I know, there are many threads like this on the internet, and trust me, I've read most of them. However, I'm still undecided.
My system specs:
- i5 2500k
- 650W seasonic ODM PSU
- Gigabyte P67 mobo with 16x 4x CF
- Fractal Define R2 with 2 front intakes, one bottom intake and one rear exhaust.
- 1080p Screen
Now, I live in New Zealand, so all these great deals in America do not apply to me, but I'll describe my situation.
Currently, I have an Asus 6850 with a Twin Turbo Pro attached. It runs cool and is basically silent. However, I find that performance is rather lacking, so I want a GPU upgrade.
I can either:
- Buy another 6850, $250
- Sell my current 6850 and buy a 6950 2GB, $300
- Sell my current 6850 and buy a gtx 570, new $400, factory refurb $300
At first, I wanted to crossfire, then I realised that my case could have issues cooling the top GPU.
I have read that running 6850CF on a 16x 4x motherboard doesn't affect performance that much.
However, I've also read on possible issues on micro-stuttering and I don't want to buy a 6850, find that I can't live with micro-stuttering and have to sell the card at a loss.
The 6950 is the cheapest 2gb I could find (sapphire dirt 3 edition), and I have heard you can unlock disabled shaders for increased performance. It seems like a decent deal, but I may have problems selling my 6850 as its warranty is void.
The GTX 570 is very enticing though. Its performance is as good as the gtx 480 without the furnace. However, I wonder if it is worth the cost.
Demanding games that I want to play:
- BF3 (of course)
- Crysis 2
Also, I don't want to upgrade my card for at least 2 years.
If you can deal with the slower performance for another 6 months, You could wait until the AMD 7000 series comes out in December (Volume will be available early next year). The 7870 should beat the current 6970 to a significant degree, while even more performance can be expected out of a 7950.
If you cannot wait, I'd recommend the 6950. DO NOT attempt to unlock the ones which don't use the standard board/heatsink. They don't have dual BIOS functions and if you make a mistake you will brick your card.
If you really need a performance upgrade, then sell your 6850 and buy a 6950. Otherwise, wait till the next gen GPU comes out. I have a 6950 and it runs BF3 beautifully with FPS around 50 on the beta so I probably will get around 65 on the actually game once I can overclock without BF3 crashing.