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Which 6950 is best for crossfire?

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Last response: in Graphics Cards
September 9, 2011 8:54:37 PM

I'm looking at all the 6950's on newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...


I just wanted to check first. I know this goes in the mobo forums but I'm just curious. Will this mobo support crossfire? It says on the box quad core and CrossfireX support, but what about regular Crossfire?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Ok back on topic


According to this reddit post:
http://www.reddit.com/r/hardware/comments/jxnjt/best_co...

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

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

Are the best options, but I just wanted to check it with you guys. I'd go with the powercooler because it has 2 fans.

But what about the myriad of other cards listed? I heard the Sapphire Dirt 3 edition is also good.

Also what cards can be flashed to 6970 levels? I actually don't know if thats such a good idea for dual cards with crossfire, so I might just overclock them both. What do you guys think?

More about : 6950 crossfire

a c 214 U Graphics card
September 9, 2011 9:07:13 PM

Yes that motherboards supports crossfire.If your using 2 cards it will work at x8/x8.

The crossfire scaling is the same for every 6950.Which is faster would be determined by the clock speeds of each.

I'm not real familair wit flashing 6950's to 6970's but I've heard you have to get a certain one and they are had to find.

What is your budget? Are you going getting 2 cards for crossfire or one now and one later?

What are your full system specs?(CPU,RAM,PSU,etc.)
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September 9, 2011 9:12:04 PM

CPU- i5 2500k
Mobo- The Asus Z68 above. x8/x8 is the normal right? I've heard of x16/x16, but for a lot more and the performance isn't substantially better.
Ram- haven't decided yet, I want either 8 or 12 GB and dunno which one supports my mobo/cpu. Was looking at G.SKILL but not sure
GPU- 2 6950's crossfire(getting two off the bat)
PSU- Not sure on that one either yet, but to be safe I should be looking at 850W right, thats healthy for crossfire?

Budget- Around $1200, itll probably come more than that with a monitor(the tower alone is probably $1100), so $1500 max, but I'm looking more towards $1200-$1350
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Related resources
September 9, 2011 9:18:08 PM

I know one sapphire card and some others on there are flashable to 6970 levels, and a lot of them have the BIOS switch which is a very good option in case something goes wrong...

But I just dont know if flashing 2 6950s crossfire would be healthy. One would probably be alright. Would overclocking be the safer bet with better performance increase?
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September 9, 2011 9:44:34 PM

Oh btw the usage is for, yep you guessed it, gaming. In fact I will probably do nothing else buy surf the web and game on that, I got my MBP for that.

The reason I'm doing dual 6950's crossfire is to be able to play BF3 ultra-max at 1080p with smooth settings.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
September 9, 2011 10:43:40 PM

If your usage for this PC is just mainly gaming then you don't really need more than 8GB of RAM.Put the extra money towards a SSD.

As I said before I don't know much about flashing a 6950 to 6970 so you'll have to wait for someone else to get help on that.

As for the PSU a 750watt would be more than enough but you can get a bigger one if you want.

Here's what I suggest:

PSU= Seasonic 750watt Gold

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

GPU= MSI Twin Frozr III 6950

1G version

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

2G version

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

MSI cards have some of the best cooling avalible.Asus has good cooling as well but their cards tend to take up 3 slots which isn't good.If your not using Eyefinity or more than one monitor I don't see the need to go for a 2G card,their is no difference in performance at all unless using a really high resolution.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
September 9, 2011 10:47:04 PM

Forgot the RAM.

8G 1600mhz

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

Your mobo supports a max speed of 2200mhz but it's an O.C. function so you would have to put the timings in manually.Also 2200mhz RAM is kind of scarce and it seems only GSKILL has it but it's $300 because it comes with a fan.
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a c 128 U Graphics card
September 9, 2011 10:52:10 PM

get 2gig cards.
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September 9, 2011 10:58:20 PM

purple stank said:
Forgot the RAM.

8G 1600mhz

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

Your mobo supports a max speed of 2200mhz but it's an O.C. function so you would have to put the timings in manually.Also 2200mhz RAM is kind of scarce and it seems only GSKILL has it but it's $300 because it comes with a fan.


