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HD5970 vs HD6950

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 14, 2011 2:24:58 PM

Hi community, I found something weird this week end and I wanna know your opinion.

One of my friend got a XFX 6950 card. However, since a few weeks he had some weird bug and split screen bug and gray screen of death. So before RMA it, XFX asked to plug it in another computer. So I used mine. The driver package is the same for the 5970 and the 6950 so I did a complete fresh install of 11.9 Catalyst driver using driver sweeper etc....

So after installing the HD 6950 I started BFBC2 to reproduce the bug that my friend had in his PC.

Here what I found strange. the lighting was more beautiful and the movement was smoother than my HD5970. I know it's not the same generation but.......

Anyway, my friend bug appeared after 1 minute of playing so I confirmed my friend that he have to RMA the card.


SO back to my baby hd5970, i double checked my observation and seriously, the lightning is uglier and the gameplay is not so smooth. I mean, i do have 60fps all the time(vsync enable) but the game is not smooth as seen on the hd6950.

Is it normal???


Some clarification:
I oced my i5 750 to 4.1 ghz to be sure I'm not bottlenecking my HD5970(i can go higher if required since I water cooled my CPU). Also, I tried to OC a bit my card using CatalystControlCenter Overdrive. And I didnt see any improvement. Only in benchmark i have an higher score :D 

More about : hd5970 hd6950

a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 3:04:09 PM

its called micros-stuttering which is an inherent problem with mid-range crossfire solutions, for this reason I abandoned my previous 6870 crossfire setup for a single gpu
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a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 3:04:51 PM

what are your full system specS?
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October 14, 2011 3:09:32 PM

CPU: I5 750 OCed at 4.1ghz water cooled
Mobo: P7P55d
HDD: OCZ vertex 2 SSD + 2 1GB HDD for storage
PSU: Antec TP750
GPU: Saphirre Radeon HD5970 2gb
Case: Antec 1200
G500 mouse and g15 keyboard
WIndows 7 64bit
Catalyst Driver 11.9

Bios haven't been updated so I guess it's the original one( can't remember the version).


P.S. Take note that my fps doesn'T drop, it's always 60 constant, but it's not smooth as I was expecting. My screen move way faster than the try on the HD6950. I must admit in FPS game, it doesn't botter me since I'm rotating faster, but in single player game, i would like to have the best quality.
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a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 3:21:37 PM

yeah its terrible I was quite pissed to find out that I spent 400+ on gpus for them to work like crap, Id ebay the 5970 and get something along the lines of a gtx 570 for a single gpu

what is the make and model of your current psu?
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October 14, 2011 3:29:41 PM

antec trupower 750.

Anyway, with that, now i'm looking for a HD 6970 or GTX 580. :fou: 

SO with a GTX590 or a HD6990 the problem will still be present I guess since it's multiple gpu setup even on same card.
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a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 3:49:09 PM

problem is not apparent with nvidia cards from what Ive read and also a pair of 6950s are supposed to not share the same problem as the midrange crossfire cards (the 6990 is dual 6950s on one pcb obviously) but the 6990 and the 590 have plenty of their own problems... in the end Id get a single gtx 570 or 6950 those are your best bang for your buck for 1080p gaming on a single core imo
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a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 3:49:57 PM

the 6970 and gtx 580 are great cards but for the small benefit over a 6950/gtx 570 it is not worth the price imo
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October 14, 2011 3:51:09 PM

Best answer selected by mike30.
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October 14, 2011 3:51:28 PM

Aweomse. I'll check out what woulb be the best today.
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a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 4:24:00 PM

What resolution do you play at ? above 1920x1080 ? More ?
This is an issue for midrange cards, but I see you are having the stuttering issue
but the 5970 s two 5870's which are not midrange by any means.
The 6950 is about the same on average as the 5870. Please try to disable crossfire in the CCC then play these same games, and tell me what you see.
I know this is solved but id look into it a little more. 5970 rocks bro
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October 14, 2011 5:08:02 PM

This is something I was planning to look at tonight.

I have an hd5870 in my GF computer, either im disabling CF or I will swap one card ( ill just diable CF it's easier :D  )

Edit: I play at 1920 * 1200
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a c 125 U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 5:17:06 PM

Whoa whoa whoa. You guys are right that it's microstuttering but please don't go and waste your money on a downgrade! Also, saying some cards suffer from it and some don't is false information. The truth is that some PEOPLE will notice it more than others, and it will also depend on other factors like what monitor you're using.

