Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Best ATI Buy At The Moment

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
September 1, 2011 1:51:03 PM

Hey guys I need some help.

I have a 4870 at the moment which was the old card from my older PC, I've since built a new pc and just carried the card over since it suited my gaming needs just fine.

My PC has 4 gb of 1600mhz ddr3 which I will likely be upgrading to 8 gb. A phenom II x4 955 and a 850 watt psu

Anyhow Ive been playing deus ex and it seems to push my card to its limit. I only play at 1440 x 900 but ill likely upgrade to a 1080p monitor. I'm kind of an amd fanboy and have a crossfire board so I want to go ati and might as well go 6 series for dx11 and some future proofing. I've since turned into a PC gamer its more fun and better looking than console :p 

So I'm looking for some help from you guru's I'm looking for a card in the 2-300 range cheaper the better. I've been thinking the 6870 or 6950 I've heard the men isn't a huge deal between 1 and 2 gb but anyhow I don't know the 6 series cards too well.

Also do the brands matter much? Xfx to me seems high and sapphire seems kind of lower end I'm told brands don't matter much but I'm still unsure.

Thanks guys.

More about : ati buy moment

September 1, 2011 2:59:11 PM

Go for MSI, Asus, Gigabyte 6950. I am not sure but you can check if you can get a 6970.
m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
September 1, 2011 3:13:46 PM

HIS make the best cards imo.
m
0
l
Related resources
September 1, 2011 3:15:25 PM

At your resolution the 6870 would be sufficient. I read that the recommended GPU requirements for Deus Ex is a HD 5850 so the 6870 would be fine.

If you want more future proofing, even though it isn't really a valid term haha, I'd go with the 6950. The main difference between the 1gb and 2gb version is based on resolution. The 2gb is needed for higher resolutions and helps with Eyefinity if you're looking to go that route.

Usually when I update my graphics card I try and find the best card I can afford and get it. I do that so when I feel like I need an upgrade later I can just buy a second card and crossfire. I have a 2gb HD 6950 and I love it. I have no problems with any games I've tried to play and I have the same processor as you as well and they perform well with each other especially with an overclock.

Brands are generally personal preference. XFX has a double lifetime warranty so if you sell it the person who bought it gets the warranty as well. MSI Twin Frozr II and III have awesome cooling options. Sapphire is usually regarded well, but I have no experience with it. My card is XFX, but the one fan version. My temps go a little higher than I would personally like, but nothing even close to being not safe. If you go with XFX I would get the dual fan version. I would recommend that with any brand you go honestly.

You can also wait until later on in the year to see what the 7000 series can do. I don't know when they'll be out officially, but I have read sometime this quarter. It's up to you.

Here are a couple links to 6870s and 6950s so you can check them out and see what the reviewers have to say if you want.

HD 6870

XFX

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

Sapphire

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

MSI

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

HD 6950 Here are 1gb versions just so you know

XFX

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

Sapphire

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

Gigabyte

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

I couldn't find a 1gb 6950 from MSI on newegg, but I'm sure you could find one elsewhere.

m
0
l
September 1, 2011 6:27:41 PM

Damn thanks for the responses I'm thinking about the twin frozer II 6870 the 6950 doesn't seem like enough of a performance boost to justify the extra cash. I do like the cooler on the card, I'm big into low temps and my 4870 runs hot!

I like the fact the card has that cooler since it gives more oc potential w/o needing to buy an aftermarket cooler.

I do have 2 monitors setup one at 1440 x 900 and the other is just 1280 x 1024 used mainly for email iTunes etc. Would I also be able to hook up my tv along with the monitors? Its 1080p 58" or would the resolution be too high? I would only be gaming on one screen but I asssume all screens add together for the total resolution.

Also eyefinity may happen for me but would be in a year or so and I would prob crossfire the card by then.
m
0
l
September 1, 2011 9:24:37 PM

Here is one more thing to consider before purchasing. Toms recently looked into micro-stuttering when cards were crossfired and the 6870 was one of the main cards looked at. Here is the link.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

Apparently they discovered that cards less powerful than the 6950 are a lot more susceptible to micro-stuttering when crossfired. The last page of the article says this

Quote:
Right now, if you asked us whether it'd be smart to "go cheap" on an inexpensive card and double-down later with another one, we'd have to suggest against it if you're the sort to be bothered by micro-stuttering. The improvement in performance would be negated by the phenomenon's impact. Currently, it seems like cards less powerful than the Radeon HD 6950 are not well-suited for dual-card CrossFire. Even if the frame rates look decent, the slower the GPU, the more pronounced you'll see micro-stuttering during gameplay.


