Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

XFX 5870 vs HIS 6870

Tags:
  • Radeon
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
May 16, 2011 10:52:30 PM

Hi there,

I have a question regarding these two cards and I was wondering if anyone could give me their opinion on which they would go for. Apologies for creating what is surely YET ANOTHER 'which is better' thread but this is quite a specific comparison as the XFX as far as I can make out is not representative of 5870's in general (or maybe it is, not sure).

Anyway, I'm buying a new card to run The Witcher 2. My system specs:

CPU: Intel Dual-Core E8400 @3GHZ
OS: Win7
RAM: 4GB
Current Gfx Card: ATI 3850 PCI-E

I'm buying a card off this website: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/index.php

So far I've narrowed it down to these two cards:

HIS 6870 ICEQ £180
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

vs

XFX 5870 £160
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

Now supposedly the 5870 benches above the 6870 generally, but I have a feeling that the XFX is a cheap version of a 5870 that isn't quite as good as the usual one, because it's so cheap. I've also read that the 6870 is basically better at some things like DX11.

So I'm quite confused as to which one to go for. I don't plan on Crossfiring these cards, I'm just looking for something that will last me another 4-5 years or whatever. (as you can tell by the state of my current card, I like to get the most out of my cards, haha!)

So if anyone has any opinions please comment, and if you have a better suggestion for my price range (no more than £180, the HIS is already at the limit of my range - i'd prefer ~£150 frankly) then shoot, but it has to be from that website because they're local.

Thanks,
Graham

More about : xfx 5870 6870

May 17, 2011 12:16:40 AM

Looks like a normal 5870 to me. I'm not 100% sure about the clock speeds, but 850 is probably right, and it has the 1600 shaders.

The 6870 is an odd one. It sits between the 5850 and 5870 most of the time, but can often get within the same settings as the 5870. And due to the tweaks AMD gave it, has better tessellation and CF then the 5870. Meaning if your playing games that make heavy use of Tess or you'll CF the cards then the 6870 is the way to go. (uses less power as well.) However seeing as you'll be getting the 5870 for 20 less, I'd get that. No sense in paying more for the (slightly) weaker card.

You do have a PSU that can run it right?
Related resources
May 17, 2011 5:33:17 AM

4745454b said:
Looks like a normal 5870 to me. I'm not 100% sure about the clock speeds, but 850 is probably right, and it has the 1600 shaders.

The 6870 is an odd one. It sits between the 5850 and 5870 most of the time, but can often get within the same settings as the 5870. And due to the tweaks AMD gave it, has better tessellation and CF then the 5870. Meaning if your playing games that make heavy use of Tess or you'll CF the cards then the 6870 is the way to go. (uses less power as well.) However seeing as you'll be getting the 5870 for 20 less, I'd get that. No sense in paying more for the (slightly) weaker card.

You do have a PSU that can run it right?


Hmm, ok. Some people were going on about lack of voltage tweaks or something on the XFX. I don't know anything about this stuff, really. Not planning on tweaking or overclocking the card, although if it's easy to do I could be convinced, I suppose.

My PSU is a Corsair 650W. No idea if that can run it or not.

DarkMantle said:
For that price I think the HIS HD6870 is rip off.

You can get this HD6950 1GB for 162:

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

but if I were you I would spend the 192 for this HD6950 2GB:

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

and Flash the BIOS to HD6970.

Read here: http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcar...

MSI is definitely not my favorite brand though.


Good luck


Hmm this is interesting. I don't know about unlocking shaders and stuff. Isn't that shortening the card's life? Or is it safe?
May 17, 2011 5:44:14 AM

Oh and also, what are your recommended brands?
May 17, 2011 5:49:50 AM

Quote:
Some people were going on about lack of voltage tweaks or something on the XFX.


I think the early/stock 5870s have the ability to up the voltage to the GPU allowing for higher overclocks. Second gen cards removed this. I'm of the belief that upping voltages is bad. If your not going to OC that card is fine.

