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5870 vs. 6950

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  • Graphics Cards
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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 12, 2011 3:34:04 AM

So I'm finally ready to upgrade my graphics card in preparation for BF3. My plan was to go from my current Radeon HD 5770, to a Radeon HD 5870. I've been wanting this card for a while now and I know it's pretty good, and is quite an improvement over my 5770.

However, my buddy says the 5870 is too old now. Powerful yes, but it's so old that it won't have anymore new support or updates, so I should instead get a 6000 series card like the 6950 (preferably the 2 GB model). Well, like I said - I was kind of set on the 5870, but is he correct? If he is, I probably would be better off with a 6000 series card.

I can see that the 5870's and the 6950's performance are very similar.

Also - I'm only using fan cooling, so heat is a consideration too. Which card runs cooler?

Any advice on these two cards (or a better option) would be appreciated. Budget is $200-$250.


AMD Phenom II x6 1090T
8 GB DDR3 RAM
Corsair TX 650 watt PSU
Radeon HD 5770
LG FLATRON 22" M2262D monitor 1920 x 1080



More about : 5870 6950

a c 214 U Graphics card
August 12, 2011 3:43:49 AM

The 5870 and 6950 are pretty similair in performance but a few differences make the 6950 stand out.Crossfire scaling and Tesselation.

Although the 5870 is a DX11 card it is first gen.The 6950 is a 2nd gen DX11 with improved tesselation for better DX11 performance.Since BF 3 is going to be using DX11 I think you might want to take that into consideration.

Also the 6950 scales a lot better than the previous 58xx series making it a lot faster in crossfire than the 5870 crossfire.

The 5870 is a great card but I would much rather have a 6950.They perform about the same as single cards but in crossfire the 6950 leaps away.I reccomend you get the 6950.Although if your not going to use a resoultion larger than 1920x1080 I suggest you go with the 1G 6950 as theirs almost no difference in performance at resoultions lower than 1080p.

Here's some benchmarks on the 2 cards.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6970-rade...

Seems that Newegg doesn't have any 1G 6950's up right now so this is the next best thing(also the cheapest).

Sapphire 6950 2G $240=$225 + Free Shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would suggest you get a MSI Twin Frozr II but it's out of your budget range.The Sapphire card listed above is still a good card with a good aftermarket heatsink.
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August 25, 2011 12:01:58 AM

Thanks - I went with an overclocked XFX Radeon HD 6950 XXX 2GB. It had a nice $30 rebate and a lifetime warranty - I may be trying to cross fire these babies this winter- and stepping up the resolution so I opted for the 2 GB. I think it'll be a pretty sweet card. This is the newer version with the twin cooling fans and improved heatsink. It's had some pretty positive reviews about it's better cooling ability (which sucked before), and the price was right.

The MSI Twin Frozer II was the same $ for only 1 GB.

Also the core clock on the XFX was 830 MHz, but the MSI card was 810 MHz (plus it's warranty was only 36 months instead of lifetime like XFX's).
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a c 214 U Graphics card
August 25, 2011 12:44:08 AM

I agree with you there.Even if it's a reference card a lifetime warranty is priceless.

What resolution are you planning on upping to later on?
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August 26, 2011 3:09:13 AM

Hoping to get up to 2560x1600. Supposedly the 2GB will show some improvement over the 1 GB version in this area, and possibly allow for high AA settings as well.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
August 26, 2011 3:32:41 AM

I actually haven't seen any benchmarks that yielded better scores with the 2G cards at 2560x1600.It's only beyond that resolution do you see better results.
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a b U Graphics card
August 26, 2011 5:47:48 AM

for 25X16 you will need crossfire 6950s imo regardless of vram size, with a single gpu you will def be downscaling in some titles at that amazingly awesome resolution
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a b U Graphics card
August 26, 2011 5:58:23 AM

yeah that makes sense, seemed a little mismatched to me that display are not cheap :) 
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September 8, 2011 1:55:32 AM

Best answer selected by hapkiman.
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