Pros: Unlockable (Reference Model), Easily Overclockable, Great Gaming Card, Cheap to buy and crossfire, Very well priced
Cons: Temperatures rise quickly with low fan speed, Fairly long lengthed card, Can get a little noisy on 70% fan or higher
Now hit the sweet spot of 1GHz core clocks and aside from the temperature hike under load (Reference cooler), it's still perfectly manageable and usable. A combination of Sapphire Trixx and MSI Afterburner are to thank for keeping me going for so long and pushing this card to far.
And as a treat ( a little early but nevertheless ) I'm going to watercool this card using a closed loop/AIO Kuhler 620 and a mounting bracket courtesy of Chmod Labs (Can be found right here on OCN). Should be able to breathe some new life into this card and let it settle down for the rest of it's usage to come at much more comforting temperatures.
Nowadays the 6950 (Harder to find a Reference model) are quite cheap and cheerfull cards that can be picked up for a fraction of the price I paid at the time. (The SAPPHIRE 11188-22-20G is on Newegg for a cheap $190 [20/09/2012])
For that price you can almost pickup twice as many as I did and for these beautiful cards there wouldn't be many who'd argue not to buy them.
Two 6950s crossfired @ $380, A single 7950 @ $320, 660Ti @ $330 or 670 @ $400.
Sure there are plenty of other combinations to pick from, quite a few in fact. But those are the most notable for their values.. I'm pretty sure (even with the debate of Crossfire) I'd edge my bets at a 6950.
So, this utterly pointless review has come to an end, nothing really of use to anyone (I'd like to think there is) and I've mostly given my preferences of this card. (Maybe a little biased, but that's normal in the realworld, right?)
All in all getting a 6950 seems to be a good long term investment, and when you do finally think you're stretched for power, crossfiring these 6950s isn't a blow to your wallet. It's more a soft carry and moving you back into the high performance world for a fraction of the cost.