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Which GPU? for i5-2500 Build

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 10, 2011 7:18:09 PM

I was looking to upgrade my GPU since I have a whole new computer, except for the gfx card.

Im sort of looking for something to play games in the future (Skyrim, BF3, etc. even though the Specs for the game are not out)

Would the GTX 560 TI be a better choice or an AMD/ATI?

And which ever one, what brand (MSI, EVGA) would be the best.

Thanks :) 

Have Been Looking at: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

BTW I have i5-2500k, TX650w PSU, 8800 GTS GPU -.-, 2x2GB RipJaws X

More about : gpu 2500 build

June 11, 2011 9:59:14 AM

How much are you looking to spend? max price?
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a b U Graphics card
June 11, 2011 11:44:31 AM

Budget, resolution? Overall GTX560Ti is a great card, but many of them are limited and won't OC over 925MHz + it has quite a lot higher power consumption than similary priced 6950, which is also around 10% faster. Most of brands are good, but imo the best are MSI and ASUS.
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June 11, 2011 12:11:40 PM

Agreed with Shrkbay.
The 560ti and Radeon 6950 are similar in price and to the fact Nvidia has Physx - which not many games utilize fully
Also some radeon 6950's can still be unlocked to a 6970 by just a update
Also keep in mind radeon 6950's come with 2GB ddr5 memory
While the GTX 560ti comes with a 1GIG
So if your going higher then 1920x1080p or maxing out alot then i'd go for a 2gig. Which only ONE gtx 560ti has it. and that's the palit version

Here is a MSI 6950 2Gig Twin Frozr II With good cooling and 2GB VRAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Worth the extra penny
And EVGA is a good brand. most of their products are rated with high reviews.
and I would choose EVGA and MSI over Asus for NVIDIA cards
but really it's just personal preference
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June 11, 2011 7:39:43 PM

I'm willing to spend up to 300$
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a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2011 8:47:18 AM

if so, then you could get even a 1GB 6950 for ~220$ and unlock shaders (that's possible), so you will kinda have a 6970 with 1GB of memory. and again, what's your resolution, will you CF/SLI, do you use multiple monitors?
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a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2011 10:19:24 AM

Eider you buy the 6950 2Gb or 560ti. If i remember right on the 1Gb 6950 you can't unlock s***. Unless something changed since i visited PC sites.

Anyway, the decision depends on what shrkbay posted above in his last phrase.
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a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2011 10:37:21 AM

ionut19, you can unlock shaders on 6950 1GB, you don't need to flash, just unlocking is safer and easier.
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a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2011 6:46:32 PM

Just got updated. :)  You're right.
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June 15, 2011 4:05:00 AM

If your thinking about Unlocking a 6950 to a 6970 keep this in mind

1. Usually sold as a 6950 because some cores were bad possibly, such as a phenom 2 x4 being sold as a phenom 2 x2. Sometimes you win unlocking ;)  . sometimes you don't :(  . (be sure your happy about your buy :sol:  )

2. MAKE SURE that your 6950 has a dual bios switch. Gives you a safety net if it doesn't work you can revert back. If it does then your set. So say you get a 6950 without one and try unlocking and it fails. your out of luck.

Also the 6970 is a very good card. if your willing to spend the extra pennies for it.

Below i show some graphs (From tom's hardware benchmarks itself.) of the Various card performances.
In BFBC2 we see that yes. The 6970 performs greatly at 1920x1080p



Now in Metro 2033 which seems to be hard on gpu's :(  it performs nearly identical to others and slightly by a couple fps worse then GTX 570




Again in Alien Vs Predator the 6970 vs Gtx 570 exceeds.




Now im not biased to Nvidia or Amd. But i believe you would be much better going for a Radeon 6970. Why?

Well for numerous reasons. One it's a 6970. No need to worry if it would or would not unlock, It's also got a 2GB frame buffer which over Nvidia's 1.2gb it really helps push those textures at higher resolutions without falling in fps. Doesn't get as hot as the 5xxx series

Here's what i would suggest. No i will not TELL you what card to get. That's up to you. That's your money.
But i will guide you in whichever way you want.

