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Radeon 5870x2 vs Radeon 6950x2

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 30, 2011 2:07:59 AM

Hi guys, I'm a long time reader first time poster, so please be gentle.

I am building a gaming/performance machine for around $2500 (excluding 3 monitor rig) and my aim is to play games etc across 3 monitors with great performance. I am building it in China, cause that's where I live, so pricing can be a little screwy.

I'd like to be using the same machine with perhaps a few tweaks or upgrades in 3 years. Resolution is likely 5760x1080, or there abouts. For personal reasons I am partial to ATi Radeon HD's from long happy usage, so I am pretty sure I'm down to these two cards.

5870 or 6950 x2. 6950 works out around $60 cheaper for 2 here, so I'm just wondering is that the right choice? ALso, I have read that I can flash them to 6970, but other than flashing bios upgrades on old Pc's, I don't have any experience of that, nor am I sure that I need it. For more info, its looking like 12-16 GB RAM and a Sandy Bridge i7 2600K. Motherboard is being determined by what's in stock etc, but the guy gave me a code of Asus P8P67. I will be running of my first SSD also.

So, questions

1) Is the 6950 the right GPU for me in this case?

2) Is there anything I am overlooking here (This is my first custom build, although I have changed many parts of stock pc's and notebooks before)

3) For this rig with little or no overclocking, is it worth getting liquid cooling? The only liquid cooling the guy said he had in stock was the AQUAGATE mini R80, which gets reasonable reviews, is that enough, or should I just get bigger fans?
March 30, 2011 2:17:41 AM

Quote:
Don't waste your money on a 5870.. Old news. 6950 in Crossfire is your better choice


Thanks! And fast response time too :D 
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a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2011 8:10:48 AM

yup 5870 in CF is same as 560s in SLI 6950s are like 570s , you won't need to OC , these cards are already very powerful, if you will want then you can always flash em into 6970 *not all models and only 2GB versions*
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March 30, 2011 8:45:44 AM

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6950-crossfirex...

the 6950 (2gb) are much much much faster than the 5870 in crossfire.

and Liquid cooling is NOT needed with stock gpu's and cpu's. that's only for heavy overclocking. if you don't overclock stock cooling will do, as long your case provedes decent ventilation
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Best solution

a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2011 2:42:05 PM

I have the exact system you explain in your build. I am moving onto 6950's tonight and there were two reasons for me.

ASUS EAH 5870's that I had only support 3 monitors on a single card. If I wanted all 4-5 monitors showing at all times then X-fire had to be disable. Also the 2GB model will support my 4360x1600 resolution better.

In terms of raw performance a single 5870 has more power against a 6950 but DX 11 and Tessellation is supported better by the 6950. X-fire wise though the 2x6950 hands down beat the 2x5870's because of better scalability and such.

I bought the ASUS DCUII 6950's. Yes you cannot unlock the other shaders like a 6970 but you can overclock and still stay within the manufacturer warranty to make it perform with a 6970 stock card.

Bottom line. Buy the 6950's as you will be happier overall.
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April 6, 2011 3:01:49 AM

z06psi said:
I have the exact system you explain in your build. I am moving onto 6950's tonight and there were two reasons for me.

ASUS EAH 5870's that I had only support 3 monitors on a single card. If I wanted all 4-5 monitors showing at all times then X-fire had to be disable. Also the 2GB model will support my 4360x1600 resolution better.

In terms of raw performance a single 5870 has more power against a 6950 but DX 11 and Tessellation is supported better by the 6950. X-fire wise though the 2x6950 hands down beat the 2x5870's because of better scalability and such.

I bought the ASUS DCUII 6950's. Yes you cannot unlock the other shaders like a 6970 but you can overclock and still stay within the manufacturer warranty to make it perform with a 6970 stock card.

Bottom line. Buy the 6950's as you will be happier overall.



Good to know my researches have borne fruit in practice somewhere else! Thanks. the 6950's it is then.....
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May 31, 2011 1:50:24 AM

After a long time guessing and pondering, I bought the system 2 weeks ago in Hong Kong, with a few modifications. I swapped out the ATI's and took the ZOTAC GTX580 AMP2 Edition (3GB RAM per card, slightly better stock fan and clock speed) I took two of them. The reason for this is because of their launch, they were on sale, and were basically the same price as the 6970's so I could say no!

Also, I changed the case to the HAF-X because I upgraded the Motherboard to the Big Bang Marshall by MSI, and it would fit into the HAF 912! Case is massive, which is good, but hard to travel with.

I also added a OZD Revodrive 100 GB (PCI SSD drive) which is loaded with my OS.

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for the advice, and I'm opening a new topic under "Watercooling"
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May 31, 2011 2:45:29 AM

Best answer selected by custombaby.
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