Where Have All the 6970s Gone?

Published: Aug 25th 2011, 01:37 GMT

Where Have All the 6970s Gone? | PC Perspective
It is awfully hard to deny the value proposition of the AMD HD 6970 graphics card. The card overall matches (and sometimes exceeds) the NVIDIA GTX 570 at a slightly lower price, it has 2 GB of frame buffer, and AMD is consistently improving not just gaming performance for the new VLIW 4 architecture, but also adding to its GPGPU support. Throw in the extra happiness of a more manageable power draw, pretty low heat production for a top end card, and it is also the fastest single GPU card when it comes to bitcoin mining. With all of these positives, why hasn’t everyone gone out to buy one? Simple, they simply are hard to come by anymore.

Throughout Winter and Spring of this year, the HD 6970 was an easy card to acquire. Prices were very reasonable, supply seemed ample, and most every manufacturer had one in a configuration that would appeal to a lot of people. The HD 6950 was also in great supply, and it was also in a few unique configurations that adds more for the money than just the reference design. This Summer saw the pool of HD 6970 cards dry up, not to mention the complete lack of HD 6990 cards in retail altogether.

Continue reading about where all the Radeon HD 6970s have gone!!

So what is happening here? When we look at the available video cards, we see that the lower end HD 6950s are well represented. The HD 6950s use the same die as the HD 6970, but with portions disabled and at a lower clock speed. This has a twofold implication towards fabrication. First off it is used to recover partially defective die and sell them on the market, and secondly it decreases the overall TDP of the chip to more reasonable levels. These second level dies are still sold at a profit, while the top binning parts have a slightly better overall margin.

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