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Is this the right card for me? XFX 6950

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 17, 2011 12:48:35 AM

i currently have the XFX 4870 which was running great until last night. all of the sudden fan is extremely noisy and has a 'whine' to it. i have a support ticket open with XFX and im assuming that they will send me a refurb card that i can then sell as such.

im looking at reviews and the hierarchy chart and the 6950 seems to be a good choice that might be 'opened' up to a 6970. i would probably stick with XFX since they have been really good in dealing with me once before but im not married to them. i was looking at the 2 gig model because i would like to future proof as much as possible, but again im not married to the idea.

i use a single 24" monitor at its native resolution of 1920 x 1080. since thats the native resolution i would probably stick with that for gaming also. and my HAF 932 should have no problems fitting even the biggest card. all other specs are in my sig.

the 4870 uses dual 6 pin power cords so the 6950 should work there. any other things i need to think of? im currently running Catalyst 11.2 so any new Radeon should have no problems plugging right in and going.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

More about : card xfx 6950

a c 1392 U Graphics card
March 17, 2011 1:44:29 AM

It is recommended to reinstall the CCC and drivers after the upgrade but not necessary. The 6950 would be an excellent choice for your system and XFX's dual lifetime is the best warranty in North America!
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a c 173 U Graphics card
March 17, 2011 1:49:47 AM

Clean your current card and wait for XFX's response to your support ticket. I have done a little with them in the past. They are great :) 
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March 17, 2011 4:17:09 AM

yesterday, everything was working great all day and about 30 minutes after i went to bed it started with the noise. all warm and drowsy, just about to fall asleep and then... :o 

i got up, shut down, opened the case, took out the card and went outside (cold and windy) in my underwear and blew out the card with canned air (holding the fan so it couldnt spin). reinstalled the card and it was ok for a few minutes then i bumped the case putting the side panel back on and there goes the extra loud fan noise complete with 'whining' sound. so i put in my backup 3650 and filled out a support ticket.

long story short, not a dust issue. in the Catalyst CC i could see the temp was 64 degrees with 0% activity and the fan speed was at 53%.

so the 6950 sounds like a great card at a pretty good price.

is this the best bang for the buck? and should i go with the 2GB model? if i get some positives on this XFX 6950 2GB model then i will go ahead and grab one and sell the refurb 4870 when i get things squared with XFX customer support.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
March 17, 2011 4:25:58 AM

The only reason you should get the 2G version is if your planning on running an eyefinity setup.Otherwise the 1G should do just fine if your not running an insanely large resoultion.

What games are oyu looking to play?What type of results are you looking for out of this upgrade?
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March 17, 2011 4:38:48 AM

im not trying to get to crazy. my 4870 runs pretty much everything that i want it to but ill get Battlefield 3 when that comes out. i want to run that clean and any other games in the next year or so.

the 2GB is only about $15 more than the 1GB. btw, whats the difference between 695a and 695x?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
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a c 214 U Graphics card
March 17, 2011 4:44:49 AM

Well if you've ever played BFBC2 i can only guess that BF3 will be almost the same except better.So if your looking to play that i'd suggest getting the 6950.Should be able to max it out with the 6950.

The only difference i can see between them is the length(BnW XFX is 2" shorter in length)and the placement of the heatsink/fan.The BnW version has it placed in the middle which means some of the heat from the card will get exhausted into the case.The red one has it on the back so it will push the air thru the card and out the back.

Personally since both those XFX cards don't have lifetime warranty i'd go for a Asus or MSI version.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
March 17, 2011 12:37:00 PM

Just get the 2gb version, it is worth it in the long run and is best to stay ahead of any future minimum vram requirements.
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March 17, 2011 10:02:08 PM

from the reading ive done the third party cooling doesnt really help much and in some cases hurt. the article wasnt specific to this card of course.

that MSI 6950 is nearly $50 more than the XFX 6950 with the MIR. is it really that good of an option?
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a c 214 U Graphics card
March 18, 2011 8:21:58 PM

The MSI version probably has a more aggressive fan speed profile.You can alter that with MSI Afterburner.

Honestly if you want to acieve the highest O.C. you can then the MSI card would be where you do it.You won't get much out of the XFX version.

The decision is totally up to you but my reccomendation would be the MSI version.
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March 19, 2011 1:41:33 AM

anybody else have thoughts on MSI vs XFX? what is MSI customer service like?

i was getting used to the idea of spending $260 after MIR but the MSI card is nearer $300... from that review it looks like it deals with heat a whole lot better than the reference and is about the same dB level. and the MSI looks like it squeezes a little more horsepower out of the same design.

regardless of card maker, i will definitely flash the bios and do the tweaks to get a 6970 out of the whole deal. but probably wont go beyond that as far as OCing though.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
March 19, 2011 1:58:36 AM

Well either way if you have the money the MSI version is worth it.