At least, read this article first... Nvidia DOES suffer from microstuttering as well as AMD, and it is fixed easily if you can find a cheap 5870 to tri-fire with the 5970, and you'll have WWWAAAAYYYY better performance with trifire than any other single card (except 6990/590 but you'd still have a chance of micro stuttering then)

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...
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a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 5:20:13 PM

5970 has two (clocked down to 5850 level) 5870s on the board I believe and when you think about it 5850 crossfire is pretty much the same as 6870 crossfire, thus the microstutering, but yeah for the OP they could just disable one core and roll with one theoretical 5850(70)...

beyond that ive heard of plenty of people on here and other places complaining problem with 5850 crossfire so in the end the fact that the OP is using a 5970 could ultimatley be the problem bc in the end there has been plenty of gripes with the 5970 itself...

I could be wrong but that my 2 cents on the matter
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a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 5:22:19 PM

I think part of the problem is you're using vsync. I've found vsync does not work well with crossfire, as it limits your framerate, and you're more likely to notice micro-stuttering as lower framerates.

I have 2x5850 (probably in the same ballpark as your 5970), play BC2 at 1920x1200, highest settings (w/ 4xMSAA, 16xAF, HBAO on) and don't notice any stuttering with vsync off. With it on, I notice it a lot. My fps averages ~90-100, ranging from ~70-120 depending on the map and how much smoke is around.
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a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 5:24:45 PM

^^ in the article the level of microstuttering on the Nvidia cards is not noticeable to the human eye, personally Ive never used it so I couldnt say but with my 6870 crossfire the microstutter was crap and so being that 5850 crossfire is similar in performance im assuming that the same thing is going on here.

For me Id rather downgrade and have something reliable,


why not sell the 5970 which is likely problematic and buy something more practical

either that or get a pair of cards that are known to be more reliable such as the 6950s or a pair of 570s....

In the end I wouldnt have bought the 5970 to begin with and furthermore I will not be crossfiring (mid range cards at least) for a long time, the nvidia counterparts deliver an overall smoother expirience from what Ive heard/read
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a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 5:26:30 PM

hapkido said:
I think part of the problem is you're using vsync. I've found vsync does not work well with crossfire, as it limits your framerate, and you're more likely to notice micro-stuttering as lower framerates.

I have 2x5850 (probably in the same ballpark as your 5970), play BC2 at 1920x1200, highest settings (w/ 4xMSAA, 16xAF, HBAO on) and don't notice any stuttering with vsync off. With it on, I notice it a lot. My fps averages ~90-100, ranging from ~70-120 depending on the map and how much smoke is around.



use vsync + triple buffering and it does eliminate most of the lag that vsync may create

beyond that why would you want to spend big bucks on a pair of cards to have no vsync and endure terrible tearing? not me..

I can see not using vsync in an online FPS but beyond that its 2012 people and I dont care what anyone says Im using vsync,

when I had 6870 crossfire the microstutter was noticeable with vsync on or off, it didnt matter much for me, perhaps because I was using triple buffering but overall I am not super familiar with the technology
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October 14, 2011 5:29:19 PM

I will check out all these possible solution.

I must agree I won't spend 600$ box on a GTX 580 right now.
I will disable vsync. This might be the problem as I remember it was enabled.

My monitor is a ASUS VW266H. The micro stuttering is noticeable but not a pain. I only didn't know about this problem for multiple GPU. That's why I posted here to know more about it. I tough maybe my card was defective.

As long I can play BF3 and Skyrim at maximum setting :D 
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a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 5:29:40 PM

yeah and maybe a cheap 5870 for tri fire would be a good option but they might be hard to find at this point.... it seems that the third gpu smooths out most of the stutter although it seems a bit ridiculous in the end and the scaling is not too pretty on that third card
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a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 5:31:02 PM

mike30 said:
I will check out all these possible solution.

I must agree I won't spend 600$ box on a GTX 580 right now.
I will disable vsync. This might be the problem as I remember it was enabled.

My monitor is a ASUS VW266H. The micro stuttering is noticeable but not a pain. I only didn't know about this problem for multiple GPU. That's why I posted here to know more about it. I tough maybe my card was defective.

As long I can play BF3 and Skyrim at maximum setting :D 



try enabling triple buffering in the drivers and keeping vsync also to see if that helps but if all else fails diable vsync and triple buffering and enjoy the screen tearing
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a c 125 U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 5:31:55 PM

I've never noticed microstuttering on my CF 5850s unless my FPS drops down to around 25-30, but at 40+ it seems very smooth. I use Vsync only if there's bad screen tearing, but even then I can't say I've seen stuttering.

