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Radeon 6950 2gb or Nvidia 560 Ti?

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February 22, 2011 5:43:11 PM

First time posting here but I'm thinking of building a new computer and am at quite a dilemma. I've seen that generally the Radeon will be a bit more expensive than the Nvidia 560 Ti. However, I've been thinking about getting one of the 1 Ghz overclocked 560s that are setting at about the same price of the 6950 and was wondering what people's recommendations would be? I've seen that by going with the 6950 it's possible to flash the BIOS and basically make it into a 6970, but how much does this effect the reliability of the card?

I guess all in all I see good things about both of the cards and was wondering what everyone thought about which would be better to get?
February 22, 2011 5:56:36 PM

Just read the forum and reposting:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This month BUDGET RANGE:$200-270 after rebates

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Using this for gaming and want it to last me a while. Looking at games like Deus Ex 3 and would like to run them at high settings. Currently thinking of games like Dragon Age 2.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Building a new system so no current one right now, but thinking of a 650W power supply

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Currently planning Intel i7 2600K with 8 gigs of 1600 DDR3. Not sure what else would be good to know.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Would prefer New Egg if possible

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: None

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Open to anything at the moment. I've seen that generally the Radeon will be a bit more expensive than the Nvidia 560 Ti. However, I've been thinking about getting one of the 1 Ghz overclocked 560s that are setting at about the same price of the 6950 and was wondering what people's recommendations would be? I've seen that by going with the 6950 it's possible to flash the BIOS and basically make it into a 6970, but how much does this effect the reliability of the card?
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February 22, 2011 5:59:26 PM

6950 imo, the 560 ti's are having driver related issues with the overclocked cards, see my post here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/310099-33-best

Also, they are about the same price give or take, but flashing the bios to unlock the software to a 6970 is definitely > 560 ti in every benchmark i have seen. Reliability? Long term, not sure, since they haven't been out long, but I know a few people that have done it, and have seen posts on the web that have done it, and no one I know has any issues.
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a c 216 U Graphics card
a c 80 Î Nvidia
February 22, 2011 6:08:03 PM

I did it, and it's working great. I even overclocked it beyond stock 6970 speeds, but I'm afraid for the memory, which may not be the same as those in the 6970 cards, so I underclock the memory back to 6950 speeds. My overall performance is the same as a stock 6970.
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a c 216 U Graphics card
a c 80 Î Nvidia
February 22, 2011 9:31:03 PM

Quote:
me personally will take the GTX560Ti and I do not see the benefit of having a 2GB card when 1GB is more than sufficient.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4135/nvidias-geforce-gtx-...


Mostly, you are right about 2gb, but it's not always sufficient. Example: the LA stadium in Dirt 2 will drag a 1.2 GB card to it's knees due to all the people in the stadium. The 2GB's is a lot smoother there.
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a c 604 U Graphics card
a c 396 Î Nvidia
February 22, 2011 9:47:42 PM

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a c 155 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
February 22, 2011 11:59:39 PM

Get the GTX 560 Ti:

I'm not an NVidia fanboy; I have an HD5870. However, you can look up the Tomshardware review of the GTX 560 Ti; it shows what a great card it is (including relatively low noise).

SLI is superior to Crossfire in case you may buy another 560 Ti down the road.

NVidia has other things going for it (PhysX, CUDA) as well.
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February 23, 2011 1:39:49 AM

photonboy said:
Get the GTX 560 Ti:

I'm not an NVidia fanboy; I have an HD5870. However, you can look up the Tomshardware review of the GTX 560 Ti; it shows what a great card it is (including relatively low noise).

SLI is superior to Crossfire in case you may buy another 560 Ti down the road.

NVidia has other things going for it (PhysX, CUDA) as well.


Please provide us a link that shows Sli is superior to crossfire. If you are dual GPU'ing either way, there's a good chance you are an enthusiast, maybe using multiple monitors, but highly likely you are playing at high resolutions. I know Sli wins out at low resolutions, but I don't see how Sli can beat out crossfire with 2x 2gb cards in intense highly demanding games, when being played by an 'enthusiast'.

And for reference, I currently have a gtx 460 and 2x 6970's in my 2 'serviceable' machines, previously had an HD 4790, 9600gtx, 8800gtx, etc, etc...so I am by no means a fanboy either way, I just like to data to back up claims so I know for the future.


Edit: 2* not 1 2gb cards
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a c 604 U Graphics card
a c 396 Î Nvidia
February 23, 2011 2:03:58 AM

capitaboarder87 said:
Please provide us a link that shows Sli is superior to crossfire. I just like to data to back up claims so I know for the future.


http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6950-crossfirex...
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-560-ti-sli-re...
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-570-sli-revie...
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-580-sli-revie...