Also here is a story from my personal experience. My friend and I were purchasing video cards at the same time and we both were trying to decide between the 6870 and 6950. After much consideration and asking around I chose the HD 6950 2gb and he chose the HD 6870 1gb. It has been 3 months since then and here is were we both stand. I haven't had any trouble with any games I've thrown at it. I can play The Witcher 2 on Ultra settings minus ubersampling and stay at 40-50 FPS. My friend can still play the same games as me, but he has to lower the settings down. He and I are very big into having things look the best they can. We have almost identical systems other than HD/PSU brand/RAM brand and he now wishes he had gone for the HD 6950 even if it was the 1gb version. This is just one personal experience so don't take it for the standard. We both like maxing games and having the best looking output as possible.

I would have to say it all depends on how much you want to spend, crossfire potential because of the micro-stuttering, resolution, and how much you want to max games and such. Both cards are great. It all comes down to your personal preferences.

Here is the head to head from AnandTech, but I don't think you resolution is on there. I couldn't find another benchmark that had your resolution on it. It goes down to 1680x1050

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/290?vs=331


m
0
l
September 1, 2011 10:22:56 PM

Hmm, this is where things get interesting. I've looked on newegg and they have the 1gb version of the 6950 for 239.99 with a $30 mail in rebate. So it'd be like $10 difference. However my last xfx rebate was never given to me. And I think it voids the warranty since you need to cut the sku off the box

However it expires before im planning on buying the card and it had the stock cooler where the msi has a much better one. Damn, now I'm confused, according to the benchmarks the 6950 isn't too far ahead of the 6870.

As for the micro studdering it makes sense to go with a 6950 but I'm not entirly sure ill cf at this point. Also I wonder if new drivers will help the studdering as the article suggested, so if I went 6870 by the time I cf it may be fine to go 6990 and 6870 and have no studdering.

So I guess ill just have to keep an eye on prices and if the 6950 goes on a good sale ill grab it, otherwise ill go 6870.
m
0
l
September 1, 2011 10:42:34 PM

The 6950 is an awesome deal, and I would go with a 2gb model for higher resolution future proofing. One 6950 should keep you satisfied, and if you decide you want performance matching a 6990 or 590, you can add a 2nd 6950 in x-fire and get about the same performance as the top cards for a cheaper price.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-performance-...
m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
September 1, 2011 10:50:52 PM

if you plan on a higher resolution eventually, go with the better card. There is no such thing as "future proof" but it will last you longer
m
0
l
September 1, 2011 10:58:57 PM

As for micro studdering it says triple GPU is the absolute best, and the graphs show that also.

Now if I were to get the 6870 now, and say the 6970 x 2 a year down the road would that bypass the micro studdering? I understand that using a lower powered card along with a higher powered one is a cause of micro studdering but they are pretty close in spec and it is a triple GPU setup, and for whatever reason they have less studdering than a dual gpu setup.

Anyhow at this point I think I want to go more for the 6950 but its an issue of money, I dont want to spend an extra $50 for a small performance increase, but at the same time I want to be able to feel like I have very high end components.

I'll just scout local sales and whatnot.
m
0
l
September 2, 2011 3:01:05 AM

I've found this for $240 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Quick thing I'm wondering is, will the card output sound through the hdmi port? I can see right now I'll have my 58" TV hooked up and will "stream" video to it. I'll just treat it as a 3rd monitor and play video with WMP on it, and set the sound output to the HDMI port on the card? Assuming it will output sound also?

Also can I use the 2 dvi ports and a hdmi port? I was looking at another card and you could only use 2 dvi and the display port, if you wanted to use hdmi you could only use 1 dvi and then the other monitor would need to be plugged into the display port?

Kind of a pain in the back but the card comes with a display port to hdmi adapter doesn't it?
m
0
l
September 2, 2011 1:45:59 PM

You can not crossfire a 6800 series with anything other than another 6800 series. Same with with the 6700, 6900, and whichever else. It has to have the same first 2 numbers to be able to crossfire.

Yes sound is put out through HDMI to your TV. I am currently using that sort of setup until I get my 3 monitors sometime in the coming weeks.

This website will show you how to setup Eyefinity. Just answer the two questions and it will recommend some stuff for you. The link will show you what ports you will have to use for Eyefinity as well as some alternatives to the DisplayPort such as an active DisplayPort to DVI adapter.

http://www.amd.com/us/products/technologies/amd-eyefini...

EDIT: If you are just trying to hook up 3 monitors to and use them separately like one for gaming, one for surfing, and one for music I don't think there are any restrictions on which ports you use. I could be wrong, but I have to go to work and don't have enough time to look it up at the moment.

