AMD's plans to launch a 1GB version of its existing Radeon HD 6950 2GB design appears to have been confirmed ahead of the official announcement, thanks to an over-eager hardware partner.
According to a product page
on board partner HIS' website, the AMD Radeon HD 6950 1GB will feature exactly the same specifications as its 2GB sibling, but only half the RAM - with a corresponding drop in price.
The HIS Radeon HD 6950 1GB features a two-slot cooler, while its GPU has an 800MHz core clock. Meanwhile, the 1GB of GDDR5 memory is clocked at 5000MHz (effective) and is addressed via a 256-bit bus. As with the original 2GB model, the card also includes a pair of DVI connections, a pair of mini DisplayPorts and a single HDMI output wtih integrated 7.1 digital audio.
The new card keeps the 40nm GPU of its predecessor, meaning that power requirements and heat output are unchanged from the original design, with HIS recommending a 500W power supply as a bare minimum for both models.
The lowered memory of the AMD Radeon 6950 1GB will translate to an as-yet unknown saving at retail - a move the company is clearly hoping will stem the threat from Nvidia's latest entries to its GeForce 500-series of GPUs. The forthcoming GeForce GTX 560
, for example, is also rumoured to come with 1GB of memory.
The big question, of course, is how the cut in RAM might impact gaming performance at higher-resolutions with lots of anti-aliasing enabled. If you're more interested in pushing up your game settings at lower resolutions, then 1GB cards such as this could be worth considering, especially if they're priced significantly cheaper than their 2GB brethren.
Do you applaud AMD's move to a 1GB board design, or will you wait for the price and performance figures before you declare it a good move? Share your thoughts over in the forums
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