I know the 5970s were a bit problematic, but definitely trifire with a 5870 should alleviate the issue and be cheaper (used ones for as little as $50). I mean sometimes it's just not practical to go spend another $250 on a GPU that isn't even going to perform better (fps and setting wise).
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October 14, 2011 5:36:45 PM

I do have a HD5870 in my girlfriend PC (my old rig) so I can use it to test it as soon I'm home.

I never tough "trifire" it with my hd5970 because I think my PSU won't be able to handle it. However, it still worth the try if it smooth out the micro stuttering.
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a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 5:36:47 PM

MM leave this one open ?
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a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 5:38:15 PM

yeah but in theory the Op sells what hes got and buys the new gpu with a nominal fee,



in the end there are many options but personally I would not want to continue on with something that is not satisfactory on every level, I guess im just more anal then most about the stuttering
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a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 5:39:36 PM

I really doubt your psu would be able to handle it... but then again it is a quality 750w unit so who knows...
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October 14, 2011 5:42:34 PM

yup, ill try the easiest solution tonight to see what happen and let you know. ( disable CF, try with vsync disable, leave it with triple buffereing...etc.)

As soon I get my hand on my old 5870, I will trifire it and let you know too. I have a friend with a 1000W PSU so before buying a new one, I'll see if it resolve my problem. Is it me or a 5970 + 5870 is so overkill...LOL. But still a nice to have!! :D 
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a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 5:43:38 PM

sounds good let us know what happens
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a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 5:44:37 PM

A 5870 is on par with a 6950 so there really is nothing to gain by switching to a single 6950, Test test test, maybe OC to stock 5870 speeds after the CF is disabled
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October 14, 2011 5:51:40 PM

I meant Ill try my 5870 in a trifire setup.



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a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 5:52:49 PM

wolfram23 said:
I've never noticed microstuttering on my CF 5850s unless my FPS drops down to around 25-30, but at 40+ it seems very smooth. I use Vsync only if there's bad screen tearing, but even then I can't say I've seen stuttering.

I know the 5970s were a bit problematic, but definitely trifire with a 5870 should alleviate the issue and be cheaper (used ones for as little as $50). I mean sometimes it's just not practical to go spend another $250 on a GPU that isn't even going to perform better (fps and setting wise).


Exactly. It's spending money for the sake of spending money.

Unless you're getting way more than 60fps (where you're most likely to see screen tearing), there's no reason to enable vsync, since screen tearing isn't a multi-gpu related problem. I change my settings accordingly so I'm always getting 50+ fps, and I don't ever notice micro-stuttering. If you're getting so many fps that you're noticing screen tearing, turn up your settings. If you're maxed out, run in a borderless window to disable crossfire (since it only works in full screen) or disable it for that game.

To tell someone to ditch their multi-gpu setup for a more expensive, less powerful card, instead of adjusting their settings to work with their gpus, is really bad advice. With crossfire, disabling vsync is a lot easier than selling a 5970 and buying a $300 less powerful 570, just to turn vsync on for no reason.
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a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 5:56:39 PM

spentshells said:
A 5870 is on par with a 6950 so there really is nothing to gain by switching to a single 6950, Test test test, maybe OC to stock 5870 speeds after the CF is disabled



yeah agreed
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a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 5:59:26 PM

hapkido said:
Exactly. It's spending money for the sake of spending money.

Unless you're getting way more than 60fps (where you're most likely to see screen tearing), there's no reason to enable vsync, since screen tearing isn't a multi-gpu related problem. I change my settings accordingly so I'm always getting 50+ fps, and I don't ever notice micro-stuttering. If you're getting so many fps that you're noticing screen tearing, turn up your settings. If you're maxed out, run in a borderless window to disable crossfire (since it only works in full screen) or disable it for that game.

To tell someone to ditch their multi-gpu setup for a more expensive, less powerful card, instead of adjusting their settings to work with their gpus, is really bad advice. With crossfire, disabling vsync is a lot easier than selling a 5970 and buying a $300 less powerful 570, just to turn vsync on for no reason.



yeah looking back at it youre right, it is not worth it OP is better off keeping what they have...

for me I hate screen tearing so when I spend big dough on a gpu I at least expect to use it...

beyond that the microstutter for me was unbearble
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a c 271 U Graphics card
October 14, 2011 9:47:55 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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