As for the adapters that come with the cards, it depends on the brand. My XFX HD 6950 2gb came with a Crossfire bridge and that was it. No DVI to anything or vice versa. I don't know which brands come with what so I can't recommend a certain brand, but you can probably search Google and get an answer for some of them.

If you aren't purchasing right now I would suggest just waiting until you the week you are and check every sort of deal place you can. I am signed up for Newegg and Tiger Direct's email which sends me deals almost daily from them both. Hopefully by the time you plan to purchase you can have saved up a little more because I would recommend the HD 6950 if you ever plan on going to a bigger resolution or doing Eyefinity.
m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
September 2, 2011 1:53:27 PM

for the OP get a 6950 or gtx 560ti, end of story, also +1 to the Asus MSI and Gigabyte models, reference models from amd are loud
m
0
l
September 6, 2011 1:48:55 PM

I think your right, just wait until I'm ready to buy then watch for sales and whatnot for a week.

Eyefinity would be nice but realistically it won't happen for me. I'd need 3 new monitors and a much larger desk.

Crossfire also probably won't be a big deal I probably won't do it, if a 4870 lasted me this long i imagine the 6950 will last a while too.

Ill go with the 1gb version since I seriously doubt ill ever go over 1080p or ever do eyefinity with the card

I'd like the 6950 but will need to find it on sale. But if I can find a 6870 for under $200 I don't think i would be able to resist.
m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
September 6, 2011 2:02:28 PM

6870s have been about 180 or less for a long time now (unless you are not in the US) Id get a gtx 560ti
m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
September 6, 2011 2:03:02 PM

me too ^^^
m
0
l
September 6, 2011 2:36:55 PM

@jjb8675309 and FlintIronStagg

Quote:
I'm kind of an amd fanboy and have a crossfire board so I want to go ati and might as well go 6 series for dx11 and some future proofing.


That was why I didn't mention a GTX560Ti. I just figured since he preferred AMD and they were competing cards I'd not mention it.

@OP I know you mentioned problems with XFX and their MIRs, but if you would be willing to try again here is an XFX HD 6950 1gb dual fan for $249 and a $30 MIR making it $219.

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

Like I said before you can just wait and see what deals are out when you plan on buying. That sounds like a good idea if it works for you. I just saw that XFX card and thought I'd link it.

m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
September 6, 2011 2:45:53 PM

rmcron5296 said:
You can not crossfire a 6800 series with anything other than another 6800 series. Same with with the 6700, 6900, and whichever else. It has to have the same first 2 numbers to be able to crossfire.

Yes sound is put out through HDMI to your TV. I am currently using that sort of setup until I get my 3 monitors sometime in the coming weeks.

This website will show you how to setup Eyefinity. Just answer the two questions and it will recommend some stuff for you. The link will show you what ports you will have to use for Eyefinity as well as some alternatives to the DisplayPort such as an active DisplayPort to DVI adapter.

http://www.amd.com/us/products/technologies/amd-eyefini...

EDIT: If you are just trying to hook up 3 monitors to and use them separately like one for gaming, one for surfing, and one for music I don't think there are any restrictions on which ports you use. I could be wrong, but I have to go to work and don't have enough time to look it up at the moment.

As for the adapters that come with the cards, it depends on the brand. My XFX HD 6950 2gb came with a Crossfire bridge and that was it. No DVI to anything or vice versa. I don't know which brands come with what so I can't recommend a certain brand, but you can probably search Google and get an answer for some of them.

If you aren't purchasing right now I would suggest just waiting until you the week you are and check every sort of deal place you can. I am signed up for Newegg and Tiger Direct's email which sends me deals almost daily from them both. Hopefully by the time you plan to purchase you can have saved up a little more because I would recommend the HD 6950 if you ever plan on going to a bigger resolution or doing Eyefinity.


not true with the 6700 series, eg the 6770 can crossfire with a 5750.
m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
September 6, 2011 2:46:55 PM

ps3hacker12 said:
not true with the 6700 series, eg the 6770 can crossfire with a 5750.

yeah, but i wouldnt want to xfire 2 cards to get the same power as a single card with a slightly higher price
m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
September 6, 2011 3:03:18 PM

ps3hacker12 said:
not true with the 6700 series, eg the 6770 can crossfire with a 5750.


Only because the 6770 is actually a renamed 5770 (they were originally rebranded solely for the OEM market where sales depend on having the new generation card but the OEMs decided to also change their products name but the cards are actually still 5770's so will crossfire with the 57xx series cards since the are 57xx series cards themselves !
m
0
l
September 6, 2011 3:07:46 PM

ps3hacker12 said:
not true with the 6700 series, eg the 6770 can crossfire with a 5750.


