I'm ordering new parts for my second computer I'm planning on building. There's a problem though, I can't decide whether to get the GTX 580 or Radeon 6970. I need some help from some people who know their stuff! Which GPU would go best with this setup? Also whats the best aftermarket heatsink for the i7 2600k?
MSI P67-G43 (B3 Stepping) LGA 1155
Intel Core i7 2600k (Planning on over-clocking to 4.4 GhZ)
ZALMAN 9900 MAX CPU Cooler
Corsair Vengeance 4GB DDR3 1600 8-8-8-24
Corsair HX Series 850 watt PSU
GTX 580 or 6970 ?
The two cards you are choosing from are of different price ranges. Normally you'd compare the 570 with the 6970, which also compare closely in performance.
The big difference makers for me between the two cards is PhysX, should you happen to play a game with GPU accelerated PhysX capabilities (there are about 20). This is an Nvidia thing. For the AMD, they have morphological AA, which is quite nice on games which don't support AA, which a lot of these console ports don't.
Given your resolution, either card would give you enough performance to max almost any game. The 6970 would save you some coin, but you can get the same saving with a 570.
So, do you play any games with GPU accelerated PhysX and do you find their effects are worth using? If so, I might lean towards the 570.
Do you find yourself playing a lot of games that don't have AA support? I have found a lot of console ports fall into this category. If so, I'd lean towards the 6970.
If you don't mind spending the extra cash, the 580 will have a little bit more performance. Most of the time it won't be noticeable but you might find it will last longer. I still don't think the extra performance is worth the cost.
At 1920 x 1080, as a single card, the 6970's closest competitor is the 570, when paired in SLI / CF it's the 560 Ti.
Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:
With a willingness to sped $500 on a 580, the question to ask is this: What's better for you, one 580 or two 560's ?
Two 560 Ti's will cost as little as $460 and get you 862 fps .... one 580 gets you 616 fps, but the opportunity to spend another $500 sometime later and get up to 953 fps. Looking at "Return on Investment", with the 53 cents per frame for the 900 MHz 560's competing with the $1.05 per frame for the 580's, I find the 580's ROI a bit underwhelming.
As for the HS, you asked for the best ....
For air coolers, that would be the Thermalright Silver Arrow .... it' super quiet w/ stock fans and destroys the competition when fitted with the same fan.
I think the Silver Arrow represents the ultimate air cooler than can be built and still fit within the constraints of an ATX motherboard and a standard computer case. ..... It's almost ironic that coolers like this are becoming available just as processors transition to designs that may ultimately render them unnecessary; even overclocked to 5GHz, an Intel Sandy Bridge 2600K doesn't need anywhere near this level of cooling. Still, it wouldn't hurt, and as I noted earlier, there are still CPUs out there that can benefit from it.
For self contained water coolers, the Antec 620 is the best choice. The 920 does better but it's is noisier.
The performance of the Antec Kühler H20 920 was excellent, exceeding that of every other cooler I've tested. This level of performance does come with a rather high level of noise, although judicious use of the custom fan control settings can keep the noise in check for all but the most extreme situations.
Priced to compete with high-end air coolers, the Kühler offers similar performance and a lower noise level. It's the first compact liquid cooler I've tested that can honestly be considered as competition for the likes of the Cooler Master V6 GT, Prolimatech Megahalems, and Thermalright Venomous X...... The performance of the Antec Kühler H20 620 was excellent, exceeding that of every other water cooler I've tested and encroaching on the performance range of the very best air coolers.
If ya not interested in spending $80 or so ..... the Scyther Mugen 2 stands tall above the competition .... notching a 7C advantage over the Hyper 212.