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Is it worth upgrading from CF 5870's to CF 6950's?

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March 11, 2011 6:12:19 PM

I plan on overclocking my computer with liquid cooling so overheating or noise will not be an issue.

For $100, after selling my 5870's, I can get 2 brand new 6950's and I was just wondering if it's worth it? I plan on running 2 22" 1920x1080 monitors and will shortly get an i7 2600k processor. I want a system that is future proof, I am NOT going to be upgrading anytime soon...maybe 2 or 3 years from now I'll upgrade.

5870: http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-Radeon-PCI-Express-Graph...

6950: http://www.amazon.com/HIS-Eyefinity-Mini-DisplayPort-Ex...
March 11, 2011 6:18:12 PM

Well...As future proof as possible. I know future proof is impossible with computers.
March 11, 2011 8:21:23 PM

I would say it's a good idea. Having 2GB of VRAM will help power a high resolution like that. Also the prospect of unlocking them to 6970s is enticing, and from what I've seen the majority of them do unlock; however this is not guaranteed. If they do unlock it will be even more of an added bonus.
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March 11, 2011 8:58:03 PM

I actually looked into it more and I found a 6950 that is $320 brand new after rebates. http://www.amazon.com/MSI-Radeon-Express-Graphics-R6950...

Under the reviews people have unlocked it to the 6970. So All in all I will spend about $60 making this upgrade.

With the 6950 is it overclocking when you unlock to a 6970 or is the 6950 the same as the 6970 but with locked features?
a c 125 U Graphics card
a c 100 K Overclocking
March 11, 2011 9:04:00 PM

If you can guarantee the sale then yes it's a decent upgrade.

But keep in mind 2 monitors for gaming is going to suck because you'll have the bevel right down the middle. So either you should go with 3, in which case the 2gb VRAM will benefit, or else just use 1, in which case you really don't need the upgrade.
March 11, 2011 9:18:08 PM

Actually I meant $245 after rebate...not $320. $320 for for their 6970.
a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
March 11, 2011 9:29:51 PM

The 5000 series is pretty powerful, but the 6000 is a bit better in every way, Crossfire scaling, power, & temps..... but in the end its an incremental upgrade.

That said it ONLY a bit better.... like a 23 FPS for a 5870 and 25 FPS for a 6950

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6990-review/19

and my Crossfire 5870s run about 50 FPS in Metro 2033 so, maybe you get 52--55 FPS ? (a new 6990 only does 55 FPS so X-fire 6950's will do less)


Personally, I'm waiting another year for the "7000" series which should be a big step up due primarily to the fabrication shifting from 40nm down to 32nm (or Less...)


a c 125 U Graphics card
a c 100 K Overclocking
March 11, 2011 9:37:17 PM

jb6684 said:
The 5000 series is pretty powerful, but the 6000 is a bit better in every way, Crossfire scaling, power, & temps..... but in the end its an incremental upgrade.

That said it ONLY a bit better.... like a 23 FPS for a 5870 and 25 FPS for a 6950

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6990-review/19

and my Crossfire 5870s run about 50 FPS in Metro 2033 so, maybe you get 52--55 FPS ? (a new 6990 only does 55 FPS so X-fire 6950's will do less)


Personally, I'm waiting another year for the "7000" series which should be a big step up due primarily to the fabrication shifting from 40nm down to 32nm (or Less...)


Yeah there's no way I'm upgrading from my 5850s till at the earliest 7xxx series. But seriously, if sandy bridge is any indication of how awesome a smaller manufacturing process is for overclocking, the future shall be incredible.
a c 106 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
March 11, 2011 10:03:11 PM

Not much of an upgrade. In some situations the 6950 is even a little slower. Overall though I don't think the cost and effort is worth the small increase in performance, even if you were to flash your 6950s to 6970s.
August 18, 2011 2:52:21 PM

You know, im one of those gys that bought a 5870 last year feeling like id made a good investment for at least a couple of years...then just after christmas i got sucked into a Second 5870 For about two thirds of the price of the Fist one.

Now im thinking, "wow, on this crosshair iii formula MB with pci-e x 16 on both lanes, im going to be well up there for games performance..! Yeah".

So i installed the Second card and thought.."well..i guess its a bit more shiney and quicker (FPS)" And continued to play the only game i ever play BFBC2.