I think I found my card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Comes at 880Mhz clock speed, and has a switch to flash the bios. It COMES with a switch to turn on 6970 mode, pretty much. Its out of stock, but I can wait till I can get a hold of two of them. What do you think?
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September 9, 2011 11:10:46 PM

"The top of the card has a BIOS switch, which all Radeon HD 6950 and Radeon HD 6970 video cards have. What separates this video card from the rest, however, is that Sapphire has used this dual-BIOS nature of the video card to improve your gameplay experience through an increase in performance. The primary BIOS is a standard HD 6950 with 1408 shaders and with the voltage at 1.175V up from 1.1V, and overclocked. The secondary BIOS sets the video card into "Radeon HD 6970 mode" enabling extra shaders, up to 1536, that many enthusiasts BIOS mod their 6950's to try to get to. We will dive into this later in this evaluation."
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a c 214 U Graphics card
September 10, 2011 12:11:41 AM

It's up to you really.I personally would just rather get a card with a really good aftermarket cooling solution and O.C.
x2 6950's in crossfire is already powerful enough to max out any game.

Yes that RAM will work with your mobo.But it's only a single 4G stick so don't forget to buy another if you want 8G.
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September 10, 2011 2:39:48 AM

What does "Intel P67 platform/ XMP ready" are you sure that works with my mobo? says it uses a different socket
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September 10, 2011 2:45:08 AM

Btw, because this memory is like dirt cheap, does that mean that the quality is two? I mean, I could spend $4(after rebate) or I can pay $74 for the ones you listed. $70 difference, big difference in performance?
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a c 214 U Graphics card
September 10, 2011 3:12:48 AM

No,it's just on special or a good deal.Patriot memory is just as good.The P67 only and all that other crap is just marketing.

Here it is over at newegg.It's just on special at that once place.

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

Your only spending $25 at it's a single 4GB stick.The RAM I linked is x2 4G sticks for 8G of RAM total.The RAM I linked has a heat spreader and it also has tighter timings so it should be slightly faster than the Patriot.

Here's the same RAM it just has normal timings so it's a bit cheaper.

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

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September 10, 2011 3:29:48 AM

purple stank said:
No,it's just on special or a good deal.Patriot memory is just as good.The P67 only and all that other crap is just marketing.

Here it is over at newegg.It's just on special at that once place.

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

Your only spending $25 at it's a single 4GB stick.The RAM I linked is x2 4G sticks for 8G of RAM total.The RAM I linked has a heat spreader and it also has tighter timings so it should be slightly faster than the Patriot.

Here's the same RAM it just has normal timings so it's a bit cheaper.

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


Well the reason I linked that deal is its $2 AR x2= $4. Thats a steal
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September 10, 2011 3:33:56 AM

So $50 less, and only slightly better performance? Is the difference noticeable? Thanks
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a c 214 U Graphics card
September 10, 2011 3:42:51 AM

Yes 8GB for $4 is a really good deal.It wouldn't be a noticeable difference.

You still planning on getting the Sapphire 6950?
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a c 128 U Graphics card
September 10, 2011 3:47:28 AM

purple stank brought up something I should have caught. the heat. coming from a 5800 series I figured they were finally on track, but these cards are extremely hot. getting something with "high-end" cooling solutions is a good idea, especially if running 2 in cross-fire.
I also don't think unlocking cards is the greatest thing or the greatest thing to look for in deciding what cards to get. by the time the "unlocking" will become useful you should be thinking about your next upgrade.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
September 10, 2011 3:57:40 AM

Actually if the OP is successful in unlocking it to a 6970 the extra shaders will be used right away.It's the same technique AMD's use's with their processor's.They make a quad core and disable to 2 cores to make it a dual core.It saves money just disabling features rather than spending more time in making a whole other design.
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September 10, 2011 4:03:54 AM

Yes I am! There's a switch on the card to flash the BIOS so I won't hit it until a year passes and the warranty is over because it voids the warranty.

I read a review, it discusses the cooling system is superior to any 6950 on the market.

"The TOXIC series of cards from SAPPHIRE have a few special features that make them unique compared to a standard video card. TOXIC cards out-of-box are factory overclocked, but also have extra headroom for more performance tuning. They also come with improved cooling systems. SAPPHIRE was the first company to apply Vapor Chamber cooling to graphics cards. This process uses a coolant in liquid form that touches a heated surface and vaporizes. When it reaches a cold surface it condenses back to liquid state and continues the process. You can read more about Vapor Chamber cooling here:

http://www.sapphiretech.com/VaporX/VaporX_paper.html "


And from their benchmark:

"To measure temperatures on these video cards, we again used Battlefield: Bad Company 2 to load up the GPUs to their maximum capacity. We used the sensor information from GPU-Z to find the GPU’s highest temperature during the test. For this process, we played through an entire testing run of the game with GPU-Z recording temperature sensor information in the background. We then selected the highest temperature it reported.

