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$1.5k build GPU: 560Ti oc,6950 unlockable, 570?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 25, 2011 5:22:56 PM

In past the length of my questions have perhaps detoured some would-be advice (hope I've not overdone again :sleep:  )
Guys trying to decide on GPU for $1500ish build (not pure gamer; want all rounder w/ ssd)
Have a Dell 22" U221h monitor not sure og connectivity issues w/ gpu's either
I'm in US.

I will confess I'm quite naive to most of this stuff despite having read numerous guides/comparisons.
I thought I had a grip on stuff until this Tom's Guide http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-radeon-grap...
Suggested that the factory OC 560Ti was better performer than the 6950 (thought I would want to unlock any 6950
perhaps I've interpreted results incorrectly?
Anyways, I need some hand holding on this decision - if you would...

1)Considering pcie 3.0 isn't far away- would I be smarter to choose a card just good enough to play full settings for time being
Opposed to my orig plan to add a second SLI/CF later when needed- Now, next update would likely have me yearning for pcie 3.0 product...

2) Help me decide best price to performance, which product/mfr version, best dea/rebates, ectl (at which store..)
* Answer COULD be none of the following, too...
** Warranty and Tech Support are big priorities for me (if company actually backs warranty!?)
A) 560Ti factory OC with nice fan & warranty (which mfr/version?)
B) UNLOCKABLE 6960 (2GB) (which mfr/versions are unlockable? which recommend??)
C) 570 (factory OC? which mfr/version??)
D) none of the above?

3) Bonus question: Typical power requirements for aforementioned GPU's? >750w? or 750w cut it?
Which (MODULAR?) power supply would you recommend? Making sure appropriate connection types

* Likely be overclocking someday (after warranty?)
2500k, asus z68 mobo, SSD, 1 or 2 Mass HDD's, optical drive, cpu cooler, either Phantom or 650D case.
a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2011 2:09:28 AM

The 6970 is not all that much more expensive than the 6950 these days, and it is my understanding that most 6950s are not reflashable to 6970 BIOS, perhaps the Saphire variant is one of the last few with dual BIOS switch.

At your res on a 22" monitor, the 560Ti should be sufficient, IMO.....
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July 26, 2011 2:54:01 AM

you'd recommend 6970 over unlocked 6950 (with the difference in cost)
what about 570 over the 6970 even??

which mfr/versions?
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a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2011 3:36:17 AM

coldengrey said:
you'd recommend 6970 over unlocked 6950 (with the difference in cost)
what about 570 over the 6970 even??

which mfr/versions?

out of all the gpus listed I would always recommend the 570.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
July 26, 2011 4:09:35 AM

^ i wouldn't. 2 of my friends have them and they have serious trouble getting anything to work without a display driver error. Reading through forums the gtx570 is plagued with issues.
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a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2011 4:24:29 AM

iam2thecrowe said:
^ i wouldn't. 2 of my friends have them and they have serious trouble getting anything to work without a display driver error. Reading through forums the gtx570 is plagued with issues.

Plagued.. Nah. I have a 570 I bought for 300 bux and I am thoroughly happy with it. Did your friends get the 570 shortly after launch? Every new series of anything has its share of problems. The card I have was undervolted for the OC from msi. I had crashes until I upped the voltage and now have a seamless gaming experience. I have no issues with drivers or crashing as far as being plagued with problems with the gpu
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a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2011 3:25:06 PM

+1 for the gtx 570.
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a c 609 U Graphics card
July 26, 2011 5:28:43 PM

There are several nice custom versions of the GTX 570 with enhanced cooling, custom components, and improved power management to make it a great option for a high-end system. Be sure to check out the MSI Twin Frozr III or Gigabyte Superoverclock (SOC).
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a c 172 U Graphics card
July 26, 2011 11:09:34 PM

FlintIronStagg said:
Plagued.. Nah. I have a 570 I bought for 300 bux and I am thoroughly happy with it. Did your friends get the 570 shortly after launch? Every new series of anything has its share of problems. The card I have was undervolted for the OC from msi. I had crashes until I upped the voltage and now have a seamless gaming experience. I have no issues with drivers or crashing as far as being plagued with problems with the gpu

yeah my mate had to bump up his voltage to get it stable at stock clocks. So why would they sell a product like that? he recently bought it and its the ASUS model, supposedly a good brand.
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a b U Graphics card
July 27, 2011 3:25:21 AM

iam2thecrowe said:
yeah my mate had to bump up his voltage to get it stable at stock clocks. So why would they sell a product like that? he recently bought it and its the ASUS model, supposedly a good brand.

I dunno why but mine rocks with a voltage of 1.0. I hardly saw it as a deal breaker as others would tho I guess
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July 29, 2011 2:52:38 PM

thanks for replies everybody... Sorry for no responces on my end, had laptop down to upgrade to windows 7.

- So all of these 570's have 'issues' with voltage settings?
If you adjust voltage settings, in order to stabilize, does that not VOID warranty?
If yes - isn't that kinda like buying a product without a warranty?
I mean you are systematically forced to jack around with voltage settings in order to get stable which automatically voids factory warranty.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
July 29, 2011 2:58:09 PM

iam2thecrowe said:
yeah my mate had to bump up his voltage to get it stable at stock clocks. So why would they sell a product like that? he recently bought it and its the ASUS model, supposedly a good brand.

It does seem a bit odd but didn't the HD5xxx series have similar issues with the vertical lines and GSOD that seemed to go away if the user upped the voltages?
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a b U Graphics card
July 29, 2011 3:32:04 PM

coldengrey said:
thanks for replies everybody... Sorry for no responces on my end, had laptop down to upgrade to windows 7.

