Thanks to an insecure restriction method, the AMD Radeon HD 6950 video card can be unlocked and turned into an AMD Radeon HD 6970 with just a few minutes work. Today we break down the process on a reference designed card and we run performance benchmarks along the way to see if the process is worthwhile or just a waste of time. Read on to see what happens to our retail ASUS EAH6950 graphics card as we perform the operation!
"Upgrading the AMD Radeon HD 6950 graphics to a Radeon HD 6950 proved to be an enlightening experience. Testing the same card with multiple levels of shaders, core speeds and memory frequencies showed exactly how each of these things can have an effect in different ways. The largest gains came from completely unlocking the potential of the Radeon HD 6950 by fully flashing the BIOS, effectively turning it into a Radeon HD 6970. Each of the techniques that we used showed gains of different levels, however the biggest surprise was the minimal gains provided only by the shader unlock, which in some tests were almost non-existent..."