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Does the 6970 have the potential of the 580?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 27, 2011 5:13:05 AM

I've read plenty of reviews and came to the conclusion that it wasn't the graphics card that was the problem but the ATI/AMD drivers. Everyone knows that AMD/ATI comes out with bad driver updates every other month.

I would've thought

560 = 6870
570 = 6950
580 = 6970

but it seems as if the GTX 580 is in its own class given that the 6990 is coming out soon to compete against its own kind the 5970 and the future GTX 595.



My question is, does the AMD Radeon HD 6970 actually have potential to be as good as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 if the ATI/AMD drivers had decent updates or is it doomed to be the 570 equal or in a lot of cases the lesser?

More about : 6970 potential 580

a c 175 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
January 27, 2011 6:09:51 AM

I would argue that the days of bad ATI drivers are long gone. We are talking years ago here. AMD users now get monthly driver updates and the cards are quite good. Yes there was a driver issue with the 58xx cards, but that was fixed with a driver update. There is the matter of the bad 2D performance, but that's a hardware issue not software.

I doubt its the drivers holding back AMD cards. AMD and Nvidia simply took different paths to do the same tasks. Also remember that AMD isn't trying to take the single card crown with a single chip. They start with the midrange and cut down to make the weaker cards, and use the internal CF to tackle the high end. Its wrong to attack their cards or drivers if they aren't even trying.
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January 27, 2011 12:01:32 PM

As a previous owner of a 5850 and current owner of a 5870 I'd argue that the drivers are bad.
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a c 175 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
January 27, 2011 12:03:29 PM

Anything you'd like to point out Carc?

I went from an 8800GS based 9600GSO, to my current 5750. From the end user point of view, I can't see any difference. Other then when I play TF2 I can use 4xAA instead of none.
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January 27, 2011 12:23:14 PM

Was playing Dragon Age Origins and got a driver crash error message with the 10.12 drivers. I would be getting 80+ fps the whole game but in certain points I would lag spike down to 5-10 fps game and it wasn't a 1-2 second lag spike either.

Back when I had my 5850 I bought Borderlands. I thought I would be able to beast the game. Turns out when I started it up I was only getting 15fps avg on max settings. It wasn't until 2 updates later that I was receiving normal 60fps in that game.

Also when I bought Resident Evil, ATI drivers would not allow for the cutscenes to work. The cutscenes would turn black and you'd get audio with no video. I bet you can imagine how frustrating it could be.

I'd expect drivers to work from the get-go and improve from there. I've had bad experience with the ATI drivers and heard good things about Nvidia which is why I'm contemplating to sell my 5870 for a 580.
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a c 175 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
January 27, 2011 2:54:34 PM

The launch drivers for the 58xx cards were bad. Easily the worst that AMD has put out in some time. I doubt your 5870 is giving you grief, or that 5850. If you could use that card with current drivers, I'd bet it would be a lot better. I almost wonder if AMD rushed the release for some reason. Did they think Nvidia was closer then they were?
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January 27, 2011 4:13:59 PM

So if you had a choice would you get the 6970 or the 580? The 6970 has now dropped down to the price of 570 but I truly believe it can come close to the 580 if the drivers were given good updates.
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a b U Graphics card
January 27, 2011 7:31:28 PM

6970 vs 580 580 all the way... but i'm with psycho i'd take sli'd 560's over a 580 if your mobo supposrt sli
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a c 153 U Graphics card
January 27, 2011 7:39:43 PM

Quote:
Even at 1000 core a 6970 cannot compete against an Overclocked 580. Right now the 580 is the king on it's throne till the 6990 comes out but the 595 is rumored to be quite nasty.

Rumored 595 - 2 Downclocked GF110 512 shader cores at 600 core.


I have a feeling a 595 will finally be my replacement for these GTX 260s. =] I can't wait.

