After we running a slew of tests, we saw a pattern starting to form with all three drivers; they were all basically the same. The 11.1 drivers did seem to come out ahead more times than not, and had an extremely solid showing in the Metro 2033 benchmarks. With the 16% average increase in Metro 2033, it seems the 6970 may have a shot to regain a respectful spot among the performance GPU lineup.
However, the 6970 with 11.1 drivers really only showed a noticeable improvement in one out of the five tests that we ran. It lost the 3DMark11 test and squeaked out a few hundred point lead in the 3DMark Vantage test. The Crysis Warhead benchmark was a complete letdown, as all three drivers seemed to perform about the same in the average FPS.
Overall, we were wanting to see an overall improvement like we saw in our Metro 2033 tests. This would have helped us claim that the 6970 was purely crippled by bad drivers and that you could expect better performance one of these days. With only seeing improvement in one out of the five tests, we are leaning toward the conclusion that the 6970 may have been over hyped and is not as powerful as we were lead to believe. Maybe drivers will be released to extract the performance that we saw in Metro 2033 for other games and benchmarks, but we are not holding our breath after this follow up. We will still be keeping an eye out on the driver situation to see if there is anything released to pull the 6970 from the depths and possibly have another follow up in the future.