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Best GPU options for 2k gaming machine

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March 29, 2011 2:33:11 PM

As eluded to in the title I'm building a machine with a budget of $2000, I've been able to nail down my general build using other posts in the forums. The only real question is, what is the best option for a gaming machine when it comes to the GPU? More specifically, I'm seeing people suggest the GTX 580 as well as 6950 crossfire, I'm having a hard time figuring out what the benefit from one to the other is. I'm willing to use $500-700 of my budget just for the GPU so any advice is welcome. I play all types of games, shooters(C.O.D titles, Battlefield 3, Crysis 2, Metro 2033), mmo's etc....
a b 4 Gaming
March 29, 2011 2:55:54 PM

Hello dcutbi001;

If you check out the THG article: Best Graphics Cards For the Money: March 2011 @ the $500 price point they recommend 2x HD 6950 1GB graphics cards and give the GTX an honorable mention as well.
HD 6950 CrossfireX review @ TechPowerUp

If you're willing spend a bit more and to take a chance on the HD 6950 2GB flash to HD 6970 that should be a superior option with 2x CrossfireX.
THG article: System Builder Marathon, March 2011: $1000 Enthusiast PC section on HD 6950 2GB unlocking.
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March 29, 2011 3:23:10 PM

Thanks WR2 I really value your advice, this web site is full of great information and an extremely helpful community! I looked at the links you provided (I'm not sure how I missed them in the first place) and they led me to one other question, what about the Radeon HD 6990? I know its in the $700 realm but is that considered (by most here) an unreasonable value versus the alternatives? Additionally, what if I were to consider the 6990 with possible crossfire a year or two from now? I'm guessing I would need a beast PSU and I'm not even sure what MOBO (sandybridge setup) I would/should consider. I know this is a whole new can of worms but with all the knowledge here I figured this would be the place to come ask. For the record I'm not trying to spend as much as I possibly can on a GPU but I plan on this machine lasting me a while with a few upgrades along the way.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 29, 2011 3:33:49 PM

Both the HD 6990 $700 & 12.5" and GTX 590 $700 & 11.5" are CFX/SLI 'on a stick'. Two GPUs on one card.
IMO they're more for 'bragging rights' than anything else.

Now if you have a 30" 2560x1600 monitor or a dual/triple monitor (Eyefinity / Surround) with 5760x1080 virtual resolution then you want to consider something like that. But I still think dual GTX 570/580s or dual HD 6950/6970s end up being a better option.
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March 29, 2011 3:37:33 PM

Don't buy a 6990. It's trash. Get dual 6950s.

I'd use an Asus p67 and a 2600k, couple it with a small SSD and a 1kw- 850w psu and you're all good.
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March 29, 2011 3:42:18 PM

Great that is the type of information I was hoping to hear. So it looks like the 6950's will be my cards. Now, I'll have to find a step by step guide to flash the firmware on the cards to bump them to 6970's, I saw there was an overview on the link in WR2's first post, any more in-depth guides anyone here knows of? Thanks again!
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March 29, 2011 3:46:28 PM

Try checking fourm posts on various websites, you'll be fine.

It takes around 2 minuites.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 29, 2011 3:47:20 PM

You might want to jump over into the Graphics & Displays section of the forums and ask the experts over there.
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March 29, 2011 3:51:32 PM

Best answer selected by dcutbi001.
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March 29, 2011 11:58:38 PM

Another question I've come across since deciding on my GPU's is, are the crossfire 6950's (flashed to 6970) overkill on any single monitor under 2560x1440? If so I may just build a machine with a single GTX 580 with the power/room to SLi at a later date. I'm getting mixed feedback from other posts so I figured I'd ask the question directly. I'm concerned that I'm going to be going over board on my GPU for no benefit. I'm planning on buying a new monitor and maybe running my current older monitor (1680x1050 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) as my second screen for music, ventrilo, etc... and maybe going with a 2650x1440 27" for my main screen. Advice?
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