Anyway, as others have said 580 >> 6970 all day.
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a b U Graphics card
January 27, 2011 7:41:13 PM

GtX 580 - Fermi 100/110 is a huge /complex chip. It has a lot of extra hardware to get that extra 15% out 40nm. 48 ROP"s and a 384mb memory interface, an area of the gpu thats probably not a major bottleneck in other gpu's but its part of the edge

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January 27, 2011 8:47:49 PM

Quote:
For the money i'd get a pair of 560's over a 580


Problem is my psu only has 1 6-pin connector and 1 6+2-pin connector. SLI is not an option with these cards.
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January 27, 2011 8:54:01 PM

6970 doesn't compete with the 580 head to head it has to be cheaper to compete. The 580 falls right in between the 6970 and the 5970. So to answer your question no the 6970 cannot go toe to toe with the 580.
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a c 620 U Graphics card
a c 158 À AMD
January 27, 2011 9:03:41 PM

Carc369 said:
My question is, does the AMD Radeon HD 6970 actually have potential to be as good as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 if the ATI/AMD drivers had decent updates or is it doomed to be the 570 equal or in a lot of cases the lesser?

Let me just ask you: If you had a choice of a HD6970 or GTX580 given to you for free, which would you choose?
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January 27, 2011 10:12:08 PM

17seconds said:
Let me just ask you: If you had a choice of a HD6970 or GTX580 given to you for free, which would you choose?


The 580 without a doubt. But I assumed the bad drivers is what drove down the 6970 not the card itself. I'd rather pay for a 6970 if there was potential for it to be a 580 or even come close to a 580 rather than buy a 580.

580 seems to be a safe bet but a really expensive safe bet. I'm a college boy addicted to being able to play every good game at max settings (AA off, I don't find it very useful at 1920x1080+ resolutions) so I have to spend my money carefully. I don't want to buy an Nvidia GTX 580 and then see AMD come out with an amazing ass driver update that'll have the 6970 close behind a 580.
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a c 153 U Graphics card
January 27, 2011 10:18:38 PM

Carc369 said:
The 580 without a doubt. But I assumed the bad drivers is what drove down the 6970 not the card itself. I'd rather pay for a 6970 if there was potential for it to be a 580 or even come close to a 580 rather than buy a 580.

580 seems to be a safe bet but a really expensive safe bet. I'm a college boy addicted to being able to play every good game at max settings (AA off, I don't find it very useful at 1920x1080+ resolutions) so I have to spend my money carefully. I don't want to buy an Nvidia GTX 580 and then see AMD come out with an amazing ass driver update that'll have the 6970 close behind a 580.


They already have good drivers, a driver update isn't going to increase the cards power THAT much.
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a c 175 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
January 27, 2011 10:42:11 PM

Quote:
I'd rather pay for a 6970 if there was potential for it to be a 580 or even come close to a 580 rather than buy a 580.


What do you mean by close?

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/HIS/Radeon_HD_6970/1...

Its close the entire time, and even takes the lead at 2560x1600 with 4xAA. It's also close in AvP, Dawn of War 2, DIRT2 (in the higher res's), and F1 2010. Even in the other games where its behind it still does pretty well. If it saves you enough $$$ to afford something else like a faster CPU to drive everything or a new SSD, then it might be worth it.
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a c 620 U Graphics card
a c 158 À AMD
January 27, 2011 10:57:03 PM

Drivers are not magical. At best they tweak a little and fix glitches. They cannot overcome fundamental differences in hardware architecture. Sometimes, they can even reduce performance. In general AMD has fewer updates to their drivers than Nvidia, so AMD users have fewer alternate driver options and longer waits between updates.
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a c 175 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
January 28, 2011 2:53:33 AM

Really? I didn't know Nvidia updated their drivers every month.
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January 28, 2011 3:08:16 AM

4745454b said:
Really? I didn't know Nvidia updated their drivers every month.


AMD/ATI updates once a month. I didn't know Nvidia updates more than that.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
January 28, 2011 3:23:51 AM

17seconds said:
Drivers are not magical. At best they tweak a little and fix glitches. They cannot overcome fundamental differences in hardware architecture. Sometimes, they can even reduce performance. In general AMD has fewer updates to their drivers than Nvidia, so AMD users have fewer alternate driver options and longer waits between updates.


