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HD 6950 build for 42' LCD TV, comments and suggestions?

Hi,
I'm planning an i5 2500k/HD 6950 build as a gaming station and media center run through a 42' LCD flat screen TV and home theater amp.
Is a 2GB card like this overkill or the other way around and should i crossfire two of them? i'm keen on getting games to look as good as i can on the TV and i'm not sure if this means playing with everything maxed out or if i'm right in thinking that the 1080p TV wont show much different on a medium to high resolution with other options maxed.
My current PC is borderline antique max 1600 x1200 res and wont even play current games so i'm after a bit of advice thanks.
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  1. you can have a 1million inch tv with one video card and still run it. the size of the tv doesnt matter. it the resolution that does. so if your tv is 1080p, check the benchmarks for your card in single/crossfire and see if that is acceptable for your gaming needs.

    but yeah, i say one is plenty.
  2. running the ty is fine. My old PC is doing that right now with onboard graphics through D-sub. My question was more to do about quality, and probably could have been worded clearer.
    With a bit more homework done now i understand that the whole 1080p is just 1920 x 1080 res so it looks like i have no need to max the resolution out on most newer games.
    Thanks for the help anyway, i think i'll stick to one 6950.
  3. 6950 1gb is the samer performance but a little cheaper.
  4. On a TV you'll probably want to run a high level of AA to help counter the decreased pixel density however, so the additional RAM would help enable that at a lower performance impact. Plus you can flash the 2GB version to a 6970.
  5. ok thanks, nice to know.
  6. Flashing the 2gb is a great feature... but the 1gb is not going to be a limit. At least not before the computing speed of the card becomes a limit. You can see reviews, they show almost identical performance between the 1gb and 2 gb models right up to 2560x1600.
  7. Yargnit said:
    On a TV you'll probably want to run a high level of AA to help counter the decreased pixel density however, so the additional RAM would help enable that at a lower performance impact. Plus you can flash the 2GB version to a 6970.



    Probably not the case for gaming .
    a 42 inch 1080p tv screen at distances over about 2 meters wont show pixelation at all

    I'd still get the 2 gig version though
  8. yeah i'm gonna go with the 2gb HD 6950 and down the track if i need to go more hardcore i'll get a second on and crossfire it, there only gonna get cheaper
  9. wolfram23 said:
    Flashing the 2gb is a great feature... but the 1gb is not going to be a limit. At least not before the computing speed of the card becomes a limit. You can see reviews, they show almost identical performance between the 1gb and 2 gb models right up to 2560x1600.


    While I realize there are very few times it does help, there are cases where 2gb can help at 1920x1200, and in those cases, it probably would have helped 1080p too.

    One example is in the LA stadium of Dirty 2. The benchmarks never go into that stadium, but if everything is maxed, it becomes a slide show inside with even 1.2gb of ram, but runs smooth on 2gb of ram. I believe it's due to the extreme size of the audience.

    One other example I ran into was in the dragon age origins expansion. There are a few maps that become really choppy with 1.2gb of ram, but with 2gb it runs smooth.

    There may be others, but those two definitely stuck out like a sore thumb. The reality is that most games won't see a noticeable difference, but there are occasional situations it matters, even now. It may become more common on the near future.
  10. Outlander_04 said:
    Probably not the case for gaming .
    a 42 inch 1080p tv screen at distances over about 2 meters wont show pixelation at all

    I'd still get the 2 gig version though


    Since he's using it for a PC though why are you assuming he'd be 2m or more back? I use a 32" 1080p TV as my primary monitor, and when I'm actively gaming I'm probably 2-3ft away from it. If he has the screen on a desk as I do, rather than on a wall, then he'd likely be within 3rd or so of it, and at that distance with a 42" screen being able to run 16x AA would certainly be beneficial to image quality.