If just flashing it is all you intend to do then any version would be good.Was only saying to get the MSI if you intend to do some O.C.ing.In the end you can always buy an aftermarket VGA cooler when they become avalible if you ever decide the fans are to loud or you want to get better cooling.
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March 19, 2011 7:29:09 AM

the biggest selling point for me in looking at the 6950 was that i could flash it with no problems and end up with a second tier card while i payed a third tier price which is about $70 less. the XFX 6970 is $330 after MIR while the XFX 6950 is $260 after MIR. pretty good way of moving up the hierarchy scale for graphics cards and not paying for it.

looking again at the MSI card and reading all the reviews, this card does NOT have the bios switch that is necessary for doing this little trick. heres a review for the MSI Twin Frozr II 6950 that is $40 more than the XFX reference card.

Quote:
Pros: Nice quiet fans. Was hoping to flash and unlock shaders like all other HD6950s.

Cons: Cannot be flashed to unlock shaders. Bios switch missing? Why MSI?

Other Thoughts: If you are planning on unlocking shaders stay away from this card and get one with a reference cooler.


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a b U Graphics card
March 19, 2011 9:26:58 AM

so go for the XFX one :p 
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a c 214 U Graphics card
March 19, 2011 10:40:58 AM


I guess go with the XFX version then.

The only other card i know that has good cooling is the Asus version.But it probably doesn't have the switch that you need.Possibly only the reference model cards have such switch.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 19, 2011 7:12:40 PM

yep, to bad. seems that non-reference cards have all had this feature removed.

http://www.pureoverclock.com/review.php?id=1233&page=7
Quote:
One significant difference not included on the 6950 DirectCU II is the BIOS switch which would typically allow switching between two BIOSes in the event of a bad flash. Of course, we know this also allowed the 6950 to be flashed to a 6970, and with the improved power design on the DirectCU II, this would have been a perfect card for flashing. However, that's no longer possible here, as the BIOS switch is now gone and component changes have also been made.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
March 19, 2011 7:23:18 PM

They probably sign a contract saying that they will remove it since they are altering the card,those version with the aftermarket coolers don't come out until weeks after the reference deisgn is released.Afterall it was a mistake made by AMD for it to be able to flash over to a 6970.
They did the same type of thing with the 68xx series.They didn't add a second crossfire bridge for triple or quad crossfire.The way the crossfire scaling performance works(really really good)you could have x3 6870's and beat a 6970 or come close to a 6990 for about half the price.

So your going to go with the XFX version then?

If you are going for a reference deisgn i would suggest going with a Saphire version.They pack their card with tons of extra goodies.XFX just gives a crossfire bridge and something to hang on your door.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 19, 2011 9:18:50 PM

im comfortable with XFX. i watched an unboxing vid of the Sapphire card and they do give you some adapters and stuff but i have most of that from my 4870 card because XFX doesnt want anything back but the card for an RMA and then they send all the accessories again with the refurb card.

should i be using this with the HDMI port? my 4870 just has DVI so i havent been using HDMI but i can go ahead and order one from Newegg at the same time.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
March 19, 2011 9:33:26 PM

Using what with the HDMI port?
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a b U Graphics card
March 19, 2011 9:35:55 PM

Just thought I would let you know if you actually plan on unlocking the 6950 to a 6970, be sure to get the 2GB version of the card. The 6970 HD is a 2GB card and it would only make sense to get a 2GB 6950. In my honest opinion, the 2GB version is a better value than the 1GB version anyways. Hopefully this helps :) 
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March 19, 2011 9:56:02 PM

purple stank said:
Using what with the HDMI port?
is it better (quality, etc) and/or easier to use an HDMI rather than DVI with the 6950 to connect to my 24" ASUS that has DVI and HDMI inputs. from what ive read there should be no difference between the DVI and HDMI (obviously, other than no sound with DVI) but wanted to double check.

thanks bigman, planning on the 2GB version!
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a c 214 U Graphics card
March 20, 2011 12:04:27 AM

No their isn't any difference bettwen DVI and HDMI picture wise.I've heard things saying that HDMI is slightly better just because it's newer than DVI but it's practically the same.
Only difference you will see is using the Mini-Display port(HDMI 1.4a/b).I believe they carry a higher refresh rate and more video.Meant for 3D and Blu-Ray.
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March 20, 2011 12:20:41 AM

went ahead and ordered! i think ill be really happy with the new card!

thanks for the help everyone. thanks purple!
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March 20, 2011 12:22:30 AM

Best answer selected by heynow.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
March 20, 2011 12:29:50 AM

Glad i could help,goodluck.

Happy Gaming!!!
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