Yeah I misread the chart. The 6700 is a rebrand of the 5700. Good catch. That was my bad. Here is the crossfire chart.

m
0
l
September 6, 2011 11:05:17 PM

I'd rather go ati for no other reason than the fact that my machine is a complete amd machine.

Honestly I doubt ill ever crossfire. My original plan with the 4870 was to crossfire it when I started to feel the need for an upgrade but now that I feel like I need an upgrade I'm going to just buy a new card with dx11. I suspect it'll be the same thing a few years from now, I'll just buy a single card insteadof cf'ing.

I don't have an extreme gaming setup by any means and based on my past gaming history ill probably end up upgrading (crossfire or whole new card) when I start having a bit of lag ingame or am unable to use high-very high settings in games. Which will probably be in a couple years so by then ill just buy a new card.

I may buy from newegg.com and have it shipped to my mailbox in the us, I live in canada so I'm mainly browsing on the. CA site but the. Com site is cheaper even though the Canadian dollar is stronger than the US ATM, but I guess we pay duty and all that extra crap.

Anyhow, I really don't want to do a mail in rebate I've heard nothing but bad things from people and have even experienced it myself. I had to cut the barcode off my box so I assume i voided my warranty.

Edit: Another thing... The 6950's cant be flashed to 6970's anymore can they?
m
0
l
September 7, 2011 12:59:07 PM

No you can no longer flash 6950s to 6970s.

The thing with XFX warranties is that you have to register the product within 30 days of purchasing the product or you only get a limited warranty that doesn't do much anyways. Once you register the product on xfxforce.com, you get the double lifetime warranty and seeing as you're in Canada you have the option to change thermal paste, change to an after market cooler, and some other options that won't void the warranty in other countries. Canada and the US are the only two countries that can. I had to send in a service ticket to make sure, but the verified it the same day with a quick and timely response.

I got my MIR after like 3 months, but I got it none the less. My buddy I mentioned before got his in 1 1/2 months. I understand not wanting to do a MIR as many people have had a nightmare of a time, I'm just sharing my pleasant experience so far. From other people's experiences I have read about other bad experience with XFX, but I can't say it has been a bad one at all for me.

I would stay away from XFX if you are worried about the MIR. As far as I know most other companies aren't much faster, but you're already had a bad experience so there is no point to purposely put yourself through something like that again.

If you aren't looking to max every game that you throw at your computer the 6870 will work well. The microstuttering might not be a plus, but when you feel like upgrading the new series of cards will be out and you can just grab one of them. The 6950 just gives you better options later down the road with crossfire, the possibilities of higher resolutions, and better quality games right now. Just weigh the options for each and you can decide what you really need and as long as your happy with it that's all that matters

m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
September 7, 2011 2:34:47 PM




"I would stay away from XFX if you are worried about the MIR. "


Ive owned over 10 XFX gpus and most of them were purchaserd with a MIR, I have never had a problem getting the money from XFX within 4-6 weeks, XFX in my expirience has always fulfilled their MIRs in a timely manner so I disagree with this acusation. PErsonally Im done with reference models and if I were the OP id get an asus dc2 or msi tf2/3 model of the 6950 or gtx 560ti
m
0
l
September 7, 2011 6:58:17 PM

It's been like a year or more since I tried the MIR and never got it. I did however mail it like 3 days before the MIR expired so I am thinking it arrived to them on the day the MIR expired, and could have been the problem.

I do really want a card with a cooler on it and possibly a slight overclock. I guess I could get a card with the cooler and stock speeds then overclock myself?

I may try my luck with the MIR, but I'm going to leave myself with plenty of wiggle room there, and not send it in close to the deadline. Problem is, all the MIR's expire on September 15'th which is payday for me, and will be around the time I will be buying. Everytime I've ever looked at any video card there has always been a MIR so I guess there will be another one soon...
m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
September 7, 2011 7:14:07 PM

if you didnt follow procedure, no offense, but its not the companies fault beyond that I would say that this never happens when you follow the directions, at least in my experience, I think you have experienced a remote case...

Either way like i said before im done with reference models, which is pretty much all XFX does these days
m
0
l
September 7, 2011 8:17:12 PM

Well what brands do you recommend? I've been looking on newegg and there is nothing really for 1gb cards. The Twin frozer's are all 2gb's the asus direct whatever is a triple slot card.

XFX however does have a card that looks to have a decent cooler on it.