- So all of these 570's have 'issues' with voltage settings?
If you adjust voltage settings, in order to stabilize, does that not VOID warranty?
If yes - isn't that kinda like buying a product without a warranty?
I mean you are systematically forced to jack around with voltage settings in order to get stable which automatically voids factory warranty.

for my card, no it didnt void the warranty. This was actually just a poorly planned line of cards from MSi - hence the fact that i bought it for 300 bux without rebate. I have been to MSi's site and checked out some of the issues people were having with the same card, and their official advice was to adjust the voltage setting due to the issue cause by them dropping the ball. I do not think it is the same with all models, but maybe with a couple companies that messed up when the cards first started coming out with non reference, or overclocked models. All of the cards with known issues are fixed quick and also, MSi released a flash almost immediately to fix the issue with my card that you can do so at home from your browser. So, no, i dont think this should be a common issue with the cards anymore - anythign you buy off the shelves now should have everything corrected with whatever companies flubbed on this setting.
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July 29, 2011 7:06:16 PM

First decide whether you want AMD or Nvidia.

Is the ability to run 3+ displays on one single card important to you? If so, then get an AMD card.

Is 3d vision important for you? If so, get nvidia.

Then decide whether reference card or aftermarket card is the choice for you -

Aftermarket cards usually run cooler and quieter than reference cards but cost more. Running at a lower temp usually means the ability for a higher OC.

Here are my favorite 6950s/560 tis:
MSI 560 ti Hawk
MSI 560 ti Twin Frozr II

MSI 6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC 2GB
Ausus Direct CU II 6950 2GB
Sapphire Dirt 3 Edition 6950 2GB

I personally think aftermarket cards are better because of the reasons I stated. Noise and temperatures are very important to me.

One final piece of advice and many here might disagree with me but I would avoid budget brand cards - Zotac, sparkle, visontek, palit etc. You are spending 250+ on a video card....go for PROVEN reliability.

Oh one last thing - Read newegg customer reviews on the card before purchasing or tigerdirect reviews. The specs and benchmarks may be great but the card may be unstable as hell....like gigabytes first version of their SOC.

Good luck!
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a c 271 U Graphics card
July 29, 2011 7:15:56 PM

chillin15 said:
First decide whether you want AMD or Nvidia.

Is the ability to run 3+ displays on one single card important to you? If so, then get an AMD card.

Is 3d vision important for you? If so, get nvidia.

Then decide whether reference card or aftermarket card is the choice for you -

Aftermarket cards usually run cooler and quieter than reference cards but cost more. Running at a lower temp usually means the ability for a higher OC.

Here are my favorite 6950s/560 tis:
MSI 560 ti Hawk
MSI 560 ti Twin Frozr II

MSI 6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC 2GB
Ausus Direct CU II 6950 2GB
Sapphire Dirt 3 Edition 6950 2GB

I personally think aftermarket cards are better because of the reasons I stated. Noise and temperatures are very important to me.

One final piece of advice and many here might disagree with me but I would avoid budget brand cards - Zotac, sparkle, visontek, palit etc. You are spending 250+ on a video card....go for PROVEN reliability.

Oh one last thing - Read newegg customer reviews on the card before purchasing or tigerdirect reviews. The specs and benchmarks may be great but the card may be unstable as hell....like gigabytes first version of their SOC.

Good luck!

So what about all the Zotac, sparkle, visontek, palit cards that have been running for years? Just because they haven't been available in the US until recently doesn't mean they're unreliable.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
July 29, 2011 7:41:02 PM

My friend wants me to help him build a PC on the weekend and I'm also debating between 560 Ti or 6950 2gb. I don't think he's the type to OC so based on stock vs stock I'm kind of leaning on the 560 Ti.

Since you're saying the 570 is within budget then of course that's the card to get, it's super fast. But you can't really go wrong with any of those choices.
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July 29, 2011 8:34:33 PM

wolfram23 said:
My friend wants me to help him build a PC on the weekend and I'm also debating between 560 Ti or 6950 2gb. I don't think he's the type to OC so based on stock vs stock I'm kind of leaning on the 560 Ti.

Since you're saying the 570 is within budget then of course that's the card to get, it's super fast. But you can't really go wrong with any of those choices.


I am running two reference model 560 ti's from EVGA with slight factory overclocks to 850mhz. I never hear these things over my other fans even when playing crysis2 maxxed out at 1920*. I love the card, in SLI my top card (which would run hotter than the bottom) has yet to go over 65C at max load. My ambient temps suck here too. That being said I haven't been able to find many negative comments on 6950 either. I just prefer NVidia cards and they performed better on games I cared about so that is how I made my decision.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
July 29, 2011 11:58:47 PM

mdd1963 said:
The 6970 is not all that much more expensive than the 6950 these days, and it is my understanding that most 6950s are not reflashable to 6970 BIOS, perhaps the Saphire variant is one of the last few with dual BIOS switch.

At your res on a 22" monitor, the 560Ti should be sufficient, IMO.....


The bios switch was never required for unlocking the shaders, which does not require flashing to a 6970 bios. All in all this is the safest route, however a lot if not most are unlockable these days, even reference cards.

22" doesn't have an effect on power needed either. It's the 1080p resolution that does, though the 560 ti is a good card.

I'd recommend either the 6950/70 or 560 ti.
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July 30, 2011 5:06:17 PM

bystander said:
The bios switch was never required for unlocking the shaders, which does not require flashing to a 6970 bios. All in all this is the safest route, however a lot if not most are unlockable these days, even reference cards.

22" doesn't have an effect on power needed either. It's the 1080p resolution that does, though the 560 ti is a good card.

I'd recommend either the 6950/70 or 560 ti.


If you have a Frys nearby run over there. They have my card for 209 bucks right now FRIGGING STEAL. I paid 250 for both of mine less than a month ago
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