Are you joking? AMD puts out drivers about 2 times more often. AMD puts out a new set of drivers every month (this has it's good and bad points), while Nvidia puts them out every month at times, and sometimes it can take 3-4 months before another set. It's kind of random with Nvidia.

I'm not saying if it's better or not, sometimes the monthly AMD/ATI drivers seem to be pushed out for the sake of pushing out new drivers.
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January 28, 2011 3:30:59 AM

AMD did just come out with their VLIW4 architecture. Are games optimized for this new setup yet? If not, they could potentially update the drivers to optimize the performance for the new arch.

I look at benchmarks of the 6970 and the 6950, and the 6970 only seems to scale better than the 6950 due to clocks. 6970 is ~10% faster while the clocks are ~10% faster than the 6950. What's up with that? If they could get a 10% boost from the added stream processors(6970 compared to the 6950), then they would boost performance closer to the 580.
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January 28, 2011 7:28:00 AM

From all the benches I've read, 6970 is roughly equal to the 570 GTX. Better on ultra high resolution, worse on lower
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a b U Graphics card
January 28, 2011 12:34:07 PM

really i'd say if you're already going for 500+ on a gpu with a 580 going 250 on a 560 now and getting a really good 1000+ watt psu and 560 then a second 560 would be my route.. but then again i always want my psu running at a maximum of 75% load... hence my current 850 watt psu (corsair tx850w) for a sli 450 rig

but given the two choices 6970 vs 580 if oen or the other definatly 580
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a c 217 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
January 28, 2011 12:55:28 PM

17seconds said:
Since May 2010, starting with driver 197.57, Nvidia has produced 21 64-bit drivers.
http://downloads.guru3d.com/Videocards---NVIDIA-ForceWa...

During that same period, starting with driver 10.5, ATI produced 12 64-bit drivers, including hotfixes.
http://downloads.guru3d.com/Videocards---ATI-Catalyst-W...


You are including essentially what is would be called Beta drivers and patches, their WHQL drivers are their official ones. AMD has beta and patched drivers too.

If you look on Nvidia's site, most of those drivers are listed as BETA, even if your 3rd party site doesn't:
http://www.nvidia.com/Download/Find.aspx?lang=en-us
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a c 620 U Graphics card
a c 158 À AMD
January 28, 2011 2:56:56 PM

bystander said:
You are including essentially what is would be called Beta drivers and patches, their WHQL drivers are their official ones. AMD has beta and patched drivers too.

If you look on Nvidia's site, most of those drivers are listed as BETA, even if your 3rd party site doesn't:
http://www.nvidia.com/Download/Find.aspx?lang=en-us

That site also lists AMD beta drivers and non-WHQL drivers. But apparently you think only WHQL drivers are worth trying, even if they include bug fixes and performance enhancements? What do the rest of you enthusiasts on the forum think?

It is possible that you could just admit that AMD has fewer driver updates, and that your comments were incorrect.

After all, your comments were in response to my original TRUE statement:
"In general AMD has fewer updates to their drivers than Nvidia, so AMD users have fewer alternate driver options and longer waits between updates."
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a c 217 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
January 28, 2011 4:30:48 PM

17seconds said:
That site also lists AMD beta drivers and non-WHQL drivers. But apparently you think only WHQL drivers are worth trying, even if they include bug fixes and performance enhancements? What do the rest of you enthusiasts on the forum think?

It is possible that you could just admit that AMD has fewer driver updates, and that your comments were incorrect.

After all, your comments were in response to my original TRUE statement:
"In general AMD has fewer updates to their drivers than Nvidia, so AMD users have fewer alternate driver options and longer waits between updates."


Do you work for Nvidia? Seriously, look at Nvidia's site, I gave you the link, they only have WHQL and BETA drivers.

AMD has 1 set of drivers per month, no less, no more.