Whats gigabyte like? They have a triple fan cooler.
m
0
l
September 7, 2011 8:31:08 PM

Even if you mailed it right before the deadline the postmark would show it was on it's way within the specified time frame and that would be enough as long as everything else was done right.

@jjb8675309

I love XFX products. I wan't knocking them at all. All I was saying was that my most recent MIR was handled poorly. I followed the instructions exactly as they showed and they even emailed me saying they had it once I inquired about it. It just took 3 months for them to send me my money back when they said 4-6 weeks upon receipt. My buddy did his at the same time I did, but they never told him anything once he sent in a question about it and just left him with nothing. I have recently read other stories about XFX MIR process keeping others from their rebates so I was just saying to be wary.

I'm glad you have had awesome experiences with them and for the most part I have as well. I just wanted to share whatever I could to help him with his decision.

I do definitely agree that the MSI Twin Frozr II/III and ASUS DCII are better models than most others. If I had the money and didn't have a coupon for the XFX model I would have grabbed one of them.
m
0
l
September 7, 2011 8:36:56 PM

I have read that the Sapphire card on Newegg is good, but it's sold out at the moment. I have no experience with Gigabyte GPUs, but the one HIS card I had was great and ran rather cool.

The triple fan Gigabyte is also already factory overclocked to 870mhz. The reviews on Newegg seem to like the card, but I don't know how much faith you put in their review.
m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
September 7, 2011 9:20:34 PM

imo the best models are generally made by Asus, MSI, and gigabyte in the aftermarket gpu arena
m
0
l
September 7, 2011 11:21:52 PM

Thats what I thought, as far as the rebate, as long as it was mailed within the specified time it would be fine. Yet I haven't received anything...

I'll probably go for the MSI card because the Twin Frozr II seems like one of the best coolers out there.

m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
September 7, 2011 11:36:25 PM

yeah along with the MSI TF3, Asus DCII and the Gigabyte SOC, they are all amazing cards imo
m
0
l
September 9, 2011 12:01:18 AM

I've been looking around and people are saying the 5 series cards are actually faster than the 6 series? How can that be?

Specifically the 6870 vs the 5870 or the 6950 vs the 5870 (I think the 6950 is SLIGHTLY better than the 5870)
m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
September 9, 2011 12:14:48 AM

HaGGardSmurf said:
I've been looking around and people are saying the 5 series cards are actually faster than the 6 series? How can that be?

Specifically the 6870 vs the 5870 or the 6950 vs the 5870 (I think the 6950 is SLIGHTLY better than the 5870)


It's a long story but basically the manufacturer of the chips couldn't provide what was expected and AMD was forced to make a "half-way" graphics card instead of what they should have made. The 6850 and 6870 are much better in terms of performance/watt and in crossfire but the 5850 and 5870 are very slightly faster cards mostly because they use much bigger + more power hungry chips.

The 6950 is a little bit faster than the 5870 but remember that the 5870 was the very fastest of the last generation while the 6950 is the 2nd fastest of this generation.
m
0
l
September 12, 2011 12:55:48 PM

Well I'll probably go for the 6 series just so in the future if I decide to go crossfire I'll have an easier time finding a 6 series

One more thing i'm wondering is about over clocking. The 6870 looks to be the better card for that am I right?

Also what's the deal with O/Cing and warranty it doesn't void it does it? Some cards come with over clocking tools so I don't think it would void it but overclocking could damage the card easily if done wrong...

(i'm mainly talking about the twin frozr II cards here)
m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
September 12, 2011 1:44:20 PM

HaGGardSmurf said:
Well I'll probably go for the 6 series just so in the future if I decide to go crossfire I'll have an easier time finding a 6 series

One more thing i'm wondering is about over clocking. The 6870 looks to be the better card for that am I right?

Also what's the deal with O/Cing and warranty it doesn't void it does it? Some cards come with over clocking tools so I don't think it would void it but overclocking could damage the card easily if done wrong...

(i'm mainly talking about the twin frozr II cards here)


yep the 6870, overclocking will not void your warranty or damage your graphics card i would reccommend software such as MSI Afterburner which limits you to a safew overclock anyway. overvolting too much is what may void warranty tho.
m
0
l
September 12, 2011 6:10:44 PM

Sweet I think that's what I'll do get the 6870 and overclock it. That way it'll be very close to the 6950 but about $60 cheaper.

I'll probably get the Msi twin frozr card and then use after burner to oc. I'd like to find an article that shows the performance before and after an overclock and also the temps.
m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2011 7:20:01 AM

make sure you don't put your memory clock too high! it can actually reduce FPS and yeah a guide will tell you everything you ned to know.
m
0
l
!