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XFX 6950 2GB or XFX 5870 1GB

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 9, 2011 9:32:38 PM

Hi all,

I recently bought a Palit GTX 460 2GB, but it has some artifact issues right from the BIOS screen.

Had it RMA'd & was sent out another card, but the card was actually a Palit GTS 450 in a 460 box, grrr!

That was also suffering from artifact issues (but not right from the BIOS screen)

So, I'm about to return the card for my money back, as want to choose an AMD solution (kinda sick of the hassle I have had so far from the supplier with the 460 cards)

My motherboard is an ASUS Crosshair Extreme IV (AMD) & I have 2x2GB Corsair 1600MHz XMS memory, OCZ Fatal1ty 750W PSU (2x6 & 2x8 PIN connectors for GFX card), case is a HAF 932.

My monitors max resolution is 1680x1050 (Samsung Syncmaster 226BW) so will not be able to play games in a higher resolution.

Out of the XFX 6950 2GB & XFX 5810 1GB, which is the faster card for my screen resolutions?

Games I like to play are Crysis, Crysis Warhead, Dirt 2, Metro2033, etc etc.

6950 = £212.97
5870 = £203.07

Cheers,
Pete.
February 9, 2011 9:39:28 PM

The HD6950 is faster and worth the extra £10.
February 9, 2011 10:13:42 PM

out of the two you have picked, i would go for the hd5870. its older tech but a fast sound card with good bang for your bucks. lets face it, new card with twice the ram for same money? how much woukd a hd5870 2gb be? £320-350!!!
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February 9, 2011 10:28:07 PM

I'd be just as wary of AMD cards. I have a friend who ordered and RMA'd four (4) 6850s in a row, as he was having issues with the cards pixelating, and then just quitting out, while he was playing CoD 4. I just want to know- are you using folding@home GPU? If I were you I'd uninstall F@H and retry an Nvidia card. My friend got a PNY 460, had some pixelation, uninstalled F@H, and the issues all went away. Problem solved.

If I could persuade you, the best bang for your buck at the moment, and what would give you great performance on your resolution, is the Gigabyte 1GHz Super Overclocked Edition GTX 560Ti. The card performs on par with the GTX 570, at a $270(USD) price, which, at current exchange rates, is about £167.

Guru3D Review:
http://www.guru3d.com/article/gigabyte-gtx-560-ti-soc-r...

As you'll notice, it's performance is better than both the 5870 and the 6950, and surpassing both in 3DMark Vantage. Temperature-wise, it beats both cards hands down.

Keep that in mind while making your choice!

Also, when it comes to video card vendors, Palit should be low on your list. Look for vendors like EVGA, Gigabyte, ASUS, and MSI. They have good reputations and warranties to match.
February 9, 2011 11:30:02 PM

The 5870 is well proven and continues to be relevant in comparison to the latest technology. Playing at 1680x1050, you'll be able to get maximum details with anything you play, although Metro 2033 can choke just about anything depending on the settings.

I would skip the 6xxx series altogether, just as I will skip the nVidia 5xx series. Both seemed rushed out in response to each other. The nVidia 4xxs were only out months before they followed up with 5xxs just as the AMD 68xxs were out only a few months before the 69xxs. They marketed the early versions as if they were the best thing since sliced bread, then turned around and released the updated versions months later telling us what they did wrong with the earlier version.

I'm thinking nVidia will get it right again with the 600s and AMD will get it right with the 7xxxs if they take their time with them (and a functioning driver release in conjunction with the new hardware release is alway nice for us consumers). I have no preference one way or another between AMD and nVidia. I am a fan of a company providing the best performance at a competitive price.

In your case, though, I would go with the 5870. Just add another 5870 if you feel you need a boost at some point and you'll be beyond the performance of the 580 at around lower price.

You can find the 5870 anywhere between $200 and $300 these days.
February 9, 2011 11:57:16 PM

I don't know what people are thinking! If you're willing to unlock a 6950 2GB to a 6970, it has better performance than a 5870! Just go read the Tom's Hardware reviews on the 6950 and 6970:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6970-rade...
The only reason to get a 5870 first is because it's cheaper. But it doesn't really have more bang for your buck if you consider the unlocking of the 6950. Also, the 6950 kills it in super high resolutions (or future games that use larger frame buffers).
February 10, 2011 12:55:39 AM

dalauder said:
I don't know what people are thinking! If you're willing to unlock a 6950 2GB to a 6970, it has better performance than a 5870! Just go read the Tom's Hardware reviews on the 6950 and 6970:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6970-rade...
The only reason to get a 5870 first is because it's cheaper. But it doesn't really have more bang for your buck if you consider the unlocking of the 6950. Also, the 6950 kills it in super high resolutions (or future games that use larger frame buffers).

Dalauder's right. Yes. Read the review. See that the 6970 gets about 4fps more for an extra $100-$150 at your monitor's resolution. And see the 6950 underperform the 5870 in many cases even at higher resolutions. The charts are good for comparing this. Also something to consider... Why is it they drop the 5870 from the comparison charts when they get to Dirt 2 the second time around?

