AMD's Radeon HD 6900 series is set to go public at some point in the near future, and for this reason, it should come as no surprise that we're starting to see all sorts of interesting leaks available online, starting from photos of the various implementations of the reference design and going as far as full-fledged benchmarks.
In fact, benchmarking is exactly the topic we'll tackle as follows, since it seems that the first (unofficial) test results of the Radeon HD 6970 graphics card have alredy made their way online, courtesy of ChipHell, painting a fairly interesting picture of what we should expect from AMD's soon-to-be-released GPU.
So, apparently, when running the 3DMark 2011 Performance test, the Radeon HD 6970 managed to get 4939 points (1776 points in Extreme mode), while the 3DMark Vantage Performance benchmark provided a score of 20346 points, the High mode test leading to 15386 points.
In the Unigine Heaven Benchmark, on the other hand, the Radeon card got 639 points, maximum FPS being rated at 61.8, minimum at 3.8 and average at 25.4.
The same source mentioned above provides some interesting tech details regarding the next-gen Radeon card obtained with the help of the GPUz application, which seem to point out the fact that the Radeon HD 6970 will come equipped with 1600 Unified Shaders, 2GB of GDDR5 memory, 256-bit bus width and 176 GB/s bandwidth, as well as a GPU clock of 880 Mhz and a memory clock rated at 1375 Mhz.
The conclusion of these leaked benchmarks seem to be that, while the HD 6970 is certainly a powerful graphics board, it's not exactly a competitor for the GTX 580 from NVIDIA, but rather for the GTX 570/480.
Of course, since we're talking about leaked materials for the time being, we prefer to wait until the card is officially outed and more official results are in before deciding what exact market segment the Radeon HD 6970 targets and what NVIDIA GPU it takes on.