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Stock Radeon 6870, Sapphire or Asus?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 31, 2011 3:17:48 AM

Purshased your typical AMD Radeon 6870, was told it's better to stick with stock and OC on my own but the Sapphire cards have a good rating on newegg, same with Asus.
Suggestions? stick with stock or?
I will be buying a case with good ventilation so I'm not worried about overheating.

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a c 147 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
January 31, 2011 7:16:39 AM

There VERY LITTLE overhead for overclocking.

I do NOT agree that it's better to overclock yourself. Overclocked cards often have better heatsinks such as the Vapor-X technology by Sapphire.

I just don't think it's worth manually overclocking to get only a 3% stable overclock.

UPDATE:
I was about to say the HD6870 is a great card (and it is). However, I just went back and spent some time looking at the latest cards. I high recommend this:

NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-geforce-gtx-...

*NOTES:
1. It was quieter than other cards in its class
2. It was back and forth between it and the 6870 for games
3. SCALING is better if you think you'll buy another card in the future
4. NVidia is better at driver updates
5. Tesselation is better on NVidia DX11 cards
6. CUDA support
7. PhysX support

Hands down, this is the card I'd buy today. It just didn't exist last year when I bought mine. Obviously they've sorted out the heat issues.
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January 31, 2011 3:25:03 PM

Was actually about to say the EXACT same thing Photon. The 6850 is a great card, it's just not as good as the 560. Get a 560, asus and sapphire should both have models out on Newegg right about now.
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February 1, 2011 4:34:59 AM

photonboy said:
There VERY LITTLE overhead for overclocking.

I do NOT agree that it's better to overclock yourself. Overclocked cards often have better heatsinks such as the Vapor-X technology by Sapphire.

I just don't think it's worth manually overclocking to get only a 3% stable overclock.

UPDATE:
I was about to say the HD6870 is a great card (and it is). However, I just went back and spent some time looking at the latest cards. I high recommend this:

NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-geforce-gtx-...

*NOTES:
1. It was quieter than other cards in its class
2. It was back and forth between it and the 6870 for games
3. SCALING is better if you think you'll buy another card in the future
4. NVidia is better at driver updates
5. Tesselation is better on NVidia DX11 cards
6. CUDA support
7. PhysX support

Hands down, this is the card I'd buy today. It just didn't exist last year when I bought mine. Obviously they've sorted out the heat issues.



But I'm running AMD phenom II x6, isn't radeon what I'm stuck with?
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a c 147 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
February 1, 2011 7:52:16 AM

You can buy ANY PCIe graphics card for ANY board with PCIe. It has nothing to do with what brand of CPU you have.

The only incompatibility issue is for multiple cards. Motherboards have FOUR options (see your motherboard manual):
1) No SLI/Crossfire at all
2) SLI only
3) Crossfire only
2) BOTH SLI and Crossfire

To be clear:
1) start with the GTX 560 Ti review on the main page. Read the review and then decide if another card is better
2) don't flash a 6950 to 6970. It may or may not have issues. The cooling is designed around it being a 6950, and parts also vary in quality so you could wreck your card. I've read the information on this.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
February 5, 2011 5:01:35 PM

You do void your warranty.
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February 5, 2011 7:01:22 PM

flash it back, and no one knows that it ever happend.
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a b U Graphics card
February 5, 2011 8:06:08 PM

Yes, the dual BIOS feature is very useful for overclocking.
But if you wanna get a 6950 get one fast as AMD is making the design different from 6970.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
February 5, 2011 8:12:40 PM

"You should be aware that the retail 6970 card uses an 8-pin and a 6-pin connector for its auxiliary power whereas the 6950 only has a pair of 6-pin intakes, which might cause trouble under extreme loads.."
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a b U Graphics card
February 6, 2011 5:05:27 AM

@ tinywolves,
Does your stock 6870 do what you want it to? Can you max out the settings on games without issues? If so, I would suggest you leave it stock. If not, play with it.
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a b U Graphics card
February 6, 2011 5:14:00 AM