If you really want to try your luck on the 6950 to 6970 by all means go for it. Worst you could do is end up with a 6950 which is by no means terrible
And by seeing on Newegg right now. the 6950 2 gb versions with dual bios are out of stock. unless i missed one im pretty sure i checked all the cards in 6950 category

I'd just recommend getting

6970 2GB 256bit Sapphire
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Or
6970 2GB 256bit MSI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Really just your choice on brand. Sapphire has 100% 5 egg reviews though


Hope this helped you in someway. :wahoo: 
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a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2011 1:35:57 PM

about 6950: you can just unlock shaders of 6950, that will not require flashing it will just unlock shaders and keep the core clock (you can OC a bit so you get a full 6970 or even faster!) and it's also a lot easier and safer (EVEN THE 1 GB VERSIONS CAN UNLOCK SHADERS!!!). Also EVERY 6950 can unlock shaders and there's no exception, just sometimes you have no luck.
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a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2011 10:19:52 PM

From what i've read you do not get major increase in FPS.
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June 16, 2011 2:05:51 AM

What card is easier to work with AMD or Nvidia? Drivers and such?
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June 16, 2011 4:09:12 AM

Shrkbay you are wrong. Many of the 6950's can be unlocked yes. But if it's not reference design most companies LOCK the shaders meaning you cannot unlock it at all. so no not EVERY 6950 can be unlocked. keep that in mind.
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June 16, 2011 4:10:18 AM

Personally over the years i have had a much better time with Nvidia drivers then Amd. But the current 6xxx Gen amd drivers seem to be working pretty well. Although i usually just install the drivers off the cd that most come with and never have a problem.
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June 16, 2011 12:16:16 PM

if someone plays at a resolution normally 1600x1200 and seldom moves to 1920x1080 does a radeon 6870 will work perfectly fine in each and every games with high settings?
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a b U Graphics card
June 16, 2011 1:08:37 PM

ionut19, this is probably false, it's the same difference as 6950vs6970.

nged72, for me it's the same i've had good experience with both.

rko_gmr, probably, but with few fps lower than on 1600x1200

gooform, can you explain how most companies lock shaders?
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June 16, 2011 4:26:22 PM

shrkbay - i do not work for these companies so how they do it i do not know. what i do know is the newest batch of radeon 6950's are Hard Locked. Meaning you can no longer unlock them into 6970's. and most of the older ones that can be unlocked are just plain out of stock making them unavailable for purchase.
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a b U Graphics card
June 16, 2011 11:21:23 PM

I read some stuff on that topic on toms forum. Some said the speed increase is like 5%. I got 7.5 fps from overclocking my card, not from unlocking shaders. But if you also ad the overclock that might be the trick..he he.. still worth it anyway.

The difference from 6950 and 6970 is like 13%. If that is the case then it is worth it.

nged72, nvidia drivers are better by people saying. I haven't had an nvidia card since a few years and now have a 5770 an don't have any problem what so ever with the card/driver, never video crashes, good stability, no overheating, just install the 3 or 2 parts of the driver+software and done. The difference is that nvidia has it all in one installation, but that is no reason to make a decision based on.

Just buy witch card gives you the bet buck for the money and best fps in the games you play for the money you spend.
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June 17, 2011 3:06:26 AM

Yeah the drivers usually are never a problem for me either. I had a Gigabyte 5770 which was replaced with a Gtx 550 ti along with my 2xHD 6990 4GB in Crossfire and on windows 7 64bit the drivers always installed smoothly and worked good. Keep in mind i also only used the ones they always gave me. never from updates on site or something.

Honestly though the 6950 is a pretty powerful card, heck even a 6870 priced at 200$ will play most the games out there
Also being that say BF3 is part of the frostbite 2.0 engine i believe you would still need the same requirements as bfbc2 just maybe a tad faster.
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a b U Graphics card
June 17, 2011 8:41:31 AM

Well i advise you to install the latest drivers or i will get more fps than you with those 6990 in crossfire :D  .
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a b U Graphics card
June 17, 2011 9:31:24 AM

gooform, do you realise that locking shaders on 6950s makes additional expenses, so the cards would be more expensive and i have seen them going down in price not up. and most of the models being sold are REFERENCE not non-reference. btw, i will take my words back if you will show me proof.
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June 18, 2011 4:24:43 AM

shrkbay, you can show me proof yourself that that's true and maybe i would believe you. you have no proof locking shaders makes "Additional Cost" so stop saying random crap and why don't you google it sometime. It's all over the web and AMD said it themselves they were locking the new batches shaders. come on i would think you can at least figure that out yourself. anyways this is not helping the one who posted this thread.
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a b U Graphics card
June 18, 2011 8:23:42 AM

gooform, locking shaders would require new way of making a card or additionally locking the shaders on chip = additional cost. it has been a while since i saw any new models of 6950, so there's a lot 6950s that can unlock shaders out there. If you don't believe that most of 6950s are reference then just go to newegg and check by yourself. I just googled "AMD locking shaders on HD 6950" haven't found any article saying that you can't unlock shaders on 6950 (searched on 5 pages). As you said this is not helping OP, so i will quit from arguing, hope so will you.
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