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Radeon 6970: Which Graphics Card Manufacturer to Pick

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 14, 2010 7:53:20 PM

Which one should I pick and why? The ones I am leaning towards are XFX and Sapphire. I am also considering ASUS.

XFX- Warranty, OC
Sapphire-Cooling, Vapor-X
ASUS- I have many ASUS parts, I trust them as a manufacturer.

System Specs:
CPU: AMD Phenom II x4 965
GPU: Planning on a 6970
M/B: ASUS M4A89TD 890FX S
Case: Antec 902
PSU: Antec TP Blue 750W
HDD:1TB Samsung
RAM: 4GB Corsair XMS
Monitor: Asus VK278Q 27"

Best solution

a c 130 U Graphics card
December 14, 2010 8:04:30 PM

As with most graphics card launches, I'd assume that all of them will be reference solutions (the same, minus the brand sticker).

XFX has great warranties.
Sapphire offers a great overclocking program and has good customer support.
ASUS often has kick-a$5 non-reference solutions (and an overclocking program), but you will have to wait for those.

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a c 173 U Graphics card
December 14, 2010 8:19:23 PM

Just wait for a high quality non reference. I usually don't buy into the hype that comes with new product launches.
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December 15, 2010 1:40:28 AM

What is meant by Non-Reference. Also, I would like to buy my graphics card and get it by Christmas. Is it possible that a high quality card will be out by then?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 15, 2010 1:44:42 AM

The cards on newegg at the moment are indeed all reference models. This means the physical cards are identical apart from decals. So essentially you should be choosing entirely based on warranty and costumer service.
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December 15, 2010 1:48:19 AM

XFX, you can change the cooler and it'll still be covered by the warranty.
Non-reference boards suck, most of the time they try to save more money by removing voltage controler. The cooling solution won't be fantastic also, look at what they did with the 58xx serie.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 15, 2010 2:06:30 AM

There are always non-reference designs that are large improvements. Asus and MSI in particular always add some great cooling. They don't remove stuff like voltage regulators either but other brands have in the past(like XFX who you are recommending for example.)
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December 15, 2010 2:38:58 PM

So basically, dont buy these new cards right away because they are just all the same? I should wait for someone to add something great to it to make it more valuable?

Also, How long does it normally take for companies to develop unique models with the board?


Basically I am trying to avoid having buyers remorse. I want to buy a card that I know I will be happy with.
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December 15, 2010 5:05:11 PM

jyjjy said:
They don't remove stuff like voltage regulators either but other brands have in the past(like XFX who you are recommending for example.)



If they only change the cooling solution and stuff like that it is a non-reference design, but still the reference board.
What I said in my previous message was: non-reference sucks. I should have added non-reference boards sucks.

Anyway, Arctic cooling always release nice cooler for VGA, so I wouldn't wait to get the card if I was you (wouldn't make much difference). The prices are going to climb pretty fast in one month or so (about 30$ + 2.1 VAT*).

Edit: *According to ocUK :) 
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a b U Graphics card
December 15, 2010 5:10:38 PM

the asus model is over volted and overclocked ... btu still refrence design or at least seems to be. in a month or so you'll see plenty of nonrefrence boards. if they make an asus direct cu vertion i'd recomend that, of if they do a sapphire toxic edition those are good as well

of curent lienup as said really the only difference is the warrenty (sans the current asus) so xfx for the lifetime warrenty if you must get one now
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December 15, 2010 5:16:39 PM

:non: 
I don't see why they would change their boards when there's so much in stock at the moment...

It took around 4 months until non-reference boards were released for the 58xx serie. It will probably not be different for this new gen...
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a b U Graphics card
December 15, 2010 5:29:38 PM

the 6850 and 6870 had refrence boards with non refrence coolers out after abotu a month and full cutom boards in 2

but we'll see i'd bet msi will be one of the first with a cyclone edition and then the floodgates will open
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 15, 2010 7:23:22 PM

Just a nickname said:
If they only change the cooling solution and stuff like that it is a non-reference design, but still the reference board.
What I said in my previous message was: non-reference sucks. I should have added non-reference boards sucks.

No, non-reference boards just like non-reference cooling can be bad or good, you just need to do the proper research. It sounds like you bought a non-reference PCB HD58xx that removed the voltage regulator and decided the whole concept of non-reference designs is bad. That is a mistake.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 15, 2010 7:26:07 PM

nfuzer said:
So basically, dont buy these new cards right away because they are just all the same? I should wait for someone to add something great to it to make it more valuable?

