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Indecisive + over thinking = bad combo

I have been pondering which GPU to get and it is really getting to me now. I have done so much research into my first computer build that you would think I would be able to pick the better GPU. It is between the GTX 560 and the Radeon 6950 2gb. I have read most reviews and it really seems to come down to a fanboy war between the two. I want to pay approx. $250 and no more than $270. I started out wanting the Twin Frozr 560, then moved towards the 6950 2gb, and now I am thinking about the Gigabyte 560 SOC 1Ghz. This is my first build so I do not really favor either brand, but something inside me tends to pull me a little closer to nVidia for some reason. The benchmarks show that the 6950 2gb usually wins, especially when flashed to a 6970. I really think the reason I am hesitant with the 6950 is because I want my system to be cool and quiet. Not saying is isn't decent at that, but the Twin Frozr and the Gigabyte easily win that battle.

I am coming from a Radeon X1250 from my old pre built system so I am going to be blown away with either card. With either card, will I be able to play at max settings for almost every game? I'm not meaning games like Metro 2033 which requires ridiculous hardware to play it perfectly. How long do PC gamers usually have a GPU before upgrading to something better? I do plan on SLI/Crossfire in the future.

System specs:
CPU- i5 2500k
Mobo- ASRock P67 Extreme4 B3
PSU- XFX XXX 650w
GPU- Undecided
RAM- G Skill Ripjaws X 4gb
HDD- Samsung Spinpoint F3 1tb
Case- Antec 300 Illusion
32 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about indecisive thinking combo
  1. Either card is a good choice. Seem to be back and fourth in the benchmark war.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/293?vs=330

    I would go with the 560Ti myself.
  2. +1 560
  3. The 6950 isn't exactly noisy either, as long as you aren't trying to push an extreme OC, which both would get noisy.

    If you like physX, and have games that support GPU accelerated PhysX, you might consider the 560ti. I personally like the 6950 to gain MLAA, because a lot of these console ports don't support AA properly or at all.
  4. You can get a 1GB 6950 instead if you want to save a few bucks. I read somewhere that non-reference 6950s don't unlock well, so that's something to think about.

    Although I lean towards AMD (partly because my current card is AMD and I'm really pleased with it), I will also suggest you go 560. You get great drivers, 3D, PhysX, CUDA, and you get to run this awesome "Endless City" demo: http://www.geforce.com/#/GamesandApps/apps/endless-city-demo/overview
  5. Great drivers? yeah

    Twice this year Nvidia has released drivers that burn up cards. That's really great.
  6. The one thing I like about the 6950 over the 560 is the extra VRAM. At 1080p it shouldn't make a big difference, but with any plans for multimonitor, I'd definitely go with 6950. It also helps that you can probably flash it to a 6970... then it wins hands down.

    That said, at 1080p I'd take the 560 because it tends to do better at lower/avg resolutions.
  7. I am not going to have multiple monitors so I guess that extra vram is not necessary for me.

    Do most people have both an AMD and a nvidia GPU? So they can like switch out their cards depending on what game they are playing.

    And are you all only suggesting the 560 because I can really only buy a 6950 2gb reference card or would you really pick a 560 over a 6950?
  8. 560:
    PhysX
    OC potential
    drivers
    better supported SLI and 3D

    6950:
    high quality and more VRAM*2GB*
    better CF scaling
    OC potential
    EYEFINITY
    can be flashed into 6970 *2GB*
    lower power consumption
    better on multiple monitors/ bigger screens
    higher 3DMark scores
    better with AA enabled
  9. i'd pick only a good 560 over 6950 or if the price difference would be really big
  10. ^

    PhysX is basically useless because only 20 games have it and most people wouldn't actually even play more than 4 or 5 of them.

    "high quality" doesn't really make sense. They're both quality.

    CF scales basically the same as SLI now, but yeah I guess it has a percent or two better on average... hardly worth considering right now...

    OC pontential is great on both cards, but if you flash to 6970 you lose some of it. Generally there's a reason the parts were put in the 6950 and not the 6970 to begin with... also the flash isn't guaranteed to work.

