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6870 vs 6950

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December 15, 2010 10:18:31 PM

I bought a whole new gaming rig for Christmas only a couple of days ago, literally, and with it bought a 6870. Only today AMD released the 6950/6970 cards. I raged quite a bit, but now I must decide what to do. Could I return my 6870 and buy a 6950 for an added price of $60-70? Would they even let me? Is it worth the money and hastle to do it at all? I'm not sure what to do here.

More about : 6870 6950

a c 130 U Graphics card
December 15, 2010 10:21:51 PM

You're not going to be missing much performance. Unless you game at 2560x1600 or you want to gamble on driver updates you can keep your current 6870.
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December 15, 2010 10:25:47 PM

Alexandros said:
I bought a whole new gaming rig for Christmas only a couple of days ago, literally, and with it bought a 6870. Only today AMD released the 6950/6970 cards. I raged quite a bit, but now I must decide what to do. Could I return my 6870 and buy a 6950 for an added price of $60-70? Would they even let me? Is it worth the money and hastle to do it at all? I'm not sure what to do here.


what is your power supply?

if you can, stick with 6870 if you have limited budget or go for gtx 570 if you have extra $100 as 6950/6970 aint "good to buy" card.

gtx 570 $349

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

diamond 6870 1gb $ 249

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b U Graphics card
December 15, 2010 10:46:37 PM

6950/6970 are plenty good. However with a 6870 I wouldn't bother upgrading.
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December 15, 2010 11:24:06 PM

The 6950 isnt bad for a $300 card, but overall, you should be fine with the 6870, unless you are planning on gaming at extremely high resolutions (Above 1920x1080).
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December 18, 2010 6:48:04 PM

This is a dilemma I'm likely to face soon enough when I score some Newegg gift cards under the tree. I have an HD 5770 right now which is great but why not upgrade? The 6870 is the card I have been eying for some time and seems like an awesome value for performance. Then I see the 6950. It's at my $300 limit and comes with 2 GB of video memory, but it's $60 more than a 6870 and honestly, I don't think the performance gains are worth that extra $60. In most benchmarks I have seen, the 6950 leads by an average of 4 to 10 FPS. Not impressed. You would think a completely new core would offer a leap in performance but not the case. I realize drivers will boost performance in the future, but so will the 6870. SO yeah... I'd keep the 6870 unless you decide to go to the next pricing tier above $300.

Hell I just may wait and see what Nvidia comes up with when they launch the GTX 560!
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December 18, 2010 7:08:34 PM

SomeGuy77 said:
This is a dilemma I'm likely to face soon enough when I score some Newegg gift cards under the tree. I have an HD 5770 right now which is great but why not upgrade? The 6870 is the card I have been eying for some time and seems like an awesome value for performance. Then I see the 6950. It's at my $300 limit and comes with 2 GB of video memory, but it's $60 more than a 6870 and honestly, I don't think the performance gains are worth that extra $60. In most benchmarks I have seen, the 6950 leads by an average of 4 to 10 FPS. Not impressed. You would think a completely new core would offer a leap in performance but not the case. I realize drivers will boost performance in the future, but so will the 6870. SO yeah... I'd keep the 6870 unless you decide to go to the next pricing tier above $300.

Hell I just may wait and see what Nvidia comes up with when they launch the GTX 560!


do you believe larger ram = better performance? unless you're play gta4 or any game with multiple monitor 3x 2560x1200, 1gb is good enough. it's the specification that determine the money that's worth spend. gtx 570 is now 300 bulks as well but it came with 40 rops/60tmu/480sp compare to 6950's poor 32rops/88tmu/352sp(1408alu) make gtx570 has more edge in price and performance. all 950 had is 2gb that's all...
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a c 217 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2010 7:24:20 PM

There are situations where 2GB make a nice improvement, even at 1920x1200. One such situation is when you use super sampling AA. I grant you, it's not often, but I do play a few games with supersampling AA at 1920x1200, and due to ram, I can only go to x4 supersampling, and it even runs out of ram on some games.

If you haven't seen the difference, supersampling AA makes grassy/tree filled landscapes look a lot better. It also makes Dragon Age origins a lot nicer looking on the armor and weapons, due to the way normal AA is handled in that game (not within the body, only around the outsides of images).
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December 18, 2010 8:48:44 PM

cheesesubs said:
do you believe larger ram = better performance? unless you're play gta4 or any game with multiple monitor 3x 2560x1200, 1gb is good enough. it's the specification that determine the money that's worth spend. gtx 570 is now 300 bulks as well but it came with 40 rops/60tmu/480sp compare to 6950's poor 32rops/88tmu/352sp(1408alu) make gtx570 has more edge in price and performance. all 950 had is 2gb that's all...



No, I don't think having more than 1 GB of memory is that important NOW... but it may be in the future. Nvidia's 500 series is shipping with over 1 GB. I think the GTX 570 has around 1.2 GB and the 580 packs 1.5 GB. It just looks like things are moving in that direction, even if there's no immediate need for it. I'd like to "futureproof" (a term I use lightly) my system for good gaming for some time to come. Of all the cards out both Nvidia and AMD, I do like the GTX 570. It's just that it's out of reach for me. I won't spend more than $300 on a graphics card. So looking for "bang for the buck", and right now AMD has that covered the best, (in the mid-range market) though I am anxious to see what the GTX 560 has in store. That card should be extremely fast and be at or below $300.
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December 19, 2010 6:15:36 AM

anyway if you have limited budget you better just stay where you at. if not, go for gtx 570 or even gtx 580 because current amd 69xx aint good to buy.

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December 19, 2010 8:43:35 PM

6870 is a great card. Unless you feel that you need more power I would not worry about it. The benefit of moving to a 6950 is certainly there, but not going to make much difference unless you game above 1920x1200.

I will most likley be upgrading my xfire 5850's to 6950's, but that is because I game at 5760x1200 and the 2GB vram will help me out a lot at that resolution, plus the 6xxx scaling in crossfire is better than with the 5xxx series cards.
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December 19, 2010 11:29:31 PM

cheesesubs said:
do you believe larger ram = better performance? unless you're play gta4 or any game with multiple monitor 3x 2560x1200, 1gb is good enough. it's the specification that determine the money that's worth spend. gtx 570 is now 300 bulks as well but it came with 40 rops/60tmu/480sp compare to 6950's poor 32rops/88tmu/352sp(1408alu) make gtx570 has more edge in price and performance. all 950 had is 2gb that's all...


More RAM is going to benefit a larger resolution and games in years to come. Rumor is that AMD will release a 1GB 6950 in a few weeks if you do not need a whole 2GB.

Comparing VRAM from one brand of video card to another is valid, but comparing AMD to Nvidia's gpu internal pieces (rops, tmu, sps) does not work. They operate under very different circumstances and mean different things to each processor. The best comparison is to look at benchmarks for the games that you play.

As far as the OPs situation, I would probably keep the 6870 for a year or two and if it is not satisfactory then, upgrade to crossfire or a whole new card. At 1920x1080, the difference between a 6870 and a 6950 is about 5-10fps and about 10-20fps from a 6870 to a 570.
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December 26, 2010 7:27:41 PM

Best answer selected by Alexandros.
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December 26, 2010 7:29:03 PM

Thanks all. I will just stick with my 6870 and maybe in a month or two Crossfire it. It performs extremely well. In a few years I realize that I will need to upgrade but for now my wallet and my computer are satisfied.
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a c 273 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
December 27, 2010 8:22:13 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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