Quote:
I don't know about unlocking shaders and stuff. Isn't that shortening the card's life? Or is it safe?


Like before with the 5870, the original/stock 6950 had two bioses (?) You could flash the 6970 bios onto it and it would unlock shaders. Nearly all of these cards would run just fine as a 6970. Again, second gen cards had this removed. Be careful that you only try this on the first gen cards. From what I understand the second gen cards don't have two bioses, so if you flash it and it doesn't work, you've got problems.

As for lifespan on either, if you increase the frequencies or unlock shaders you should be fine. In the case of the 6950 if it failed to work, you simply flick the switch over to the second bios and you continue as normal. There is no risk that I'm aware of. Risk comes from when you up the voltage. Set it to high, and you have not only extra heat, but electron migration can happen faster. Up the clocks if you want, or unlock shaders for more speed, but I wouldn't touch the voltage setting. For GPUs or CPUs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromigration (if your eyes glossed over this, just remember that its bad.)
May 17, 2011 6:06:23 AM

4745454b said:
Quote:
Some people were going on about lack of voltage tweaks or something on the XFX.


I think the early/stock 5870s have the ability to up the voltage to the GPU allowing for higher overclocks. Second gen cards removed this. I'm of the belief that upping voltages is bad. If your not going to OC that card is fine.

Quote:
I don't know about unlocking shaders and stuff. Isn't that shortening the card's life? Or is it safe?


Like before with the 5870, the original/stock 6950 had two bioses (?) You could flash the 6970 bios onto it and it would unlock shaders. Nearly all of these cards would run just fine as a 6970. Again, second gen cards had this removed. Be careful that you only try this on the first gen cards. From what I understand the second gen cards don't have two bioses, so if you flash it and it doesn't work, you've got problems.

As for lifespan on either, if you increase the frequencies or unlock shaders you should be fine. In the case of the 6950 if it failed to work, you simply flick the switch over to the second bios and you continue as normal. There is no risk that I'm aware of. Risk comes from when you up the voltage. Set it to high, and you have not only extra heat, but electron migration can happen faster. Up the clocks if you want, or unlock shaders for more speed, but I wouldn't touch the voltage setting. For GPUs or CPUs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromigration (if your eyes glossed over this, just remember that its bad.)



That was very helpful, thanks.

The 2GB version of the 6970 outperforms the 5870 by quite a margin. I could buy a 2GB 6950 and flash it to a 6970 to get a ~15-20 FPS increase over the 5870, but is it really worth it considering I don't know what the hell I'm doing AND it's 30 quid more?

2GB 6950
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

vs

5870
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...
May 17, 2011 6:18:49 AM

There are many guides out there showing how to flash a 6950. For 30quid? Are you kidding me? Its worth it if you can afford it, and your res is high enough. If you want to get into eyefinity gaming you'll want the 6950.
May 17, 2011 7:37:13 AM

4745454b said:
There are many guides out there showing how to flash a 6950. For 30quid? Are you kidding me? Its worth it if you can afford it, and your res is high enough. If you want to get into eyefinity gaming you'll want the 6950.


Ah ok, you convinced me!

If I was to go for the 2GB 6950, do you think it would be worth spending an extra bit of money to get a better brand? There's an XFX and an Asus here, besides the MSI models.

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/productlist.php?groupid=7...
May 17, 2011 8:08:11 AM

If your staying stock, they should all be fine. If you want to OC, then one of the other ones might be better. (better cooling)
May 17, 2011 11:57:47 AM

4745454b said:
If your staying stock, they should all be fine. If you want to OC, then one of the other ones might be better. (better cooling)


Well, the only reason I'd get the 6950 would be if I was flashing it and overclocking it.
May 17, 2011 1:39:31 PM

6950 for sure is the best performance/value. The 6xxx series cards run DX11 features better than the 5xxx.
July 19, 2011 2:18:10 PM

thanks for the info guys..
!