SLI vs. Crossfire:

Noise levels (vs. single card)
6950: 49 Dba (+8 Dba)
560: 40 Dba (+3 Dba)
570: 42 Dba (+2 Dba)
580: 46 Dba (+5 Dba)

GPU Temps (vs. single card)
6950: 89c (+12c)
560: 74c (+6c)
570: 81c (+4c)
580: 90c (+3c)

Average dual card scaling across all benchmarks at 1920x1200:
6950: 1.67x
560: 1.69x
570: 1.7x
580: 1.58x
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February 23, 2011 2:36:30 AM

17seconds said:
http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6950-crossfirex...
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-560-ti-sli-re...
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-570-sli-revie...
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-580-sli-revie...

SLI vs. Crossfire:

Noise levels (vs. single card)
6950: 49 Dba (+8 Dba)
560: 40 Dba (+3 Dba)
570: 42 Dba (+2 Dba)
580: 46 Dba (+5 Dba)

GPU Temps (vs. single card)
6950: 89c (+12c)
560: 74c (+6c)
570: 81c (+4c)
580: 90c (+3c)

Average dual card scaling across all benchmarks at 1920x1200:
6950: 1.67x
560: 1.69x
570: 1.7x
580: 1.58x



Awesome, thank you sir. So based on these charts and benchmarks, overall, Sli does outperform crossfire.

But if you are looking at it from a price-performance ratio, I would say there is no reason to spend the extra absurd amounts of money for a few fps....Just as an example, I can spend $500USD and get 2x 6950. or I can spend $1000USD and get 2x gtx 580, for an extra 12 fps...I don't know about you, but a few fps I won't notice anyway isn't worth $500 to me.

And back to the thread topic, if you look at the charts he posted above, the 6950 outperformed the 560 ti at every resolution, and as a single/ 2 gpu setup, by a few fps. So at the same price point atm, I think it is up to you to make a personal choice to go with nvidia or AMD, as you won't be able to tell the difference. The one thing is, however, the 6950 can be flashed to the 6970, which is a clear winner single card and crossfire over the 560 ti in a single or dual card configuration.

Thanks again for the links, didn't catch those when I looked a few weeks ago.
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a c 604 U Graphics card
a c 396 Î Nvidia
February 23, 2011 2:47:00 AM

http://www.guru3d.com/article/gigabyte-gtx-560-ti-soc-r...
Looking at the Guru3d review of the Gigabyte GTX 560 Ti SOC (including a couple overclocked 6950 benchmarks) we see a similar trend as that shown in the performance chart above with the Zotac GTX 560 AMP! card. The majority of factory overclocked GTX 560's not only beat the 6950, but they can also beat the 6970, all while running cooler and quieter.

Load Temperatures
SOC: 60c
6970: 80c
6950: 79c

Noise Levels
SOC: 38 Dba
6970: 42 Dba
6950: 42 Dba

1920x1200
CODMW2
SOC: 148 fps
6970: 140 fps
6950(OC): 138 fps

FC2
SOC: 97 fps
6970: 83 fps
6950: 76 fps

Anno 1404
SOC: 80 fps
6970: 85 fps
6950: 78 fps

Crysis WH
SOC: 55 fps
6970: 57 fps
6950: 51 fps

Metro
SOC: 27 fps
6970: 28 fps
6950: 25 fps

Dirt 2
SOC: 79 fps
6970: 77 fps
6950: 72 fps

BFBC2
SOC: 56 fps
6970: 56 fps
6950(OC): 56 fps

Avg. fps
SOC: 77 fps
6970: 75 fps
6950: 71 fps

Vantage
SOC: 21,953
6970: 21,419
6950: 20,657
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February 23, 2011 2:51:51 AM

Yeah, that's what I'm seeing too as well. I think I'm pretty much decided on getting that Gigabyte card, just have to wait for it to get back in stock on Newegg :/ 

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!
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a c 604 U Graphics card
a c 396 Î Nvidia
February 23, 2011 2:55:07 AM

therealdeal723 said:
Yeah, that's what I'm seeing too as well. I think I'm pretty much decided on getting that Gigabyte card, just have to wait for it to get back in stock on Newegg :/ 

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!

It's been out of stock for weeks. Hopefully that means they will be back in stock soon. The Sparkle Calibre is also clocked at 1000 mhz, like the Gigabyte SOC, so it might be a good alternative.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-560-ti-...
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a b U Graphics card
February 23, 2011 3:02:06 AM

17seconds said:
http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6950-crossfirex...
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-560-ti-sli-re...
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-570-sli-revie...
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-580-sli-revie...

