First time poster here. I'm in the process of putting together a new computer build (first in ~6yrs). It will primarily be used for gaming, photo editing and streaming content via LAN. Below I've listed my ideas/hardware choices. If you have any suggestions please feel free to help me out.
My specific question regards the 2gb 6950 GPU.
1) I've read on this site several times the great value of the card if you are successful in flashing the bios to unlock the shaders (~6970). I also have read many newer cards are now locked and unable to be flashed. Are there currently any cards on the egg or tigerdirect that can still be successfully flashed?
2) Also, on the best graphics cards monthly listing on this site, the 6950 is on the same tier as the 560ti. I assume the is and ACTUAL 6950 (1g or 2g???), not one that has been flashed. The 560ti, via combo deals, can be purchased for less then the 6950. so if the newer 6950 can NOT be flashed would a 560ti actually be a better value purchase with extremely minimal to no loss in performance?
Thanks for your help and the education everyone has provided me through this site/forum!
No new 6950's are able to be unlocked, you would literally need to find a run down shop, or craigslist/Ebay them. At which point those people will sell them at a higher price point because "they know"
The 560ti is a nicely rounded card, however simply doesn't preform as well as a 6950 at higher resolutions. The 560ti would be nice if you plan on playing games at 1680x1050 resolution range. As for 1920x1080-1200 (1080p) I would go the 6950 AMD route
If you ever planned on doing an SLI or Crossfire build, I would still suggest doing the 6950, then putting in another 6950 in the future, as these cards scale ridiculously well.
source: my knowledge and passion.. and a bit of anandtech to back me up
edit: The Sapphire brand is always a great choice. I currently am using 6950 as well. I plan on getting them in crossfire whenever bulldozer is released.. maybe 2015... =\ until them I'm stuck with a Q6700 2.66ghz stock oc'd to 3.89ghz However the core i5 2500k is clearly unrivalled in value to performance currently