    All that said, the 6950 is technically a slightly better card. The 2gb model has a little more headroom than the 1gb model for high res, but here's the 560 1gb vs 6950 1gb:
  11. In the chart does it mean that the 6950 is better if the bar is on the right side?
  12. Yes, it shows the % that the 6950 is better or worse than a 560 and a 570. Keep in mind this is the 1gb model.
  13. Personally I would go for a nVidia Geforce GTX 560 for those reasons:

    1-nVidia has better and matured drivers than AMD.
    2-nVidia has Physx which not supported by all AMD cards.
    3-most games developers lean toward nVidia than AMD.
    4-in tessellation nVidia has better performance than AMD (not sure about 560 vs 6950).
    5-I have acquired the two brands (not the two models) and somehow I'm not happy with AMD.
    6-I assume you'll run your games at resolution lower or equal to 1980x1080 so 1GB or 2GB of memory won't matter.

    * Also if you decided to go with GTX560, be-sure to pick a pre-overclocked card with 3rd party cooler like "Asus 560 Ti Direct Cu II" , "Gigabyte 560 SOC" or "Twin Frozr 560" (they have lower temp/quite/better performance than generic 560 they even beat GTX 570 in some cases).

    An other thing; In case you do alot of video conversion and if you steel hadn't purchased a Mobo then I recommend you to go with Z68 Mobo -over P67- check this :

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/z68-express-lucidlogix-virtu-ssd-caching,review-32138.html

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/sandy-bridge-core-i7-2600k-core-i5-2500k,review-32090-4.html

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/sandy-bridge-core-i7-2600k-core-i5-2500k,review-32090-5.html


    hope I helped you :).
  14. ^
    1. biased opinion. There's no real way to empirically prove this, and users on either side have had issues while others have had flawless experiences

    2. PhysX is supported by zero AMD cards... but, it's also only supported by 20 games. (http://physxinfo.com)

    3. Wrong. Nvidia pays some companies and get the "Way it's meant to be played" logo, but the same goes for AMD

    4. Then why does the 6950 do 22% than the 560 in Unigene Heaven? Just look at my last post... info from http://xbitlabs.com

    5. Fine...

    6. Mostly true.
  15. Yeah I will be playing on 1920x1080. Is it possible to overclock the MSI Twin Frozr 560 to 1Ghz?

    Also, will I be able to play most games maxed out with a 560?
  16. Probably can, but it's not a guarantee.

    And... most games will play at high settings, yes. I doubt Crysis (original) or Metro 2033 will max out. But Fallout 3/New Vegas, CoD, most RPGs... yes, probably max settings.
  17. Okay, I think I should go with the GTX 560. I think I would be a little uneasy about buying a 6950 2gb, because the temperatures while gaming get up to like 77C and if I flashed it, possibly 80C. That would make me nervous with the case I have. I think my case is a very good budget case, but it does not have a vent for the PSU so it will be an upward facing fan. The Gigabyte 560 SOC, while gaming, stays around 60C. On top of that it never gets above 40dba. This is the 1Ghz I am talking about. That is just insane. However, there is still a little bit of hesitancy in me but a lot less than there was before.
  18. AgentSquishy said:
    Okay, I think I should go with the GTX 560. I think I would be a little uneasy about buying a 6950 2gb, because the temperatures while gaming get up to like 77C and if I flashed it, possibly 80C. That would make me nervous with the case I have. I think my case is a very good budget case, but it does not have a vent for the PSU so it will be an upward facing fan. The Gigabyte 560 SOC, while gaming, stays around 60C. On top of that it never gets above 40dba. This is the 1Ghz I am talking about. That is just insane. However, there is still a little bit of hesitancy in me but a lot less than there was before.


    Just be aware, that a lot of the temps shown in reviews are delta temps. As in, the temps - the room temperatures. 60C could actually be 80C after adding in room temps.

    80C is pretty standard temps these days.
  19. Also, if you get a reference cooler 6950, they're most likely going to be flush in your system, unless there is a 2-slot gap in between two PCI-e x16 slots in your motherboard. That'll do horrors to the first card.
  20. I just did a wiki search on the Z68 because I had not even heard of it until shobits1 mentioned it and it said that a P67 cannot OC a GPU. Is that true? Also, if I were to do video converting, I can still do it on a P67 it just won't be as fast correct? It will still be able to produce the same quality picture?
  21. The P67 can OC GPUs fine, both the integrated one and a dedicated one.

