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6870 XFire or 6970?

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  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 26, 2011 9:14:51 PM

I'm upgrading from my 6870 to a 6970. But I have a choice I could either CrossFire 6870's or get a single 6970. From what I understand 6870s can have more performance than a single 6970 but XFire has some issues and doesn't always work as advertised. I myself haven't ever cross-fired and am a bit curious on whether or not its worth it. Also I've heard that you could unlock a 6950 to a 6970 so would that be worth it? I could XFire those if it worked but I've heard it's also unstable.

My rig configuration:

CoolerMaster Elite 430 (Case)
ASRock 870 EXTREME3
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition (@4.0 GHz OC) Cooled with CoolerMaster Hyper 212+
4 GB DDR3 @ 1600 MHz (9-9-9-28)
1 TB (500 GB x 2) Seagate 7200 RPM 32 MB (total) Cache (RAID 0)
XFX AMD Radeon HD 6870 1GB GDDR5 256 Bit (940 MHz/1150 MHz)
Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

Any thoughts or opinions are helpful.

More about : 6870 xfire 6970

a b U Graphics card
August 26, 2011 9:53:30 PM

I would get a 6950 and unlock it to a 6970. You will need a reference model though with 2GB of VRAM. I would avoid getting another 6870. Sure, they perform better than a 6970, but they will have a shorter lifespan when it comes to performance. Don't worry about Xfire too much. The new drivers should have (or already have) worked out the issues or most of them). If you aren't very confident about unlocking a 6950 to a 6970, thats fine. In fact, the performance between 6950s Xfire and 6970s Xfire isn't that noticeable.
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a c 107 U Graphics card
August 26, 2011 9:56:08 PM

Going from a 6870 to a 6970 is only a moderate performance increase. I say that unless you commonly play games at settings where the 2GB of RAM would provide a smoother experience than two 6870s in crossfire (there aren't too many), get another 6870s to run in crossfire, preferably of the same type and exact same speed.
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August 26, 2011 10:10:42 PM

I've heard from many a' source that they've since disabled that "hack" on the newest batch of 6950s
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August 26, 2011 10:56:24 PM

megamanx00 said:
Going from a 6870 to a 6970 is only a moderate performance increase. I say that unless you commonly play games at settings where the 2GB of RAM would provide a smoother experience than two 6870s in crossfire (there aren't too many), get another 6870s to run in crossfire, preferably of the same type and exact same speed.


So is upgrading my GPU really even worth it? I was only doing this because I planned on playing BF3 at 1080p maxed out and my 6870 struggled a bit on max on the alpha (which was dumbed down). Also for future proofing I could just buy a second 6970 later should I need performance and have 6990 levels of performance. However the 6870 is cheaper and has similar performance if not a bit faster.
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a c 107 U Graphics card
August 26, 2011 11:50:01 PM

Hexus did an interesting review of the 6870X2 recently which pretty much covers it.

http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=31185&page=4

Overall two 6870s in CF are significantly faster than a 6970 but there are cases, like F1 2010 or Metro at 2,560x1,600, where a 6970 would have a more consistent speed.
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