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What custom Radeon 6870 should I be looking out for?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 1, 2010 8:45:14 AM

I'm in the market for a GFX card upgrade and seriously considering the Radeon HD 6870.

The MSI R6870 Twin Frozr II looks like the one I'd go for when it becomes available, but I'd love to hear what you guys think.

Will it be worth the extra expense? What other custom 6870 cards should I be looking our for? Does the price increase over the reference design mean I should be looking at some other solution from Nvidia like the GTX 470 Super Overclock?

More about : custom radeon 6870

December 1, 2010 8:53:44 AM

Personally, I'd skip the wait and grab a HD 6870 now and just put an after-market cooler on it if you really wanted that.

If you don't feel comfortable with doing that, however, then I say wait for the 6900 series to come out. There should be price drops and more non-reference designs for the 6800 series.. hopefully.
a b U Graphics card
December 1, 2010 10:23:51 AM

You can also consider the XFX HD 6870 Black Edition, PowerColor PCS+ AX6870 but not many reviews yet, here's one for the Powercolor:

http://www.kitguru.net/components/graphic-cards/zardon/...

The OCed 470 are faster but also will run hotter, have bigger power consumption and be noisier.

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December 2, 2010 6:46:27 AM

Thanks for the suggestions. I think I'll wait out on the 6900s and see if there is a price drop. I was tempted to maybe get a 69xx card but I am gathering from reading around that my Core 2 Duo e8400 would probably bottleneck that card. Any comments on that?

At the moment I'm looking for something to tide me over for the next year or two and then get a new system.

The Black Edition looked tempting at face value but it seems to be an overclocked reference card and not worth the extra bucks for the extra warranty in my opinion. Who cares if it blows up in 2 years time? ;) 
a b U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 8:10:40 AM

All factory OC cards are overclocked reference cards maybe with a different cooler, anyway there's no big price difference between the stock ones and the OC ones for the 6870s. You can wait a while for the new series, maybe you'll get a HD 6950.
December 2, 2010 4:55:55 PM

I am indeed very interested in the new series in fact. I'm just concerned my Core 2 Duo E8400 currently running at 3GHz will be bottlenecking the 6900 cards (I'm currently running a relatively low res of 1650x1080). What do you think?

I tried a quick CPU overclock to 3.6GHz but it gave errors in testing at stock voltage. Not sure how much I can up the voltage as the processor is already running a little hot at 67ÂșC on full load. I need to spend some time tinkering with that.

So any info about bottlenecking wigh such CPUs would be welcome. The opinions I have seen so far are mixed.
a b U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 5:00:51 PM

There's no use to get a slower video card because you have a slower CPU and when you'll replace the platform you'll get a slower CPU to match your video card and so on. Get the best video card you can get. In a lot of games who don't use 4 cores the CPU will not bottleneck the video card and in the others, not very much.
December 2, 2010 5:33:18 PM

Gotcha!

What I was trying to say is that in a year or two when I get a new system I'll be wanting to get a whole new card again. So I'm looking to make sure I get my money's worth from whatever I buy now with what I currently have.
December 2, 2010 5:38:33 PM

Thing is that I'm not sure if even an upper range card today would be worth Crossfiring in 2 years time compared to what might exist then. Just like there is no 2 year old card around today that can match the current ones even in Crossfire. So my conclusion is basically that anything I buy today will be on the way out by then.

What's your take?

Interesting discussion by the way!
a c 647 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 5:42:20 PM

The Powercolor HD 6870 PCS+ is one of the few with a custom heatsink. This one keeps the card extremely quiet and it comes factory overclocked to 940 mhz.

Quote:
"PowerColor's Radeon HD 6870 PCS+ is the best HD 6870 card you can buy at this time. It comes with some of the highest clock speed available of all HD 6870 offerings. Even though the GPU clock is high this results in only about 3% performance improvement. What really impressed me is the low fan noise levels of the card which are substantially lower than any HD 6800 card we have seen so far."
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Powercolor/HD_6870_P...
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