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6950 1gb Crossfire vs 6950 2gb Crossfire vs singe GTX 580

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 10, 2011 5:42:56 PM

Hey guys I am planning on a pc build in the next four months. I will building this PC for Skyrim and Battlefield 3 mainly. I am trying to get as close to 1500$ as possible and have settled on all the components except the graphics cards. My resolution is 1080p and do not have multiple monitors.

If I get 2x 1g 6950s, I come in right at 1500
If I get 2x 2g 6950s, It puts me ~1660
If I get a single GTX 580 it puts me ~1600

I was originally thinking of getting the unlock-able 6950s for 6970 performance, but like I said I am trying to keep it in budget.

My question is really Do I need 6970s to run these games at max? Or will I be fine with 2x 6950s. I was thinking about the 580 as well, but I think I would get better performance out of 2 cards.

I know it's hard to say what these games will need, but it looks as if the 6850s will run everything that out now with power to spare.

Any opinions would be appreciated.
a c 226 U Graphics card
June 10, 2011 5:58:23 PM

At, 1920 x 1200, I'd suggest adding the 560 Ti (900Mhz) to the list. AT $220 each, they are cheaper than any other alternative and outperform everything on the list to boot. They even beat twin 6970's, tho I'd use the 2GB 6970's at 2560 x 1200.

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:

$250.00 6950 (479/751) $0.52 - $0.67
$285.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $0.59 - $0.75
$210.00 560 Ti (455/792) $0.46 - $0.53
$355.00 6970 (526/825) $0.67 - $0.86
$220.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $0.44 - $0.51
$335.00 570 (524/873) $0.64 - $0.77
$500.00 580 (616/953) $0.81 - $1.05

$500 on the 580 gets ya 616 fps
$500 on twin 6950's gets ya 751 fps
$710 on twin 6970's gets ya 825 fps
$440 on twin 560 Ti (900MHz) gets ya 862 fps

The twin 560 Ti will get ya 49 fps in Metro 2033 .... overclocking to 1000 Mhz (easy with the oversized coolers) should garner about an extra 10%.
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June 10, 2011 7:27:37 PM

On Guru 3D it looks like the 6950 is better than the 560 Ti.

Maybe I'm mistaken.
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a c 216 U Graphics card
June 10, 2011 7:30:20 PM

Both are going to be almost exactly the same cost and performance, especially if you manually OC the AMD card choices.
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June 10, 2011 7:35:44 PM

So do we think 2 of either the GTX 560 ti or the 6950 1gb will max BF3 and Skyrim?
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a b U Graphics card
June 10, 2011 7:46:52 PM

2x 6950 2GB no question if you ask me. lots of performance with enough VRAM not to bottleneck it ;) 
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a c 125 U Graphics card
June 10, 2011 8:01:06 PM

At this price range I'd go with the 2gb 6950s and shader unlock them. The 1gb versions are almost identical FPS wise in most games, but I'm sure there's going to be the occasional title that will like having more VRAM, and also more future proof.
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June 10, 2011 10:16:25 PM

Ok, that is what I was thinking. Thanks all!
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a c 105 U Graphics card
June 11, 2011 3:12:23 AM

real bad advice on that 560...I "HAD" one..... One 6950 2gig card will play anything I have at 1920x1200 maxed out flawlessly. IMO there is absolutely no need to BIOS flash these to make them faux 6970's.

Crysis/Metro 2033/FarCry2/BBC2/Shift/ and a myriad of others...

I have older hardware... Intel 775 q9550-8gig ddr2 800- stock. Better proc/ram/mobo will only enhance.

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a c 595 U Graphics card
June 11, 2011 3:36:37 AM

While those dual card setups will have somewhat better performance, a single GTX 580 will be cheaper, quieter, more stable, more power efficient, and yet will still be able to run any of the latest games at full settings with high framerates.
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