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Radeon 6950 or geforce 570 GTX

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 30, 2010 1:43:30 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next month (but no rush, really)

BUDGET RANGE: $300-350

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming only (Starcraft 2 mostly right now, will want to play big 2011 games such as Deus Ex 3, Crysis 2, etc.)
My current setup handles SC2 fairly well. I play at 1920 with medium to high graphics and get about 40-50fps when not too much is happening and in the low 20s under load. That's not ideal, of course, but still playable. Since the better games aren't coming out until March-April (or even later if they delay Deus Ex again), I'm not in a huge rush to buy.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: 8800 GTS 640 in SLI, 800W OCZ PSU (forget the exact model.. gameXstream or something like that)

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Asus Striker Extreme (nForce 680i), Intel QX6850, 8GB RAM

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Amazon, Newegg, doesn't really matter.

PARTS PREFERENCES: XFX for Radeon, eVGA for geforce

OVERCLOCKING: No

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not at first

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Mostly game at 1920, but would prefer 2560 if possible


I'm leaning heavily towards the XFX Radeon 6950, but have considered the eVGA 570 GTX as well. I've done considerable research, but the cards are fairly new, so there isn't too much out there yet. My only concern is getting the 6950's first revision. I've been using nvidia cards for the past 6-7 years or so, and have only been reading about Radeons recently. My question is how often does XFX (and other manufacturers) come out with a new version of a card. I noticed that there are numerous models for the 5870, which can cause confusion.

I also read a thread about my specific mobo possibly having issues with Radeon cards (slow post), but Asus did release a BIOS update earlier this year to remedy that problem for the 5000 series. I haven't heard anything about the 6000 series yet.

I don't want to sli/crossfire for the new video card (current PSU probably can't handle the newer power requirements anyway), so that's not a concern.

So the question is 570 GTX or 6950? I chose those manufacturers because of the lifetime warranty they offer. If you recommend a different one, please indicate that as well.

Thanks.
December 30, 2010 3:03:03 AM

A bunch of people are unlocking their 6950 into a 6970, so that's a pretty good deal.
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December 30, 2010 3:48:50 AM

The 570 is more powerful - To be honest they're not really comparable products. This is like asking about a BMW 328i vs a Mercedes C350.
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December 30, 2010 5:03:54 AM

Getting a bang for buck if you ask me then go for 6950 what Yesitsmario says
Look at the performance difference
6950 570
Crysis Warhead 48fps 49fps @ 1920X1080 4x AA
BF Bad Company 2 42fps 48fps @ 2560X1600 4x AA
Metro 2033 36fps 37fps @ 1920X1080 Very High Quality

so number speaks for themselves GTX 570 is about 10-15% better in performance but the higher you go in resolution performance margin will dip.

@ 2560-- GTX 570 will be 5-10 % better
@ 1920-- GTX 570 will be 10-15 % better

and there is always a chance to unlock it to 6970 for $300 card you might get a performance of $350.

Best of Luck
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a b U Graphics card
December 30, 2010 6:41:06 AM

Blizzard games favor NVIDIA cards. You have the option of SLI with the GTX 570.
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a b U Graphics card
December 30, 2010 4:31:59 PM

You should be choosing between the 6970 and GTX570, they are pretty even and close in price.

However, you can now unlock your 6950 into a 6970.
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a c 611 U Graphics card
December 30, 2010 4:46:02 PM

The GTX570 does a much better job of DirectX 11 Tesselation than the HD6900 series (for all those upcoming DirectX 11 games in 2011). It also has PhysX (which should be available on a few more titles in 2011).

The GTX570 has a great vapor chamber cooler that keeps it quieter than the HD6900 series, and outperforms them when overclocking. In SLI and overclocking, the GTX570 will only register minimal impacts on heat and noise in comparison to the 6900's, which can quickly get hot and loud. The general consensus is that Nvidia has better drivers, as well. Add in the ability to upgrade to 3D Vision, and you have a pretty complete package with no compromises necessary.
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December 30, 2010 7:35:40 PM

Cool, thanks for all the input so far.

Are eVGA and XFX the better companies right now with a lifetime warranty policy? I've had BFG cards ever since I've been using nvidia, but they are, of course, no longer around.

Do you think tesselation for radeon cards will improve in the future with better drivers and/or future revisions of the 6900 series?
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December 30, 2010 7:44:51 PM

With eVGA, the warranties depend on the code of the card, a code ending in AR is a limited lifetime warranty TR is a 2 year warranty, theres more code variations also but youd have to goto the warranty page on eVGA for them as i dont know them by heart, but yes eVGA and XFX imo are better companies.
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January 17, 2011 11:44:02 PM

What is the general trend for price drops on current line of graphics cards? I'm waiting to get the eVGA 570 GTX ($370 @ most retailers), but am also waiting for a price drop. I don't think the price will change when the 590 comes out, right (since they're all priced "appropriately" right now)?
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a c 611 U Graphics card
January 18, 2011 3:43:05 AM

commandermuffin said:
What is the general trend for price drops on current line of graphics cards? I'm waiting to get the eVGA 570 GTX ($370 @ most retailers), but am also waiting for a price drop. I don't think the price will change when the 590 comes out, right (since they're all priced "appropriately" right now)?

The GTX 560 is due to come out on January 25th for under $300. I don't think that will drop prices on the GTX 570, but it should be a good alternative if you don't want to spend the money for a 570.
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January 18, 2011 5:02:01 AM

Doesn't this unlocking mean overclocking? It sounds like a standart step made by a driver or something the way it is put :pt1cable: 
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January 21, 2011 6:56:21 PM

I've been reading about bottlenecks, but am still not sure about it. I have a QX6850 overclocked to 3.33GHz. Will that bottleneck the 570 GTX?
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March 3, 2011 3:25:59 PM

no ..unlocking doesn't mean OCing ..the 6950 has some of its shaders locked by its BIOS ..that's one of the only things that differentiates it from the 6970 ..besides the clock speeds ..and power consumption ..so replacing the stock 6950 BIOS with that of a 6970 will effectively turn it into a full blown 6970 ..you can download em from techpowerup.com ..the card has two BIOSs with a switch to change between them. .thereby if something goes wring you can revert back ..be warned though ..as the 6970 has one 6pin 75w and one 8pun 150w connector while the 6950 has two 6pin 75w connectors ..so the card is drawing more power from cables rated for less ..could damage the card overtime ..so far from what I've heard though ..the unlocking has a VERY high success rate ..
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March 3, 2011 5:04:54 PM

CraigHarrison said:
no ..unlocking doesn't mean OCing ..the 6950 has some of its shaders locked by its BIOS ..that's one of the only things that differentiates it from the 6970 ..besides the clock speeds ..and power consumption ..so replacing the stock 6950 BIOS with that of a 6970 will effectively turn it into a full blown 6970 ..you can download em from techpowerup.com ..the card has two BIOSs with a switch to change between them. .thereby if something goes wring you can revert back ..be warned though ..as the 6970 has one 6pin 75w and one 8pun 150w connector while the 6950 has two 6pin 75w connectors ..so the card is drawing more power from cables rated for less ..could damage the card overtime ..so far from what I've heard though ..the unlocking has a VERY high success rate ..


Are you responding to my latest question? If so, I think you misread it. I was talking about my CPU, the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850.
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March 4, 2011 12:07:02 PM

Go for Gigabyte GTX560TI SO (Super Overclocked), it performs better than 6950 and just below 6970 and GTX570 although it is way cheaper more silent cause of an aftermarket cooler wich again gives lower temps. Go SLI if needed :D  Real bang for buck!!
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