I vote for the hd6950 unlocked to a hd6970. If the unlock doesn't work you can just flip a switch on the side and you have another hd6950 BIOS. It is like an extra life. (makes me think of a "1 up mushroom")
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a c 147 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
February 6, 2011 7:36:17 PM

Quote:
Which is why you bump up the power +20% in AMD overdrive, which also leads to even greater results. I've not had a single problem with my flash. Personally I'm a VisionTek card. As long as you have a reference card and it will allow you to do it, there's no issue.


I'm not saying you CAN'T do it. I'm simply saying that you are significantly increasing the odds of a failure which could even kill the card.

And you can "bump up the power" but you're still using the available power connectors which may not provide enough at high loads and thus lead to instability.

Whatever, I'm done.
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a b U Graphics card
February 6, 2011 8:52:12 PM

If it doesn't work just flip the switch on the side and you have your old hd6950.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
February 8, 2011 1:37:38 AM

"kill your card"
I meant killing it by forcing it to use more power than normal, not the act of flashing the BIOS.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
February 8, 2011 1:27:33 PM

It may be "safe", but it does still increase the risk of damage or instability. There must be a reason that the normal version of the card has different power connections (more power available).

Anyway, I'm sure it will likely work for most people (not sure about the long-term issues).

I saw some GTX 570's on sale for $300 CDN. A 2xGTX 570 is a really sweet setup provided the rest of the PC can handle it.

(I sure wish NVidia would offer Optimus for the Desktop. Optimus can turn off addon graphics cards COMPLETELY when not in use and only use a low-power integrated graphics solution. Imagine if they did that for the CPU too so you could have a low-end AMD APU or Atom/GPU most of the time and have your Intel 6C/12T CPU and NVidia SLI setup start only when needed.. )
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February 12, 2011 11:53:21 PM

photonboy said:
You can buy ANY PCIe graphics card for ANY board with PCIe. It has nothing to do with what brand of CPU you have.

The only incompatibility issue is for multiple cards. Motherboards have FOUR options (see your motherboard manual):
1) No SLI/Crossfire at all
2) SLI only
3) Crossfire only
2) BOTH SLI and Crossfire

To be clear:
1) start with the GTX 560 Ti review on the main page. Read the review and then decide if another card is better
2) don't flash a 6950 to 6970. It may or may not have issues. The cooling is designed around it being a 6950, and parts also vary in quality so you could wreck your card. I've read the information on this.



The motherboard I am looking at is the ASUS M4A89TD PRO, it's a cross fire board, no sci therefore no Nvidia, am I wrong?

I just want to to guild budgeting gaming pc, by budget I mean 1,200 -1,400 without monitor, keyboard, or any extras included.
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a b U Graphics card
February 13, 2011 12:25:27 AM

Do you want me to put together a $1200~1400 build for you and see what you think?
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February 13, 2011 12:58:57 AM

HostileDonut said:
Do you want me to put together a $1200~1400 build for you and see what you think?



Sure, I am from Canada though so unfortunately I need to get what I can from NCIX, Canada's part retailer
Basically you're looking at parts being 50 to maybe 100 dollars more sometimes making it kinda rough...
And also I kind of want amd rather than intel, I feel like a change.
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a b U Graphics card
February 13, 2011 1:01:08 AM

I overclocked my 6870 to 1020 core and 1220 mem (probably could have gone a bit farther but thats as far as I have tested it thus far..., I thought that was pretty decent when everything was saying how little overclocking room it has, its basically a 6 series 5870 now... :) 
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a b U Graphics card
February 13, 2011 1:21:28 AM

tinywolves said:
Sure, I am from Canada though so unfortunately I need to get what I can from NCIX, Canada's part retailer
Basically you're looking at parts being 50 to maybe 100 dollars more sometimes making it kinda rough...
And also I kind of want amd rather than intel, I feel like a change.

