 20%. This is on a Gigabyte ref design 6950 (unlocked shaders). Which Catalyst drivers have the Powertune with the range of -50% to +50%?
 

Brent_Justice

Moderator
Joined
Apr 17, 2000
Messages
17,755
I have the catalyst 11.8 (Driver Packaging Version 8.881-110728a-122939C-ATI) but my powertune only goes to 20%. This is on a Gigabyte ref design 6950 (unlocked shaders). Which Catalyst drivers have the Powertune with the range of -50% to +50%?
We were using 11.8 Preview as stated in the review.

Also, we noticed NO performance difference between +20% and +50%. You'll be just fine at +20%. We just used it, and tested it, to make sure, +20% was enough,
 

Spare-Flair

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 4, 2003
Messages
7,471
God I just bought two regular Sapphire 6950s...

And both brick if I try the 6970 bios and no shaders will unlock. Damnit.

The only thing I don't like about this card (and many of Sapphire's cards) is the picture of the monk/warrior/sorceress, what have you that they often have on their card stickers.
 

Bojamijams

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
178
Are the free game coupons in the box? The retailer near me lists nothing about the free games with this product.
 

Brent_Justice

Moderator
Joined
Apr 17, 2000
Messages
17,755
Where can we get the new bios? Its not on Sapphires website.
It is not public yet, as soon as they release it we'll post a news bit about it, and update the evaluation.

In the meantime, manually setting PowerTune to +20% fixes the issue.
 

Action_Parsnip

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 22, 2010
Messages
169
"This is a perfect example of HardOCP finding a problem, communicating with the corresponding company, and getting a fix for the community. If we had not gotten our hands on this card, who knows how long it would have been before this problem would have been found. How it got by SAPPHIRE and shipped with this major flaw is beyond us. What we do appreciate though is SAPPHIRE's good communication and getting this BIOS fix to us, and to the community."

Gotta love the [H]
 

Derangel

Fully [H]
Joined
Jan 31, 2008
Messages
19,258
Holy crap. I figured this card would be good, but I am very impressed. I'm going to keep an eye on these. Hopefully they'll be in stock when I buy my parts so I can grab two of them. Great review Grady and it's great to hear you guys working with Sapphire to get a problem fixed that no one else seemed to notice, stuff like that is one of the reasons why I always point people to [H]'s reviews.
 

kush

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 29, 2002
Messages
1,774
And for anyone wondering, I checked back into an old review (inc. a 580), the review rigs are the same/very close, and w/ the 580, ref./stock clocked, the rig pulled 505w, vs. the 463w quoted here for the 1536 shader BIOS.
 

LightingGod

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 12, 2008
Messages
66
SO... just to satisfy my noob-ness:

The Toxic with the 1536 BIOS overclocked should perform no differently than a 6970 at any resolution? What about in a Xfire config with a a true 6970 or 6990? If so, it's damn compelling at that price point.

I ask because I just acquired a third monitor to complete my Eyefinity setup (5760x1200), and I'm trying to figure our what card to buy to push it and what the upgrade path is going forward.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

Yakk

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 5, 2010
Messages
5,810
SO... just to satisfy my noob-ness:

The Toxic with the 1536 BIOS overclocked should perform no differently than a 6970 at any resolution? What about in a Xfire config with a a true 6970 or 6990? If so, it's damn compelling at that price point.
Why not just buy 2 Toxic 6950 cards CF? Too bad your MB in sig doesn't have 3 PCIE for Tri-Fire.

3 Toxic cards for eyefinity is VERY appealing to me right now... Sell games & have great Eyefinity setup for +/-$650!
 

amdgamer

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 27, 2004
Messages
4,880
Wow, great review guys.

I can already see that this is going to be one insanely popular card that will probably always be out of stock as this is perhaps the best value in video cards that we've seen in a long time. With the card unlocked, I find it insane that there was still more performance to be had by further overclocking. I'm a bit disappointed that this doesn't sport a custom fan, but those temps arn't bad at all and you can't argue with the performance.

I'm waiting on the ATI 7000 and nVidia 600 series before my next upgrade, but this would perhaps be the card I would buy if I was looking for something now. That is a lot of extra stuff for the money that you pay!
 

xBanzai89

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
4,733
I am still cannot recommend Sapphire due to all the horror stores I have heard over the years being on this forum. Any remember that x1950 thread when the OP got a clear down grade from RMA? That thread got pretty big.
 

Derangel

Fully [H]
Joined
Jan 31, 2008
Messages
19,258
I am still cannot recommend Sapphire due to all the horror stores I have heard over the years being on this forum. Any remember that x1950 thread when the OP got a clear down grade from RMA? That thread got pretty big.
Outside of a few examples customer support on PC parts might as well be non-existent especially with GPUs. I haven't heard too much bad about Sapphire lately though so they might be trying to really improve their image with the enthusiast market.
 

amdgamer

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 27, 2004
Messages
4,880
I am still cannot recommend Sapphire due to all the horror stores I have heard over the years being on this forum. Any remember that x1950 thread when the OP got a clear down grade from RMA? That thread got pretty big.
Every manufacturer will have horror stories like that at some point. The big picture is whether a manufacturer continues to have horror stories or whether they improve and become more consumer friendly. Everything we have seen seems to indicate that the latter is true with Sapphire. Plus their contributions to that Dallas GamExperience thing appeared to be very generous as well.
 

Parja

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
12,210
lol @ the graphic of the keyhole on the card.
Look at the pictures again. It's not a graphic. There's an actual chromed part on the shroud.

Grady/Brent/Kyle, does that part actually do anything?

Also, please do a video card rain dance type thing and get some inventory back in stock at newegg!

Dang, looks like the card even comes with a long Crossfire cable. That's pretty sweet.
 
Top