I currently have a 260 c216 and plan on upgrading it to either a 560 or a 570. Problem is I'm not sure which of the two since they both have pros and cons. The MSI 560 is cool, quiet and cheaper ($250) and can be overclocked to match a stock 570. The 570 has pure power on its side but costs about $325. Seeing as how the 570 is roughly 15% faster than the 560, it should technically cost only 290 (250*1.15) but there's obviously a price premium. I am currently using a Q6600 at 3.0 but can do 3.2 stable and plan on upgrading to an i5 2500k or i7 2600k in the summer. I understand that there will be a bottleneck with the 570 due to my Q6600. Which of the two cards would be a better choice? I also plan on SLIing in the near future once I upgrade the CPU and mobo.
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
CPU: Q6600 @ 3.0 can do 3.2
Mobo: Gigabyte EP45-UD3R
PSU: Corsair 850 HX
I'm not a fan of ATI drivers and I plan on helping to pay for the second 560/570 through folding for EVGA since ATI cards are terrible for folding at the moment. This makes the cost of the overall new build in the summer cheaper. In addition, the 6950 unlocked can be unstable and would void warranty should something go wrong anyways. I have considered this route though.
I agree with shadow. You can buy the 1GB version of the 6950 for about $260 and will still be faster than the 560. Not to mention that the 69xx series Crossfire scaling has significantly improved and is on par with, and exceeds in some cases, SLI. Not to mention the dual bios feature.
Main games I play are BFBC2 and SC2, its mainly BFBC2 that I would like a jump in frames. Getting around 35 right now on the 260 with max settings 2AA and 16AF at 1080. Again, I'm not considering ATI cards because they cannot fold, therefore the cost difference between the 560 and the 6950 would be greater since I can get money folding for EVGA towards my next card for SLI. In addition, since everyone seems to be flashing the 6950, they seem to forget that the flashed card must be overclocked to reach the 880mhz of the 6970 which is on par with the 570. The overclocked 560 is also on par with the 570 so it makes the 560 an even better deal.
The cost effectiveness of these cards depends on your willingness to spend a big more for the 2GB 6950; for $30 more than the 560 it may be well worth it to get a 6950 and flash it to a 6970 or to unlock the shaders.