I'd love to unlock it but indent think I will because:
A. I have no idea how to
B. I don't want to mess up a $250 graphics card
C. I've heard some cards can get messed up after a couple of weeks with the 6970 flash.
^wow nice *now i know that you can unlock DCuII's *
A. There are many guides, how to do it
B. most of them have dual switch so you won't mess it up *and most of them are like 220-240$*
C. i haven't
ASUS, GIGABYTE, Sapphire, XFX, Powercolor, MSI, HIS all are great
Also, about the Asus card, it's way too expensive. $325 for a card is just not in a $1000 build budget. Especially when I can get the XFX version for ~$250. That money will eventually go towards a SSD.
XFX HD-695A-CNFC Radeon HD 6950 2GB was the card that I was looking at but I believe newegg permanently took it down because you can unlock it and flash the BIOS. I have it on auto notify but I don't XFX is making these reference cards anymore and to dadiggle, sorry about the ignorance but I have no idea what those four numbers mean.
^idk what do you have against GIGABYTE, but never mind
@OP: quietest and coolest would be GIGABYTE cooler on 560TiSOC, on AMD cards probably ASUS DCuII
You won't know till you buy one of their cards, I also own one of their boards now that is a different story. Their cards yea sure they are rather silent and do have a great pcb but their coolers are the problem. The coolers are very low mass and the fans are fragile as well being weak. They are prone to early failure due to lack of lubrication so grinding noises are not uncommon for owners of such cards. The glue used to mount the stator coil to a plastic mount is very bad and doesn't holds the fans hardly at all. Once you have to fix the fans or even clean them the glue breaks so the whole fan pops out of place while the mount is still screwed to the shroud. Last but not least the air profile is horrific and comparable to a dual orb ware air is recirculated around the card resulting in higher temps than a external exhaust. They do a good job sucking the heat off cards below while creating a pocket of hot air that gradually warms the whole area around the card. The pcb is the big loser of this despite the core being below 70c the vram isn't cooled at all and this is one of the main causes of death of the gtx 460 more often than other cards while the power vrm is left baking at 90-120c even though there is a block to cool it. There is just not enough air flow to effectively cool it. At idle it is only cool to warm to the touch then at load hot enough to boil water. I basically modded mine while unmodded cards don't last no more than a few weeks to three months on average for daily use. Some however have survived for 6 months or more for those who bought them early but got lucky. In short don't buy their cards much like Palit and even MSI it is not out of the woods in these terms like Gigabyte.
If you didn't bother to read this and reply back for bla bla bla then you need to read this wall of text from a owner. I put my $230 ware my mouth is and am a owner of this card since I bought it on my 21st birthday last September.
Ok I'll make this clear, I will not buy the Asus direct CU II. I simply refuse to pay $330 for a 6950 when I could get a perfectly capible 6950 for $250.
@nforce4max what card do you own? It was kinda unclear. (sorry)
Gigabyte gtx 460, just go on newegg and read the reviews. A lot of one and two egg reviews. I know how to keep this bucket of a card alive long enough to last but most don't and have them fail in a few months use. I HATE this cooler design and will never buy one like it again unless ultra cheap on the second hand market. If I get a summer job that pays well enough out with my gtx 460 and in with a 6950 to compliment my dedicated physx. I like that it is short but over all it is very worrisome knowing that the fans will eventually go bad.
there's 2 Asus Direct Cu II cards. Once is the reference one is the non reference one. You'll notice the reference one got written Amd or something on the slot. That's why I asked. Didn't mean anything else. They released other versions where the pcb has changed and cannot be unlocked.
Reference to this other card? I have the non reference, changed PCB ones and they are both unlocked.