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6870 CF VS 6950

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 30, 2011 6:37:21 AM

First off I'm going to say thank you in advance for all the help you guys have provided over the years I'm a long time reader of Toms and I have to say one of the things that makes the site so great is the forums and the help you receive here . This is my situation. I just started playing Dragon age 2 and I'm a little annoyed that I can't max out the graphics with my evga 9800GTX+ and I was considering upgrading it anyways to up the performance for folding on my secondary machine that doubles as a server and a 24/7 Evga folding@home station. I have a CF mobo ( Asus M4A78-E) and would like to get a 2nd 22 inch samnsung monitor for eyefinity. I have several questions concerning the 6950 2 gig card VS the 6870 CF 1 gig.

1) First off will the 6950 fit in Antec 1200 case ? everyone keeps on saying how long the card is and im wondering if it will fit in my case.

2) If i went with the 6870 would the 1 gig frame buffer limit my performance with 2X 22 inch screens.

3) I know the 6870 in CF would outperform the 6950 but by how much ? and would the 2 gig of ram on the 6950 be a factor at all or only later on when more games can use the 2 gig of ram ?

4)I have a corsair 850 HX , will this be able to power the CF 6870 ?

5)My mobo supports CF but only in 8x mode for the 2 cards , will this be a bottleneck for my system and if so enough that i should just forget about the 6870 in CF and just go with the 6950 ?

6)and last but not least how do the ATI cards perform using folding@home , I have always had ati cards but I got a really good deal on 9800GTX+ and I'm just wondering if there is a performance drop because Nvidia has more support for there integrated proprietary hardware.


This system is used mostly for gaming 3D animation for school and heavy multitasking.

system specs
Antec 1200
Asus M4A78-E
8 Gigs KVR 800Mhz
AMD X61055T@3.2
4X1TB HD
2XDVD burners
ZALMAN CNPS10X QUIET
EVGA 9800GTX+ ( soon to be replaced )
Sound Blaster Audigy

Thanks in advance

More about : 6870 6950

a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2011 6:47:43 AM

6870s are much better than a single 6950, you can beat a 580 with a pair of GTX460s*like 10% faster*, which are a bit slower than 6850s*like 10%* and these are like 15%slower than 6870s, so it would be like 35% better than a single 580 which is 20% faster than a 6950

35+20=55

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a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2011 7:07:34 AM

I had 6870s and honestly they worked like *** and, I had a 955 @ 4.0 ghz which is stronger than your six core for gaming and I felt like it couldnt keep up all the time _____>>>>also another thing to consider is the poor minimum fps the crossfire 6870s will produce. Between the frustrating drivers and the minimum fps/cpu not having enough overhead for dual cards.. it was an annoying overall expirience, the frames were high but the sporadic lag spikes were a deal breaker for me

since then I picked up a single gtx 570 for 304 AR and OC'ed to near 580 levels on stock voltage and am very pleased, sold the pair of 6870s for 370 and im back in business without too much of a loss, in my own personal expirience crossfire 6870s did not work like advertised I'd go for a single powerful card such as the 6970 or gtx 570 ...
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March 30, 2011 1:01:53 PM

Thanks for the input guys , so far that's 1 for 6870 and 1 for the 6950. I still need a bit more info though. I already new that CF 6870 would outperform a 6950 what's bothering me is the 1 gig of ram vs the 2 gig on the dual 22 inch monitors. another thing that I was thinking of is how much of a performance hit am I going to have because im using 2X PCI-E slots at 2.0 running in 8x mode for the CF 6870 vs running the 6950 in 16X mode . and Also I'm almost sure that my PSU (Corsair 850 HX ) can handle the draw but if i want to add anything else (most likely HDS , I'm always running out of storage space ) will that be too much of a strain on my PSU ? Another thing is the length of both the 6870 and 6950 cards will either of them fit in my case ? And what Ati's performance in folding@home compared to NVidias ? Some input from some people who fold that previously had lets say 8800/9800 GTs or 275/285 GTX that switched to Ati's 5000/6000 cards would be greatly appreciated. So there you have it my these are my biggest concerns , and I'm curious to hear the replies from all of you. I would like to order something soon so let me know what you guys think, and thanks for the help in advance.

PS I'm in Canada so ill be ordering from newegg.ca
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a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2011 3:20:02 PM

running in 8x you will lose max 5% of performance
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a c 124 U Graphics card
March 30, 2011 3:42:41 PM

MrMeth said:

1) First off will the 6950 fit in Antec 1200 case ? everyone keeps on saying how long the card is and im wondering if it will fit in my case.

2) If i went with the 6870 would the 1 gig frame buffer limit my performance with 2X 22 inch screens.

3) I know the 6870 in CF would outperform the 6950 but by how much ? and would the 2 gig of ram on the 6950 be a factor at all or only later on when more games can use the 2 gig of ram ?

4)I have a corsair 850 HX , will this be able to power the CF 6870 ?

5)My mobo supports CF but only in 8x mode for the 2 cards , will this be a bottleneck for my system and if so enough that i should just forget about the 6870 in CF and just go with the 6950 ?

6)and last but not least how do the ATI cards perform using folding@home , I have always had ati cards but I got a really good deal on 9800GTX+ and I'm just wondering if there is a performance drop because Nvidia has more support for there integrated proprietary hardware.

Thanks in advance

1) Yes, the 1200 is a full size case and should fit any card
2) The resolution counts not the size. If we're talking two 1620x1050 (something like that) and you want to play games across both screens (which seems kind of dumb because you'd get the bezels right down the center) then yes, you would have to lower AA and AF at the least. If you think you might add a 3rd monitor for Eyefinity gaming, then definitely get the 6950 2gb now
3)Again, won't make a big difference at all until you look at Eyefinity resolutions (comparable to 2560x1600 in benchmarks)
4)Yes, definitely.
5)8x won't make a big difference for these cards. I'd only be worried with CF 6970 or SLI 570/580 - even then, the difference is less and less at higher resolutions... basically they limit the data that can go to the cards, overclocking the system can help alleviate that.
6) I don't know, don't use F@H.
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April 6, 2011 3:10:13 PM

Thanks allot wolfram for so far the most complete answer , I guess I'll have to start a folding@home thread to find that out , another thing that I was thinking about was the 6950 1 gig. I just checked the prices on newegg.ca for the 6950 1 gig and to be honest the price kind of sucks, the cheapest card is from HIS ( I don't really trust them ) and its $234.99 , all the other manufactures are at $250-280 and at that price i mite as well add another $50 and get 2x 6950 2 Gigs and flash them too 6970. So I'm going to go with the 6870 in CF and hope the 1 gig ram doesn't come back to bite me in the ass with the dual screens. Thanks allot everyone.
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April 6, 2011 3:12:11 PM

Best answer selected by mrmeth.
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a b U Graphics card
April 6, 2011 3:37:49 PM

well im telling you I had a world of issues with 6870 crossfire but have fun, the minimum fps is pathetic
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April 9, 2011 1:44:02 AM

jjb8675309 what would you suggest then, thats in the same price range that is going to give me eyefinity and that level of performance for 450$ ?
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a b U Graphics card
April 10, 2011 6:04:35 PM

6970
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a c 273 U Graphics card
April 10, 2011 7:24:26 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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