The SAPPHIRE TOXIC HD6950 out-of-box sat at 47c while under load maxed out at 86c. When we enabled +20% PowerTune temperature at idle decreased to 45c, while under load it climbed 1 degree Celsius to 87c.

The SAPPHIRE TOXIC HD6950's competition in the reference Radeon HD 6950 and GeForce GTX 570 was right there with it. The reference HD 6950 was 1c cooler than the SAPPHIRE TOXIC HD6950 with +20% PowerTune at 44c, and 4 degrees cooler under load. Though the card was cooler the fan was much louder. The GeForce GTX 570 was 6c higher than the SAPPHIRE TOXIC HD6950 at idle, and 1 degree Celsius warmer under load at 88c.

When we began overclocking the SAPPHIRE TOXIC HD6950 we switched from automatic fans to a custom fan setting. These settings were much louder once temperature started to rise, but did a great job keeping heat off. When idle, the 1408 BIOS was 47c, and full load temperature was 76 degrees Celsius. The 1536 BIOS was only a little warmer at 48c idling, and 78 degrees Celsius at full load."


Sorry for the long quotes, but its an interesting read because the card is all around fantastic. I think I should be fine with the stock fans and cooling system in the gpu, but I'm not sure if I need an aftermarket cooler on my i5 cpu. I'll see how it handles
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a c 214 U Graphics card
September 10, 2011 6:02:27 AM

Yes the Toxic and Flex version's from Sapphire have really good cooling.Although this parcticular model you've chosen isn't the one that cools the best but it's good.

Even if your not O.C.ing you could do with a aftermarket heatsink.Something as cheap as this is well worth it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 10, 2011 7:54:51 AM

thrakazog said:
I went with two MSI factory OC'd 6950's. The cooling on these cards is exceptional. I also liked the quality of the build. But you should go with whatever cards you are comfortable with.

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



Yep the Sapphire Toxics are sold out everywhere, I'm looking at the Flex but don't really notice any differences, look wise. Don't know how performance/cooling compares.

If I cant find the Toxic's in about a month or two I'm going to with the MSI's. They've always been my runner out, my plan b!
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a c 214 U Graphics card
September 10, 2011 10:31:25 AM

If your only playing at 1080p then you really don't need the extra 1G of RAM.Going with the 1G is worth it.
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a c 128 U Graphics card
September 14, 2011 8:23:28 AM

purple stank said:
If your only playing at 1080p then you really don't need the extra 1G of RAM.Going with the 1G is worth it.


Disagree!......... I had troubles at 1680x1050 with 1gig cards. Games are getting more demanding. Tessellation/gaming above 1600 res has made 1gig cards useless IMO.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
September 14, 2011 8:13:21 PM

Don't know where your talking about.Maybe your just asking to much of the card you were using.

Go for the 2G card.You get a free game with it and the 2G is always good for futureproofing.
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November 7, 2011 9:30:20 PM

If it hasn't been put to bed yet, get the sapphire toxics and flip the switches to the 6970 bio pre-loaded on the cards. It doesn't void the warranty.

I have two cross-fired, playing BF at ultra settings, 1920 x 1080, staying over 90fps (frequently quite a bit higher).

Just waiting for eyefinity issues to be worked out then it'll be 5760 x 1080.

ASUS Crosshair IV Formula board, Phenom X6 1100T CPU, only 4gb RAM, CoolerMaster Silent Pro Gold 800W, 1 optical drive, 1 HDD. Plenty of power, no stuttering, no problems of any kind whatsoever.

Only upgrads I'm looking at - 120gb to 128 gb SSD (Crucial M4 or Corsair Force GT), and 8gb low latency (7 CAS) 1600mhz RAM.

The Toxics vent air out the back of the case, temps on the cards stay in the 50C to 55C range (hours of gameplay). Temps with a reference 6950 (Sapphire) and a Dirt3 6950 (Sapphire) spiked +20C higher.
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