The 6950 card is $60 more than the 6870, but I don't think the differences between the two is worth that much. The Evga 560 ti is a sweet spot at $230 w/ free shipping, so I'm probably leaning that way right now.
BTW here are my PC specs:
case: Rosewill CHALLENGER Black
mobo: BIOSTAR TH67+ LGA 1155 Intel H67
CPU: Intel Core i5-2400
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB DDR3 1333
PSU: Antec NEO ECO 620C 620W
In general I'm looking for a card that's fast enough to run The Witcher 2 at decent FPS.
The Witcher 2 is hell on graphics cards apparently... Uhm, I wouldn't get the 6870 for sure. If you can splurge for a 6950 2GB and unlock it to mimic a 6970 that would the way to go. Otherwise 6950 = GTX 560 Ti so pick which ever you prefer.
Hello and welcome to the forums
GTX 560Ti and 6950 offer pretty much the same performance and both are faster than 6870.You can either go with 6950(which you can unlock it to a 6970) or just get 560Ti.Both are really good and you can't go wrong with either
Yeah.. This year they only have already released 2 drivers that made GTX590s blow up and then released drivers that kept the core clock down and you couldn't raise voltage or clock speeds, but mostly good drivers.
GTX 590s in their current state will blow up when pushed.Thats why NVIDIA will relaunch the card with beefier VRMs and better cooling. NVIDIA did things right in not allowing overclocking with the 590, lest you end up with 750$ paperweights.
I don't know about you but I'm in a similar boat. I've been looking at the msi 560 ti twin frozr. It seems to me that for a $20 premium the extra cooling to go a long way, especially if you plan to oc. It heard people saying it can reach 570 levels on a good, stable overclock.
But then again you would be losing evga's trade-in policy which looks rather attractive with new gpu's being released as quickly as they are.
I've been hearing rumors that the newer 6950's no longer unlock. If true, there is very little difference between the 560Ti and the 6950 at 1080p....
The shaders can be unlocked on the non-reference cards, you just can't flash them to 6970 bios. Unlocked shaders with an overclock on the gpu and memory will have the same performance as a 6970 bios flash.
Could someone explain what a non-reference card is? I thought it was just an overclocked card or some modification the company did to its card.
Does it have something to do with the actual chipset?
You are correct. But the bios is slightly different on most non-reference cards. They may also use different video ram, fans, voltage regulators, which all may have slightly different settings set by the bios.
^ the performance gained is just a mere 5fps, not worth the risk of BSOD IMO
It's probably smaller than that on average, but it varies. It won't make a real noticeable difference in many games, but when a game is on the edge of playability, it will make a noticeable difference.
The shader unlock method (not the 6970 bios flash), is relatively safe. You don't change voltages, memory timings, fan profiles or anything other than unlock the shaders. If the chip is fully operational, which nearly all are, it will work, if it doesn't, you flash it back.
The method does include a flash (flashing the original modified bios), so there is risk involved, but you can take precautions to minimize it.
The risk vs reward is a person one. It may not be worth the risk for you, it might be for others.