GPU question? 6850 vs. 6950 (or even 6870 vs. 6950)

I'm just wondering how these gpu's will perform with the latest games.

And I already know about AnandTech. I can use this to compare the GPU's with each other, but I'm not sure how that relates to processor performance. Naturally you won't get that performance with a Celeron processor from 2005. :)

My specs are:

Intel Core i3-2100

Crucial Ballistics SDRAM (8GB) 1333MHz

A 7200rpm HDD (I guess some of these don't really matter but whatever)

A good 600W cooler (80+ certified by Corsair)

And the well know Antec 300 mid tower case.

But I think the most important is the processor+GPU.

I've been debating between the following GPU's from least --> most powerful

GTX 550ti (~$130)

GTX 460 (~$140)

Radeon HD 6850 (~$150)

Radeon HD 6870 (~$175)

Radeon HD 6950 (~$200)

The 6950 pushes my price to just over $600. About $610 (I have to pay tax on the 2100 from the Micro Center for the $90 processor).

Alternatively I could get the Phenom II BE processor but I've heard the i3 is better.

So how will these processors perform? I would like to be able to play,

ArmA 2

ArmA 3

Battlefield 3

Dirt 3

Dirt Showdown

all of the Total War games (I play the Rome game and expansions.) bringing me to the most important game of all

Rome 2 Total War.

I'm currently leaning more towards the 6850, but is there something good about the 6950 and enough difference between the 6850 and 6870 that's worth paying an extra $25?

Now this is mostly to get what you guys think. Please try not to be biased. I know there are some guys out there who are hardcore Nvidia fans or AMD fans but please just try :)

Also. I would like to play games like Rome 2 Total War and ArmA 3 on HIGH settings but I'm fine with settling for medium.

ArmA 2 should be on high for me. But that's not really so demanding. I can run it on low on an A6-3420m with integrated graphics.
4 answers Last reply
More about question 6850 6950 6870 6950
  1. According to some quick calculations, on average the 6870 is 18% better than the 6850, so I would go with the 6870 over the 6850. Honestly, for the extra $25 over the 6870, you should get the 6950. It won't require upgrading for longer than the others.

    I think those GeForce's are a little weak for your purposes TBH.

    Have you considered the GTX 560? It is similar to the 7850, which is better than the 6850 by a bit. Its only $179.99 on NewEgg for the 2GB model.

    As far as the CPU goes, I'd stick with the i3.
  2. Yeah everyone seems to say that and I never quite understood. I figured the Overclocking feature was nice on the Phenom II 965. Oh well.

    So you think the i3 will be to par with these new games?
  3. Yes, it won't bottleneck the GPU much. There a few titles which recommend quad cores, but its not a big deal.

    I suppose if you were to get a 3rd party heatsink fan and overclock the Phenom II a lot it could be better than the i3.

    I don't really know all that much about processors to be honest, sorry. The i3 has better benchmarks at stock clocks, so thats why I recommended it.
  4. Thanks. I guess I'm going to have to weigh out the pluses and minuses of each processor....This is going to be a tough decision.

    Heh, The first thing I thought about was my processor, and now it's also the last. Everything else is picked out. >:/

    The good news is I have a little under 2 weeks to figure it out.

    The bad is's going to influence a few permanent features on my computer that won't be upgraded soon.

    The processor path (intel or AMD) and the motherboard.

    Thanks for the help :)
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