    I have a 24" 1920x1200 monitor and a 32" 1080p TV being used as a monitor right next to each other, and the pixel size difference is noticeable. On a screen another 25% larger gaming without very high AA levels would be distracting.
  11. Just wanting to add to this

    DO NOT FLASH A 6950 WITH A 6970 BIOS.
    I have/had a 6950 and I fried my card with the 6970 bios (it still booted but crashed(bsod stop error code) my pc constantly.
    The 6970 has slightly higher end hardware installed and is thus able to handle the higher voltages while the 6950 does not.
    To unlock the 6970 shader number you should google for modded 6950 bios which only increases the shader number instead of the voltages.
    AGAIN DO NOT FLASH THE 6950 WITH A 6970 BIOS.

    That's all thank you for your time:).
  12. My TV is on a low entertainment unit if sitting back on the lounge, as i would for gaming, i'd be 2 - 2.5m away from the screen, i tend to sit on the floor a little closer for surfing the net as i find reading easier like that.

    so i'm on the line either way as if it looked better to game sitting on the floor i probably would.

    this is all very helpfull so thank you to everyone that has commented so far.
  13. Yargnit said:
    Since he's using it for a PC though why are you assuming he'd be 2m or more back? I use a 32" 1080p TV as my primary monitor, and when I'm actively gaming I'm probably 2-3ft away from it. If he has the screen on a desk as I do, rather than on a wall, then he'd likely be within 3rd or so of it, and at that distance with a 42" screen being able to run 16x AA would certainly be beneficial to image quality.

    I have a 24" 1920x1200 monitor and a 32" 1080p TV being used as a monitor right next to each other, and the pixel size difference is noticeable. On a screen another 25% larger gaming without very high AA levels would be distracting.



    It was the words " home theater" that tipped me off
  14. One speaker either side of my keyboard, center speaker on top of the monitor, two rear ones gaffer taped to the sides, of the back, of my computer chair, the sub at my feet under the desk and the amp balancing on top of my tower... just kidding ..lol
  15. And you set your coffee cup on your CPU heatsync to keep it warn? ;)
  16. lol ... patented caffeen powered heat dispersal system
    The Espresso Thermal 500! ...lol
  17. Mrsh4dy said:
    Just wanting to add to this

    DO NOT FLASH A 6950 WITH A 6970 BIOS.
    I have/had a 6950 and I fried my card with the 6970 bios (it still booted but crashed(bsod stop error code) my pc constantly.
    The 6970 has slightly higher end hardware installed and is thus able to handle the higher voltages while the 6950 does not.
    To unlock the 6970 shader number you should google for modded 6950 bios which only increases the shader number instead of the voltages.
    AGAIN DO NOT FLASH THE 6950 WITH A 6970 BIOS.

    That's all thank you for your time:).


    There's more to it than that. The voltage actually probably wouldn't be an issue, as people are overclocking their 6950s with more voltage.

    There's rumours that the 6970 has different memory timings, which could easily cause issues if flashed onto 6950 memory that can't handle that. The clocks are also higher, and again, the 6950 components may not like those clocks. You can still try unlocking the shaders though, but keep it at 6950 voltage and clocks if you want - although, if true, the memory timings would still be changed.

    While I don't recommend just anyone doing it, the nice thing is that the 6950 has a BIOS switch. If there's an issue, just flick the switch and you're back to the stock BIOS.
  18. The better, safer option is to leave everything as is, and unlock the shaders with the original bios. All the timings are left alone. Given the sensitivity, and the lack of tangible gains, I'd leave the memory alone. Now you can test. If the card causes crashes, you can just go back to the original bios, as the GPU was a dud, otherwise you can safely OC the GPU to and above a 6970.

    The people who have had issues with damaging their cards, are having it due to lower quality memory on the card which can't handle the 6970 timings. If you take that out of the equation, it's pretty safe.
  19. That's why my 6950 turned into a brick just randomly even though I had it (again) flashed for 2 weeks with a 6970 bios.
    The bios switch does nothing if the components of the gpu are damaged which can obviously happen when overvolting.

    Also does anyone actually know the voltage levels of the 6970 compared to the 6950 and the levels people use when overclocking. I think most overclockers don't go near the 6970 levels.
    But of course not everyone will have issues. However randomly advising to flash a 6950 even though it screws up the voltage levels is bad advice in my book. It's just not a safe thing to advise especially to everyone.
  20. Yeah, the voltage is 1.1 for 6950 to 1.175 for 6970. Shouldn't be enough to brick the card unless you were very unlucky and got bottom-of-the-barrel VRMs. I don't know how high people have taken them, though.