Then i upgraded the CPU from a 955 Black Quad, to a 1090 T, thinking "yeah, im going to jerk off, my system is so good now".

Then added another two stripes of High dollar DDR3 to fill the entire Rig up to the brim.

And for what?.............

I then got a chance to let lose on the crosshair III 790 fx mb, with the Memory to a freind. I invested into a Asus Sabertooth 990fx, boughts some new Corsair Vengance 1866 MEM and rebuilt the Rig with a Corsair h60 water cooling block....

And for what?.............


Im now sitting around, looking, reading about these "unlockable 6950's" and waiting on this Bull Dozer CPU, that none of us know anything about, the sandy bridge probably blows it away for the same price at 300 bucks.....so?

i ask the question...are we just a bunch of pricks wasting our money....i only check a few emails and play Battlefield?.

I guess its a hobby, an art maybe?. A feeling of having extra power sitting on your desk, looking "pretty".

That makes you a WANKER!.
a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
August 18, 2011 3:06:40 PM

megamanx00 said:
Not much of an upgrade. In some situations the 6950 is even a little slower. Overall though I don't think the cost and effort is worth the small increase in performance, even if you were to flash your 6950s to 6970s.


I agree, not much of an upgrade, maybe 10 15 percent in some cases not at all. You won't notice a difference in gaming with 6950's CF over 5870's unless you run Fraps or synthetic bench marks. You'll need to go 6970's for a worthwhile upgrade but I don't think the cost is worth it. You should be able to run anything with two 5870's.
August 19, 2011 1:46:34 AM

Cygnus x-1 said:
I agree, not much of an upgrade, maybe 10 15 percent in some cases not at all. You won't notice a difference in gaming with 6950's CF over 5870's unless you run Fraps or synthetic bench marks. You'll need to go 6970's for a worthwhile upgrade but I don't think the cost is worth it. You should be able to run anything with two 5870's.



When i tryed to run bullit storm on max settings, everything turned up at 1960 x 1200 it wasn't very smooth at all...i had to lower the res to get it to play perfect! i odtn know if anybody else got involved with the BF3 Alpha, but i tryed to run CF 5870 in that and it was DOG_SHIT! but i disabled CF and one 5870 ran it great!, im sure once the final release comes out there will be a crossfire profile for it but rumour has it that BF3 is Nvidia GPU favoured..something to do with phys x or something i read..let me see if i can find it.
a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
August 19, 2011 2:05:24 AM

the issue your having with BF3 is a driver issue not the power of the two cards. AMD will have drivers for the game by the time the public beta is out. not sure about bullet storm, maybe the game doesn't see CF/SLI setups.

I can tell you for a fact that a 6950 is only about 10 percent faster, maybe 15 on a good day. Those numbers are being generous, most likely closer to 10 percent or less. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/293?vs=294
August 19, 2011 2:26:05 PM

Cygnus x-1 said:
the issue your having with BF3 is a driver issue not the power of the two cards. AMD will have drivers for the game by the time the public beta is out. not sure about bullet storm, maybe the game doesn't see CF/SLI setups.

I can tell you for a fact that a 6950 is only about 10 percent faster, maybe 15 on a good day. Those numbers are being generous, most likely closer to 10 percent or less. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/293?vs=294


O yeah, i mean, I Agree!, over the years ive jumped into HW upgrades from year to year and not really noticed or even had a use for the over all out come of such actions, thats what im saying..Its Insaine!.

When you concider that last year i bought my first hd 5870 at peak value, like 400 bucks and some change then Earlyer this year bought the second one at a more reasonable price of the lower 200's range.

I think its un-acceptable that the HW companys and the SW companys, keep nudging up the bar with out just cause just to get us MUGS to keep digging deeper!, i could have just gone ahead and bought a PS3 for 299 and been done with all this BS.

But i do love playing PC online games, and have a genuine intrest in OC'ing and style, i guess its the modern day MACANO set...LOLZ or LEGGO for our younger readers.

But prices have to fall or performance has to be a hell of alot higher if the PC tech world is going to stay alive...before you know it, everybody will have gone Mac and PC laptop and desktop PC's will dead.

Think twice you greedy Bstards
August 19, 2011 3:43:44 PM

I just upgraded from cf5850's to cf6950's and I'm having serious stability issues and on average only about 6fps increase on games, so make sure it's a good amount you get for your cf5870's, because the 5000 series are hard to beat when it comes to overclock and stability!
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