Additionally, there are warranty risks with unlocking/overclocking your GPU.

If you're looking in the price range of the 5870 and the 6950 and you won't be unlocking or overclocking, the 5870 is proven. Also, if you ever plan to add a another card, you'll see a couple of 5870s can beat a 5970 in other charts.
February 10, 2011 2:27:26 AM

Yes, read the review. The 6950 loses by 1 frame to the 5870 or wins by 7 frames--overall it's clearly in the lead. A 6950 or 6970 are both much quieter than a 5870 too. I don't know why they don't show 5870 crossfire scaling--maybe because these games didn't all exist last time it was benched. That AND you can unlock to a 6970 if you ever feel performance is lacking. Not to mention this was with drivers AT LAUNCH. Now that the drivers have matured, it probably gets like a 2fps bump.

So ubercake--why were you pushing the 5870 if they're within £10 of eachother?
February 10, 2011 6:29:15 AM

I can't see a good arguement for going with the HD5870 over the HD6950. The HD6950 is slightly faster, has much better DX11 Performance and has a good chance of being unlocked to a HD6970. It has two BIOS's and a BIOS switch which makes the process extremely easy and safe.
Saying the HD5870 is "Proven" doesn't mean jack, the HD6950 isn't some kind of mystery....we know its limits.
February 10, 2011 11:17:19 AM

Don't get me wrong. I understand your argument. I'm not saying the 6950 or 6970 are bad cards whatsoever. What I am saying is I don't personally buy into the marketing hype this time around. Usually the companies release the next best thing which is a huge leap in performance and out of the price range of the general populace, then dumb it down a bit to appeal to the mid-range market. This time around they released the 68xx series (which can't beat the 58xx series) and just leapfrogged it within months with the release of the 69xx series. Again for me, voiding the warranty through any unlocking of a 6950 or overclocking would also have to be considered.

I also find it remarkable that even though the 5870 is "older" technology, you find its performance sandwiched right between the 6950 and 6970 at multiple resolutions (in the review dalauder pointed out) on titles like Dirt 2, AvP, BFBC2, etc... The 5870 definitely falls short if you're a Lost Planet 2 fan, though? So all of you Lost Planet 2 fans should take a pass on a single 5870 configuration.

So back to the original question... 5870 or 6950 at 1680x1050?
February 10, 2011 11:29:09 AM

The 68xx series wasn't mean't to out perform the 58xx series, it's a replacement for the 57xx series and targeted at the GTX460 768 and 1GB.
The 6950 passes the HD5850 nicely, and the 6970 is easily faster than the 5870.... The reason why we haven't seen the usual huge boost in performance is because the 68 and 69 series are still on the 40nm node, it was mean't to be 32nm...
Now AMD are skipping the 32nm and moving to 28nm for the 7xxx series.

In that review posted above, where the 6950 loses out to the HD5870 its only by a tiny margin and sometimes the 6950 will have better minimum FPS, but the 5870 is on top due to slightly higher average FPS...

The HD6950 has great DX11 performance (compared to the HD5870), 2GB of VRAM which is ideal if the OP decides to move to a bigger monitor or eyefinity... It also scales better in CF compared to the HD5870 so I think its a better card for future upgrades.
February 10, 2011 8:10:43 PM

Ubercake, you're just a 5870 fanboy. Read the review objectively, like I did after you made your claims that the 5870 was faster.

The 6950 outperforms the 5870 by a large enough margin to be in a different class in half the titles. It performs within a frame or so in EVERY title it loses in--so that it's in the same class. The 5870 is not sandwiched between the 6950 and the 6970--you're deluding yourself. It's clearly riding on the heels of the 6950. And with newer drivers, I bet the 6950 matches or beats the 5870 right out on EVERY test.

Your complaint about the 68XX series not beating the 58XX series is a null argument--it was never intended to compete with it. Like omgitzfatal said, "it's a replacement for the 57XX series."

Now your complaints about unlocking voiding the warranty are legitimate. That's one reason I said not to unlock it until it starts seeming slow. But at only 10 pounds more and with MUCH more potential (if you consider unlock down the road), the 6950 is the easy buy.
February 10, 2011 10:07:05 PM

Wile the guys on the forum are giving each others view point, check benchmarks on the internet, not just one site. If the 6950 gets better results than buy it, if not buy the other one. Also check for personal opinions on more forums. Sometimes the sites give "defective" results because they get money for that. Search for personal reviews made by people on the internet also.
February 10, 2011 10:25:24 PM

But don't buy the 6850--it's midrange garbage. Okay, not garbage...it's a quality card. But it's not comparable to the 5870 and 6950 in this discussion.

Edit: I was responding to a post that's now edited so I have nothing useful to put in this space. Here, Cross-eyed 3D is cool: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JpurH7HNc4&feature=relm...
February 10, 2011 10:35:23 PM

dalauder said:
But don't buy the 6850--it's midrange garbage. Okay, not garbage...it's a quality card. But it's not comparable to the 5870 and 6950 in this discussion.


I meant 6950, sorry! Edited my previous post.
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