    I mean I've taken my 5850 from 1.085V to 1.250V no problem. 0.075V difference should not brick a card.
  21. Then there has to be other changes in the bios that made my card crack.
    I had already rma'd it and I got a in store refund so it doesn't really matter but still weird.
    Also that would basicly mean the 6970 has slightly better parts and a semi overclocked bios?

    Anyway my apologies for hijacking this thread.
  22. Mrsh4dy said:
    Then there has to be other changes in the bios that made my card crack.
    I had already rma'd it and I got a in store refund so it doesn't really matter but still weird.
    Also that would basicly mean the 6970 has slightly better parts and a semi overclocked bios?

    Anyway my apologies for hijacking this thread.


    Generally speaking, the only issues people are having with damage, is not the GPU, but the video ram. The GPU's are identical, other than the fact you could have one that had a few damaged or defective shaders. The GPU, as long as you don't go crazy on OCing, is a lot more resilient than the video ram as well.

    As I mentioned before, the safest way to get 6970 performance from the 6950 is to unlock the shaders only. You can do this by a script that alters only the number of shaders that are available without altering any timings or the video ram in any way. After which, you an OC the GPU until it becomes unstable, and you can leave the voltage alone.
  23. bystander said:
    Generally speaking, the only issues people are having with damage, is not the GPU, but the video ram. The GPU's are identical, other than the fact you could have one that had a few damaged or defective shaders. The GPU, as long as you don't go crazy on OCing, is a lot more resilient than the video ram as well.

    As I mentioned before, the safest way to get 6970 performance from the 6950 is to unlock the shaders only. You can do this by a script that alters only the number of shaders that are available without altering any timings or the video ram in any way. After which, you an OC the GPU until it becomes unstable, and you can leave the voltage alone.


    Hmmm oke thanks, will try again if I can.
    But back on topic, would you or would you not advise a 6950 with the premise of being able to flash it to a 6970 (the full flash)?
  24. Mrsh4dy said:
    Hmmm oke thanks, will try again if I can.
    But back on topic, would you or would you not advise a 6950 with the premise of being able to flash it to a 6970 (the full flash)?


    I would not advise it on that premise, nor on OCing capabilities unless it's a non reference version designed for it (Like Asus DirectCU TOP cards). A lot of people like to promote that it's a great reason to buy, but it's not guaranteed. You already know the danger of doing it. OCing is a little difference, for example people will say, well, buy a 6950 and OC it to match 6970 speeds! Great, except you can get the 6970 and OC it even further. And also not all cards OC the same. I got lucky with my 5850s and have them at 870/1200 on stock volts. A lot of people barely get over 800 core and 1100 mem.

    However I would promote it due to it being a very good sub $300 card. I bought 5850s last year, which were $300 and perform nowhere near as well so to me these 6950s are fantastic.
  25. Best answer
    Mrsh4dy said:
    Hmmm oke thanks, will try again if I can.
    But back on topic, would you or would you not advise a 6950 with the premise of being able to flash it to a 6970 (the full flash)?


    I would not flash any version at this point. There is no way to know if your card can handle the voltage or memory timings. While the GPU core is the same, the memory might not be. There is another way to unlock the shaders without using a new set of bios that may not be safe to use. There is a script that will unlock these shaders and do nothing else. If you happen to have a perfectly usable GPU with the shaders unlocked it will work, if not, you just go back to the original unaltered version.

    Voltages and memory timings remain unchanged, so you won't be damaging them.
  26. Awesome guys, this thread has taken me places i wasn't expecting to go .. lol .. but i'm loving it.
    I'm pretty set on the 6950 now and all this other info is great food for thought. Don't think i would need to OC it as i'm more likely to just crossfire a second one down the track, but the idea of opening up the extra shaders i find interesting, thanks.
  27. Best answer selected by ddemon.
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