EDIT: just wanted to reiterate something. I don't care that AMD has more drivers (I don't count beta's), I don't install them every month anyways. I'd rather only updated every 3rd month. I also use Nvidia in my backup system now (was in this system), and I didn't even update those every driver release (I ignored beta's). The only good thing I see coming from having monthly drivers, is I always know when to look if I want new drivers.
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March 8, 2012 7:20:38 AM

4745454b said:
I would argue that the days of bad ATI drivers are long gone. We are talking years ago here. AMD users now get monthly driver updates and the cards are quite good. Yes there was a driver issue with the 58xx cards, but that was fixed with a driver update. There is the matter of the bad 2D performance, but that's a hardware issue not software.

I doubt its the drivers holding back AMD cards. AMD and Nvidia simply took different paths to do the same tasks. Also remember that AMD isn't trying to take the single card crown with a single chip. They start with the midrange and cut down to make the weaker cards, and use the internal CF to tackle the high end. Its wrong to attack their cards or drivers if they aren't even trying.


Long Gone?!?!? I currently have been chasing my tail since christmas trying to get a proper AMD Driver to run my twin 6970 triple fan gigabyte cards. Worthless they are and my last AMD purchase after a long customer history, . I have a 3.6gz 8 Core with 16gb 18... Oh ya the new AMD Processers wont run higher than 1600 Ram, why dont they put that on the shiny carton?, 7990FX UD-5 Gigabyte Board, twin 120gb ocz sata III, twin 3TB WD 7200rpm hard drives and I cannot watch an HD movie. Forget about getting a game to play, the simple launch of WIndows Media Player blacks out the monitors and hangs the system. I have wiped the system 7 times and tried every combination of tactics known to man and cannot get a stable running system. $774.00 in video cards and I have to run the stock vga driver to be able to use the system at all. Thats far from long ago, that here and now.
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March 8, 2012 1:59:54 PM

yeagerd said:
Long Gone?!?!? I currently have been chasing my tail since christmas trying to get a proper AMD Driver to run my twin 6970 triple fan gigabyte cards. Worthless they are and my last AMD purchase after a long customer history, . I have a 3.6gz 8 Core with 16gb 18... Oh ya the new AMD Processers wont run higher than 1600 Ram, why dont they put that on the shiny carton?, 7990FX UD-5 Gigabyte Board, twin 120gb ocz sata III, twin 3TB WD 7200rpm hard drives and I cannot watch an HD movie. Forget about getting a game to play, the simple launch of WIndows Media Player blacks out the monitors and hangs the system. I have wiped the system 7 times and tried every combination of tactics known to man and cannot get a stable running system. $774.00 in video cards and I have to run the stock vga driver to be able to use the system at all. Thats far from long ago, that here and now.



Hmm...

See my specs? I have had no problems with my two 6970s. Not one. The only problem I had was the same problem everyone had with Rage, and I downloaded the driver fix and it's been smooth sailing ever since.

I wonder what you're doing wrong...
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March 8, 2012 2:00:05 PM

The 580 beats the 6970 irrespective of drivers.

Crossfired/SLi'ed the two are more or less equal, with the 6970 providing by far the better value. The same is true for 5760x1080.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
March 8, 2012 2:08:59 PM

This is over a year old post.

That said, my 6950's in my other system have had no issues with drivers. And of course the 580 is more powerful, it has a bigger chip with a lot more transistors.
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March 8, 2012 2:16:58 PM

bystander said:
This is over a year old post.

That said, my 6950's in my other system have had no issues with drivers. And of course the 580 is more powerful, it has a bigger chip with a lot more transistors.

I know.

I was responding to yeagerd's foolish uttering made early this morning. :pfff: 
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a c 125 U Graphics card
March 8, 2012 2:25:18 PM

7770<6850<560<6870<560 Ti<6950<570<6970<7850<580<7870<7950<590/7970/6990

I think... it's a bit sketchy at the top end.

Anyway, AMD have had troubles getting drivers out with new game releases lately, but for the vast majority of the time my 5850s have been beastly. Just my experience. Last card was an 8600GT and it was pretty good at the time.

EDIT: ***, necro thread! Fell for it again ><
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a c 272 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
September 18, 2012 5:29:13 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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