Can you order from Newegg.ca? If not, I will look at NCIX.
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a b U Graphics card
February 13, 2011 1:36:48 AM
February 18, 2011 9:24:39 PM
a b U Graphics card
February 20, 2011 9:09:19 PM

Okay, sweet. By the way, that case is amazing. Great airflow, places to hide the cords for even better airflow, and a fan speed nob on the top to control the fan speed/noise. Also, it has many hard drive/SSD and disk drive bays.
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February 21, 2011 12:56:53 AM

HostileDonut said:
Okay, sweet. By the way, that case is amazing. Great airflow, places to hide the cords for even better airflow, and a fan speed nob on the top to control the fan speed/noise. Also, it has many hard drive/SSD and disk drive bays.


But it's very plain. I'm not a fan of all the fancy lights but I want like one or two, or a clear side.
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a b U Graphics card
February 21, 2011 1:59:23 AM

The case looks very plain, but it is not really as plain as it looks. If you want flashy lights (I am not a fan of them) the Antec 1200 case is good.
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February 24, 2011 7:27:56 AM

HostileDonut said:
The case looks very plain, but it is not really as plain as it looks. If you want flashy lights (I am not a fan of them) the Antec 1200 case is good.


I'v been looking at this 560 ti card though instead going ati.
As for that mobo, why did you pick that one?
I think I'd like two 560's instead.

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a b U Graphics card
February 24, 2011 8:22:17 PM

tinywolves said:
I'v been looking at this 560 ti card though instead going ati.
As for that mobo, why did you pick that one?
I think I'd like two 560's instead.

First off, the mobo and the maker are both great. ASUS makes quality things and will not let you down. It is also a quad CF (you probably wouldn't use that though) and has great features. Two GTX 560 Tis would be out of price range, so I didn't suggest them. If you can, and want to change the mobo, go ahead. HD6870s are amazing scalers too.
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February 25, 2011 10:15:17 AM

HostileDonut said:
First off, the mobo and the maker are both great. ASUS makes quality things and will not let you down. It is also a quad CF (you probably wouldn't use that though) and has great features. Two GTX 560 Tis would be out of price range, so I didn't suggest them. If you can, and want to change the mobo, go ahead. HD6870s are amazing scalers too.


I think I want to go for the 560's I'll pay a little more. But to SLI, I would need a diff mobo right and apparently am3 sli boards are not the greatest?
I'm thinking I'll up the budget, get a single geforce card in the future, aka the 580 when It's more affordable.
So I'll crossfire two cheaper cards for now.
So what is one of my best mobo's out there for that. I can upgrade to that fancy IV formula extreme that has sli AND crossfire in the future if I need to.


I'm not really someone who has any other expenses besides clothes and console gaming. :p 
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a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2011 4:22:17 PM

Okay, but there is no reason from going to GTX 560s SLied to a GTX 580, or GTX 580 SLi either. Two GTX 560s price = same price as one GTX 580, which means your performance is better, at the same price. If you had 1 billion dollars and needed the best, (e.g. two GTX 580s) it would be worth it. Two GTX 570s can OC to stock GTX 580s SLi performance. Good choice for the mobo: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=53567&vpn=M4N75TD&man...
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February 27, 2011 10:54:53 AM

HostileDonut said:
Okay, but there is no reason from going to GTX 560s SLied to a GTX 580, or GTX 580 SLi either. Two GTX 560s price = same price as one GTX 580, which means your performance is better, at the same price. If you had 1 billion dollars and needed the best, (e.g. two GTX 580s) it would be worth it. Two GTX 570s can OC to stock GTX 580s SLi performance. Good choice for the mobo: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=53567&vpn=M4N75TD&man...


Gotcha. I'm sticking with a single card for now, I'll upgrade to the 580 or something later.

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February 27, 2011 10:55:38 AM

Best answer selected by tinywolves.
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