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

Last response: in Video Games
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July 31, 2012 1:04:16 AM

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.
July 31, 2012 1:37:19 AM

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.

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July 31, 2012 1:44:38 AM

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?
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July 31, 2012 2:30:31 AM

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.
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July 31, 2012 3:26:14 AM

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 that...well...it'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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