Hey. I'm about to build a gaming rig with the new sandy bridge processors, as soon as there're stable bios and things, but i can't decide which card to buy for the rig. GTX570 or HD6950 unlocked and overclocked to 6970? I'm going to play on a single monitor at 1920x1080, not interested in eyefinity. Any suggestions? : )
At 1920x1080 a single GTX 570 would be perfectly suited. I wouldn't personally bother with unlocking a 6950 to a 6970 as it isn't a guaranteed success to begin with. Not to mention you could void any warranty on the card.
GTX570 will be quieter and will deliver better DirectX 11 tesselation performance. The 570 also has PhysX if you play any games that feature it. The general consensus is that Nvidia has better drivers as well. For most benchmarks, the 570 and 6970 will either be close, or the 570 will win considerably.
If you want physX, the 570 would be nice. I personally have used both lines of cards (not the 570, but I had two 470's), and I've also play with a single 6950 flashed to a 6970 (about a 95% success rate on the flash).
I don't personally play many games with good physX. Metro 2033 has very little visual gains with physx, and it hurts performance on an already super demanding game. Sacred 2 looks decent with and without. Overall I prefer it without PhysX. Of course your mileage may vary.
I prefer the 6950/70 due to SSAA and MLAA which Nvidia cards do not offer. I find that helps my visual enjoyment more than PhysX does. I've also noticed a couple areas where the 2gb of ram is helpful, like the LA stadium in Dirt 2, the 470's ran out of ram and performed horribly. They perform very close otherwise.
Overall, the graphics frame rate performance has the AMD Radeon HD 6970 matched nicely to the GeForce GTX 570. Measured at stock (reference) speeds in ten different tests, the Radeon HD 6970 was either slightly ahead in half of them or deeply trailed in the other half. We've excluded HAWX 2 from this review, until AMD drivers can compensate for the performance skew. The DirectX 10 tests seemed to really score the GeForce GTX 570 way ahead, while many of the DirectX 11 tests pulled the Radeon HD 6970 ahead by a few FPS:
3DMark Vantage has the 6970 ahead by 2.9% (1680x1050) or 5.8% (1920x1200) on the Jane Nash test, but then sinks 16.9/9.4% for New Calico. Crysis Warhead pushed the GTX 570 16.2/9.4% ahead, but then DX11 Aliens vs Predator pushed back 10.4/12.3% in favor of the Radeon HD 6970. Shader intensive games such as Battlefield Bad Company 2 really strained the Radeon HD 6970, giving the GTX 570 a 31.9/25.3% lead. BattleForge did the same, giving the GTX 570 a 53.5/57.1% lead over the 6970. Lost Planet 2 dog-piled also the results in favor the GTX 570, resulting in a 45.1/41.9% lead over the 6970. Then, thankfully, the Radeon HD 6970 fought back in NVIDIA-strong games like Mafia II, producing a 0.9/6.0% lead over the GTX 570. Metro 2033 gave the 6970 a 3.1/5.2% edge, and then the Heaven 2.1 benchmark offered a 2.0/7.5% difference in favor of the 6970.
Other than the obvious PhysX / 3D Vision versus eyefinity etc, two things break from the closeness in performance:
1. CUDA - if ya doing video editing or anything that's written to take advantage of CUDA, ya will wanna lean green (nVidia).
The GTX 570 and HD 6970 are very close in performance. I'm not sure where the comment "the 570 and 6970 will either be close, or the 570 will win considerably" comes from. It's true that some titles favor NVidia, but there are also titles that favor Radeon cards to the same degree. Either card is going to provide you with roughly the same level of performance overall.
You should definitely take a look at a couple of reviews from sites like Tom's, Guru3d, Anandtech, etc to get a good feel for the pros and cons of both cards. It's difficult to sum up the entire performance portfolio in a quick forum post. If you're going to spend a few hundred dollars, invest an hour or so to poke around and learn a bit about your options from actual reviews/benchmarks!
The one thing that I will say is that flashing a 6950 to a 6970 provides a very excellent value. You can pick up a 6950 for as low as $280 after rebate from newegg right now, and it will give you roughly equal performance compared to the $450 Nvidia offering and the $370 AMD offering.
Both brands have 3D capability. However, NVidia surround is better integrated and user friendly. On the other hand, AMD has a better multi-monitor setup. Both of these cards are meant for high resolutions. This is where AMD's 69xx show their strengths. They often either reduce a gap, catch and sometimes even overtake similarly priced NVidia offerings even if they lose at lower resolutions. But even if someone buys them for lower than 1080p resolution, the frame rates at those resolutions are usually so high, that it even doesn't matter which card is faster.
The GTX 570 and HD 6970 are very close in performance. I'm not sure where the comment "the 570 and 6970 will either be close, or the 570 will win considerably" comes from.
"Overall, the graphics frame rate performance has the AMD Radeon HD 6970 matched nicely to the GeForce GTX 570. Measured at stock (reference) speeds in ten different tests, the Radeon HD 6970 was either slightly ahead in half of them or deeply trailed in the other half." http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...