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6850/70 crossfire or single 570 or single 6970

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June 1, 2011 4:13:27 PM

Hi I currently have a Sapphire 5870 1GB OC Vapor-X card which is giving me a gray screen of death and sapphire keeps giving me the run around due to my receipt has worn and is barely legible.

So I am looking to upgrade and there are 4 options I am looking at;

1. 2x ATI Radeon HD6850 which go for about $170-$199

2. 2x ATI Radeon HD6870 which go for about $199-$230

3. 1x Nvidia GeForce 570 GTX around $360

4. 1x ATI Radeon HD 6970 which is about the same price as a 570

my current build is:

Intel i7 960 @ factory clock 3.2ghz
Asus sabertooth x58 motherboard
12gb Corsair of triple channel memory @1600mhz 9-9-9-24 timing
750w Antec tru power power supply

So I have been looking around and what I want is something that will run games at 1920x1080 or higher resolutions fine, runs cool, will not have to upgrade for a while as I got the 5870 maybe less than 2 years ago and felt it would last me longer than this. (excluding this hardware problem it would still be fine)

Also as I am considering a multi card set up should I upgrade my psu?

And which brands should I consider for each chipset?

I am willing to look at sli comparisons but I just read in the 6970 review the 6850 xfire being nice as it is a fast card.

I have also read 6950s can be flashed to 6970s but would be like having the same more expensive card?

I live in Canada and am getting my pricing from newegg.ca, My budget is around $250-$500.

I am interested in eyefinity setup and the nvidia 3d technology and wondering if anyone has any feed back about those.

If you require any other information do not hesitate to ask and thank you all in advance.

Apologize for the numerous questions too.

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a c 125 U Graphics card
June 1, 2011 4:36:53 PM
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Crossfire 6870s are probably best bang for the buck. You'll be maxing out games at 1080p no problem. They'll be slightly faster than my CF 5850s (well, except mine are highly OCed so I guess it'll be fairly even) and I'm maxing out all games like Crysis and Metro 2033.

If you want to run 3x 1080p monitors, CF 6870s will have the power to do it but you'll need to turn down settings from Very High to medium/high in some games.

The 6950 2gb is probably the best bang for your buck single card right now at under $300 and yes, you can unlock it to 6970... but not guaranteed. A lot of people are unlocking only the shaders and then manually overclocking it, because 6970 uses higher clocks and it's rumoured to also use different VRAM timings, all of which can cause issues with the slightly inferior 6950 parts. Still, at stock speeds and all that but with the shaders unlocked you'll see a performance boost. The 2gb of VRAM will be handy with eyefinity, but it will not have the power of CF6870s.

So basically for your budget, CF 6870s are the most performance you can get. I'm not sure how SLI 560s compare (non Ti models) but it's worth looking into...
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June 1, 2011 5:35:42 PM

Here are some websites that include some reviews if that suites your needs.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6850-6870-cross...

Overall I do agree with Wolfram23, the 6870 graphics card is probably the best option for the AMD Line of Cards.
The GTX 560 (non ti) is priced pretty close to the 6870.

Here is a link to a 560 sli review.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-560-sli-revie...

Also to note, the 560's may not have had the opportunity to have driver updates which might increase their performance, where as the 6800's have been around for sufficient time to have decent driver updates.

From what I could tell both cards perform very well in their respective dual card configurations, and are priced similarly. 6870's perform better over the 560's in some games while it is the opposite in others. But overall, you'll see very nice performance from either setup.

Anandtech.com has the option of reviewing two different setups through a scroll down list of graphics cards.
Here is a review of the 6970 vs 6870 CF.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/301?vs=292

Here is one of 6870 CF vs GTX 570.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/301?vs=306

And here is one of the GTX 570 vs the 6970.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/306?vs=292

Any of these setups should be within your specified price range.

In regards to your power supply, if you are going to be doing heavy overclocking you might consider upgrading your power supply to 850w or something. None of the setups I gave require that much power, but when you have your CPU overclocked, the overall power consumption might increase significantly. Mostly it would be for the extra head room your PSU might need (if you are going for dual card setup, single card - you are probably fine with your current power supply). But it is completely up to your discretion.

Have fun.

Good luck.
a b U Graphics card
June 1, 2011 6:05:23 PM

if you are willing to use 570 or 6970 the 6850's can be had cheap and will easily be more powerfull then the other single card options
June 2, 2011 9:01:31 PM

Thank all you for your quick replies, I had not had time to check this till this morning.

I went with the majority decision here and that is the crossfire 6870 and I got the Asus model that Wolfram23 suggested as I got them for $169.99/per and hopefully I can get the 2x $20 mail in rebates.

and thank you Jrodfry for answering the power supply question and those comparisons I had not known about anandtech.
June 3, 2011 12:52:41 AM

I'd go with CF 6870, Agree with Wolfram23.
a b U Graphics card
June 3, 2011 2:14:57 PM

I 100% agree with Wolfram23.
June 10, 2011 3:21:11 AM

Best answer selected by jakephixion.
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