SLI vs. Crossfire:

Noise levels (vs. single card)
6950: 49 Dba (+8 Dba)
560: 40 Dba (+3 Dba)
570: 42 Dba (+2 Dba)
580: 46 Dba (+5 Dba)

GPU Temps (vs. single card)
6950: 89c (+12c)
560: 74c (+6c)
570: 81c (+4c)
580: 90c (+3c)

Average dual card scaling across all benchmarks at 1920x1200:
6950: 1.67x
560: 1.69x
570: 1.7x
580: 1.58x


More on the higher resolutions. Above those resolutions, honestly I don't doubt it but Im sure they were referring to 25xx x xxxx
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February 23, 2011 3:02:11 AM

Yeah, I saw that as well, just waiting for some store to get that. But no matter what I'm still at least a month away from buying all the parts. Just doing some preliminary planning and getting ready n' such. :) 
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February 23, 2011 12:35:06 PM



Has anyone looked into the links I posted regarding the 560's? I know it is not a bunch of bull, because I originally had 2 560's in sli, and the same thing that happened to them, happened to me, on all graphically intensive games...I have a 1000w power supply and tried every driver available...I returned them because i didnt want to deal with it.
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February 23, 2011 1:01:21 PM

Quote:
haven't looked at any of the links no.
I also have a GTX560Ti EVGA and have had no issues.
guess I'm lucky.

but I'm not overclocking it either...



Right, I think only OC'd cards seem to have issues, mine were factory OC'd, and all the threads on the nvidia forums are in regards to self and factory OC'd cards. But if we are applying the benchmarks from this thread with the 560 competing with the 6950 and 6970, we would have to assume they are OCd, correct? So in that mindset, a working card > a freezing card....we'll have to wait and see if nvidia comes out with a fix soon, because I don't think a 560 can be suggested atm with intentions of competing with the 6900s because they cannot be OC'd and maintain stability.
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a c 216 U Graphics card
a c 80 Î Nvidia
February 23, 2011 1:04:31 PM

Looking at those example, the scaling is nearly identical for all the cards testing in regards to CF/SLI. 1.57 compared to 1.60 could easily be accounted for as standard deviation.

That leaves PhysX if you have games that support GPU accelerated PhysX.

Or MLAA if you play games that don't play nice with normal AA methods. (What's up with all these console ports that don't play with AA?).

And of course price to performance ratio.
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February 23, 2011 2:01:39 PM

Quote:
assumption..
here's my exact card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Nice. So that is slightly OC'd, and you don't have any issues at 850 MHz opposed to the reference 822 MHz...hmm, my 2 cards at 900 MHz factory overclocked had issues, and a lot at 900+ i've seen have issues...maybe it is a voltage issue trying to push them too much over with the reference voltage? Because iirc, although not 100% positive, on my cards, and several other cards, the core/shader/memory clocks are OCd, but the voltage was the same, that could be an issue on factory OC's? That is just a guess, as I don't know much about power in general. This is the first discussion I have had on Tom's, even though I have been a lurker for years. Thanks for the participation, Discussion > Arguments :) 
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a c 125 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
February 23, 2011 2:08:27 PM

Right now, it seems the 560 is the better card. Although I'll say that on paper the 6950 seems like it should be better. Perhaps later drivers will unleash more performance.

I'll also say that you can't compare a card overclocked 20% or more to stock competitor cards. Either stock to stock or OC to OC.
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a c 604 U Graphics card
a c 396 Î Nvidia
February 23, 2011 3:08:16 PM

wolfram23 said:
Right now, it seems the 560 is the better card. Although I'll say that on paper the 6950 seems like it should be better. Perhaps later drivers will unleash more performance.

I'll also say that you can't compare a card overclocked 20% or more to stock competitor cards. Either stock to stock or OC to OC.

The point is that you should be comparing the clock speeds of the cards that are actually available for purchase. Almost all GTX 560's are sold factory overclocked and almost all 6950's are sold at stock/reference speeds. It makes perfect sense to compare something like the Twin Frozr at 880 or the Zotac AMP! at 950 vs. the reference 6950, since those are the choices a typical buyer will be faced with.
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February 23, 2011 5:29:38 PM

Well I have 2 x reference XFX HD6950's in Crossfire which have been upgraded to HD6970's and they work fine in Eyefinity on 3 Samsung SyncMaster B2430H monitors. I haven't overclocked the "6970's" so they are running at 880 with 1536 shaders. PSU is Corsair HX 850w Modular. So far no complaints.
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February 23, 2011 9:34:12 PM

6950 and unlock it.
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