No, not necessarily. There may be better versions of the card in the future but it may take a while and it doesn't mean the reference design is bad and not worth buying.
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December 15, 2010 8:37:46 PM

I want to be happy with my decision. I want to have the card that I purchase for 3+years before I decide to buy another one and crossfire them.

As it stands now, is the XFX card a good purchase option for a reference card?

There seems to be a dispute between the quality of reference cards and non-reference cards. Can someone please explain this a little better?
-If I buy it now or 3 months from now, will it really matter in the long term weather my card is a reference card or non-reference?
-People say reference boards suck, some say that they are good. Is there really a huge difference that I should wait for?
-I also added my system specs at the top.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 15, 2010 9:29:40 PM

The main difference will be in cooling. If you want to try for a rather extreme overclock then waiting for non-reference cards is a good idea I guess but otherwise there isn't much point in waiting. 3 months from now the prices and cards available on the market will be different so you might want to go a different way entirely. The video card market moves quickly and waiting will always get you a better card at a better price but that can leave you waiting forever. If you need a card now then I recommend buying one now. Honestly based on the initial reviews the GTX 570 seems to be a bit of a better value than the HD5970 at the moment so you may want to consider that as well.
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December 16, 2010 12:24:19 AM

I just spoke with my local IT guy. He said that I should wait until after Christmas for the price to come down and then buy it.

It is hard to predict the price of graphics cards IMO.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 16, 2010 1:31:29 AM

Yeah, he may be right and the price will come down some but you never know. In recent history the price of AMD/ATI cards has actually gone up for a while after release before coming down again(although I wouldn't necessarily expect such.)
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December 16, 2010 3:36:13 AM

Check what I said above:
30+$ and 2.1% VAT increase.
Strategic move from AMD, cut the income of nVidia when they're selling a *** load of cards :D 

You will still be able to buy aftermarket cooler far superior than anything you could get.
The only thing I'd wait for is a card revision without that gay power controller. I can wait because my system is already build but for someone without any system, you won't gain much from any of these cards revision.
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December 16, 2010 7:37:09 PM

I am going to be purchasing the XFX Radeon 6970. I belive that with future driver updates it will be able to match and beat the GTX 570 in almost every facet.

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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 16, 2010 8:13:50 PM

The HD6970 is already slightly faster than the GTX 570 over all.
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December 16, 2010 8:21:58 PM

jyjjy said:
The HD6970 is already slightly faster than the GTX 570 over all.


That makes it an easy decision
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 16, 2010 8:39:09 PM

Well, it's a small advantage;

The main difference will be in the feature set between the two cards;
HD6970: MLAA, Eyefinity, your motherboard is crossfire capable
GTX 570: $20 cheaper, CUDA, more polished 3D support, advantage in DX11 performance, your motherboard doesn't support SLI so no upgrade path.
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December 16, 2010 9:17:41 PM

That makes my decision even more clear. I was planning on cross-firing with the board...when the 570x was brought in to the discussion, i was considering that. I did not think to even question if my mobo was SLI capable. Thank you
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December 17, 2010 1:03:59 AM

ASUS is the card to get right now. There using a full metal face. helps cool it down and when you put a big fan in front of it that would help. Im talking about the asus 6970 it looks stock but its not lol.
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December 17, 2010 2:02:26 AM

smokeymicpot42 said:
ASUS is the card to get right now. There using a full metal face. helps cool it down and when you put a big fan in front of it that would help. Im talking about the asus 6970 it looks stock but its not lol.


Do you have any sources?
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December 17, 2010 2:09:39 AM

Factory overclocked to perform at 890MHz, 10MHz higher than stock performance

50% faster with ASUS exclusive Voltage Tweak

Full aluminum cover dissipate surface heat evenly and rapidly

Expand visual horizon across six displays with AMD Eyefinity technology
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December 18, 2010 3:14:30 PM

@ just a nickname: It doesnt affect performance so who cares?
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December 18, 2010 8:45:31 PM

nfuzer said:
@ just a nickname: It doesnt affect performance so who cares?


I love to quote stupidity.

Who cares... I let you imagine who could care.
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December 20, 2010 11:23:33 PM

Just a nickname said:
I love to quote stupidity.

Who cares... I let you imagine who could care.


I obviously don't care. This is also my thread.

It might be cool to drop insults over the internet, but how does that help me come to a conclusion about "Which Graphics Card Manufacturer to Pick?" It doesn't. So in my case, I love to quote stupidity.
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January 9, 2011 4:28:34 PM

Best answer selected by nfuzer.
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a c 273 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
January 9, 2011 5:23:24 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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