Upgrade opinions- ~$300 GPU

So I've about had it with this 295GTX I am running... I've taken it apart twice to clean it up and re-thermal it to try keeping it cool, but I think it's just had its fun after a few years of gaming. Anyway, I'm looking at upgrades at reasonable prices (I am running a 295GTX, yes, but I sure as hell didn't pay $500 for it back in the day!) like around $300 tops... little wiggle room for max performance if necessary.

I am not really a fan of SLI or Crossfire in most cases, but don't reject the idea of adding a second card in the future if the scaling is worth it. I run 2 monitors at all times (both 1080p DVI connections) and will occasionally also run my TV via HDMI that is mounted above my monitors (for a college student, this setup is a dream!). I've got a hex core i7 and a 750w 56A Corsair PSU, so no need to worry about bottlenecks! I game with anything that is intensive, the better the graphics, the more inclined I am to play... so I want the most power I can find. I'd like 2GB of Video Memory if possible, and ATI's eyefinity seems like something that I'd like, to keep open the possibility of a 3rd monitor for a 3x1 span.

So far, I am leaning towards a 6950 2GB after reading of the BIOS tweak to open up the other shaders and basically convert it to a 6970, but I don't know if I have much faith in that being something to count on. The 570 seems nice, but almost not worth the price jump right now... I'll probably be buying in a month's time though.

Any opinions or insight are welcome, I know and love following hardware, but am just kind of stumped on this upgrade and am not sure what's worth the jump from a 295 (albeit a poorly performing 295).
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More about upgrade opinions
  1. 6950 is a great card, but i will lean towards the 570. its better than 6970
  2. 6950, it can overclock to 570 speeds, 2gb of vram is also nice for the future (eyefinity crossfirex, games using more then 1.5gb of vram etc)

    im saying this because i got a 570 and oc'd it a tiny bit (800mhz) and it burned out after 2 days :s
  3. Ouch! 2 days is definitely no good, what brand was the card?

    My dilemma is if the 570 is worth the extra $60+ compared to an oc'd 6950 2gb... Which from the best of my research, is not. I just wish they would actually drop in price, seems like nothing in graphics has changed for a long time!

    Another question would be if I did go with a 6950 and later added a second for CF, do they play nice with a dual monitor setup (only gaming on one)?
  4. The 570 is worth it and you don't have to OC it. Or you could buy a factory OC'd edition with a warranty. Even at reference speeds the 570's worth the cost because it runs equal to or better than a 6970 on many titles.

    Further, it's been my experience that crossfire has many driver issues and there is little support from AMD for their minority crossfire customer base. I've also found that many people who've never had the pleasure of dealing with crossfire will tell you otherwise. Me, if I had to choose AMD, I'd only go with the best single card I had budgeted for. I wouldn't consider crossfire. On the other hand, I've had no issues with SLI and Nvidia drivers.

    Even if you have a dual monitor setup, many games shut monitor 2 off while playing.
  5. I feel like it would be a bit of a lateral move, but I also feel like this 295 is under performing pretty heavily. I get into the 80's after gaming for a bit on almost everything at 100% fans, in a cool apartment, with a lot of airflow thru my case. When it hits 80 and above, I get random black flashes, stutters, and crashes (game crash, not system in most cases). Can't be overclocked a single bit or it'll probably start a fire... But, It's still kicking IF i compromise a bit with settings on the heavier games.

    Uber, that is awesome to hear before I spend anything... I had always heard of AMD/ATI driver issues and such, but I haven't ran an ATI card since the 9000 series a loooonnng time ago. It seems like I would lean towards the 570 a bit more now, although I do feel like I'd like a bit more VRAM than 1GB (if not for anything else, that stupid GTA IV settings panel is always making me want more). Have you ever seen larger memory versions of it?

    Also, I see 480's are about the same price as 570's... any thoughts?
  6. After a few more weeks of confusion, I had almost settled on pushing up the budget a bit and going with 2 6870's in CFX, after seeing how well they appeared to scale... But then they had to publish this damn article on SLI, CFX and 'micro-stuttering', and it's bringing me to reconsider. Student loan money is in though, and I don't have too many books to buy, so I'm in the $360 range and buying in a day or two...

    Pretty solidly decided on the 6870 set still, because I've never really noticed micro-stuttering on my dual-pcb 295 and 23" lcd setup, just blatant under-performance and overheating.

    If anyone wants to try and convince me otherwise, I'm open to more argument... If I were goin single card I'd do a 570 hands down, but for $40 more I can get these two 6870's and jump past 580 performance by a margin at 1080p.
  7. Best answer selected by JackMomma.
  8. Went with the two 6870's instead... seem to be running alright so far. Only advice past this is to not ever buy two non-reference ASUS EAH6870 cards for CFX unless you have an extra space between the cards, that back plate heatsink is retarded.
  9. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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