    The video converting thing that you are referring to is Quick Sync, and that's a feature of the integrated GPU, which cannot be used in a P67 board because it doesn't have video outputs. You can still convert videos using the CPU (which will be slower, yeah, but higher quality than GPU accelerated conversions), or use your video card's acceleration capability. However, if you get an nVidia card, I suggest you use the CPU instead. The CUDA accelerated transcodes are consistently worse than AMD and CPU transcodes.
  22. It doesn't sound like there is any point in waiting for a Z68 then. I would gladly take a slower conversion speed but with high quality over faster conversion speeds with lower quality. I have already bought a P67 anyway. Thanks for clearing that up, especially the part about OCing the GPU on a P67. That scared me for a second.

    Yeah, I think I am going to get a GTX 560 because of what you said about the 6950 reference cards. I don't want anything to flush my system. Also I just watched a video on YouTube with some guy OCing a MSI Twin Frozr GTX 560 to 1Ghz. I don't know if I would OC it that much because I have been reading of problems with Gigabytes 560 SOC 1Ghz having stability issues. Do you know if they have fized this yet or is the 950mhz their fix?
  23. I'm not familiar with non-reference nVidia GPUs so I'm not sure about any "problems" they have. If you're going to overclock it, you might as well push the card to its limits: find the highest frequency that the card runs at then back off a bit.

    On second thought, since P67 can't use the integrated GPU, I don't think it can touch the GPU at all. But that's pretty much moot since you won't be able to use it at all anyway.

    As for the video conversion, the i5-2500k is very easy to overclock, and you don't even have to turn off power saving features, so overclock the CPU and you're good to go.
  24. AgentSquishy said:
    It doesn't sound like there is any point in waiting for a Z68 then. I would gladly take a slower conversion speed but with high quality over faster conversion speeds with lower quality. I have already bought a P67 anyway. Thanks for clearing that up, especially the part about OCing the GPU on a P67. That scared me for a second.

    Yeah, I think I am going to get a GTX 560 because of what you said about the 6950 reference cards. I don't want anything to flush my system. Also I just watched a video on YouTube with some guy OCing a MSI Twin Frozr GTX 560 to 1Ghz. I don't know if I would OC it that much because I have been reading of problems with Gigabytes 560 SOC 1Ghz having stability issues. Do you know if they have fized this yet or is the 950mhz their fix?


    I think you misunderstood what he said. If you were to crossfire, and you didn't have a board with extra space between the two pcie slots, the two crossfired cards may be flush against each other. One card can't do that.
  25. ^Oh yeah, that.

    When I said "flush", I meant that there would be no space between the two graphics cards, so the first card's fan has no air to suck, and therefore no air to cool it. That'll bring its temperatures up by a considerable amount.
  26. That's what I thought you meant. I do intend to SLI/Crossfire but not immediately so two 6950s would be bad for my system.

    I just saw an article about the MSI Hawk GTX 560 being released. This makes me a little mad because I don't want to buy a Twin Frozr II 560 and then it drops in price.
  27. The prices won't change too much for a while now...
  28. I just watched this unboxing review of the MSI Twin Frozr GTX 560 on YouTube and I have a few questions.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCBckNthko8

    He says that it is a 2.0x16 pice. Why is it not 2.1x16? I know that a 2.1 will work on a 2.0, but there must be some difference between a 2.1 and 2.0. pcie. And at 9:26, he notes the reason MSI was able to get the GTX 560 out so fast. It sounds as if MSI took the cheap way out and just used basically a GTX 460 layout and changed a few things. That just doesn't seem right to me. Can someone clear this up for me?
  29. Best answer
    PCIe 2.1 has the same speed as 2.0. You're not losing anything at all, trust me. 2.1 is a precursor to 3.0, and most motherboards only have 2.0 slots anyway.

    Nothing's wrong with using the same layout as long as they didn't skimp on the cooling performance and build quality. It costs them less to develop a new product if they can reuse some old designs.
  30. @Wolfram23, @gracefully

    thanks for the enlightenment .
  31. Best answer selected by AgentSquishy.
  32. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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